Actually, cholesterol is not always bad. For example, it is required to help hormones and vitamin D. The problem comes when it increases higher than normal. High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) is dangerous, even could be life-threatening if left untreated. What are the symptoms? Does it cause tiredness, too?
High cholesterol means the amount of cholesterol in your blood is higher than you need. Again, your body needs healthy levels of cholesterol to keep functioning. Even it is naturally produced in your liver and distributed through circulation (bloodstream) to parts of the body.
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You can also get cholesterol from foods that you eat, particularly animal fats. Many times poor diet is to blame for hypercholesterolemia – but this is not the only one! The problem can also be attributed by other factors such as obesity and sedentary lifestyle /lack of physical activity. Other risk factors include:
- If you’re a smoker. Tobacco smoke is linked to a number of health conditions, including hypercholesterolemia.
- Your waist matters! Your large waist can also increase the risk, even though if you’re thin.
- Chronic high blood sugar disorder (diabetes). High blood sugar can damage your artery’s linings, and this can contribute to cause higher LDL.
- What else? Abnormal high cholesterol may also be a consequence of other conditions such as hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid), polycystic ovary syndrome, liver disease, kidney disease, or even sometimes pregnancy.
Cholesterol in the blood is attached to proteins called lipoprotein. It is divided into several types (based on the kind of cholesterol the lipoprotein carries), the main one are as follows:
- HDL, which stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is considered as ‘good cholesterol’. It can help catch excess cholesterol in the circulation and bring it back to the liver.
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein). This is what we call as ‘bad cholesterol’. It is your main target to reduce in your cholesterol diet. It can inhibit the blood flow because it can build up in the blood vessels, making them narrow.
How does it affect the body?
Arteries, blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body, play a key role in your cardiovascular system. If there is something goes awry with them, this can lead to a number of complications.
Too much bad cholesterol in the circulation can build up and form plaque (a hardened mixture of fat and cholesterol) that can make it harder for blood to flow. In severe case, this may lead to clogged artery, a condition in which blood flow is partially or completely blocked.
The complication of this plaque is dependent on where it occurs. For examples, if it develops in the artery close to the heart, it can increase the risk of heart attack. And when it builds up in the artery that carries blood to the brain, it may end with stroke.
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- Plaque can lead to peripheral arterial disease if it blocks the blood flow to legs and arms.
- It may also block blood flow to the stomach, bowel, or kidneys.
- For more information of how cholesterol affects the body, visit this page!
High cholesterol symptoms
Is there any symptom of the condition? This is one of frequently asked question when it comes to discussing about hypercholesterolemia. Unfortunately, the answer is ‘No’.
It doesn’t itself present any symptom! Therefore, it could go unnoticed and become a silent threat of your cardiovascular system. The only one to catch it is by blood testing.
In general, it should be checked at least once every five years. But if you have some /many risk factors of the condition, you may need to check it once a year or more often (ask your doctor for more advice)!
And if your test results are abnormal (higher than desirable ranges), your doctor can make a comprehensive treatment plan to help treat and keep it off afterward. It’s important to treat the condition before it causes serious complications!
Tiredness is very common and anyone can have it. But in fact, it’s not easy to understand. Even it has a reputation as difficult problem for doctors to investigate. It is a vague symptom of many health conditions – it can also be attributed by a lot of factors.
A challenging question, is there a link between tiredness and high cholesterol?
Again, high cholesterol doesn’t have specific symptom. But there is a chance for the condition to indirectly contribute to cause fatigue.
For examples, the following mild and severe complications from chronic high cholesterol can lead to tiredness: