Harmful Effects Of High Cholesterol: Types Of Cholesterol And Symptoms

High Cholesterol

Introduction

In this article, we’ll discuss harmful effects of high cholesterol and Symtoms.

A savory dish of wheat bread topped with pepperoni and a layer of melted cheddar with a hint of olives, freshly pan tossed, and delivered at your doorstep. 

Do you like the sound of that? 

Now, if you are already planning to place an order at your nearest fast food store then just I would like you to stop and make it till the end of this article before making a decision. 

What you are seeing as a hearty meal for two, is a regular deposit of low-density lipoprotein or unhealthy cholesterol in your system.

Low-density lipoprotein? What is that? Well, there is no better timing than now to learn about it.

Types of Cholesterol

Cholesterol waxy substance that is found in our cells and bloodstream. It is produced by our liver itself and can also be consumed via numerous unhealthy diets. However, the harmful part of it mostly depends on the kind of food we consume and the lifestyle choices we make. 

Cholesterol, therefore, comes in two forms and they are as follows:

  • Low-density lipoprotein: It is the unhealthy kind of cholesterol that has the capacity of building layers of fatty deposits in your arteries. This disrupts blood flow and thus the healthy functioning of the body. Even worse, it leads to plaque (dead red blood cells) build-up that leads to hypertension and several other blood pressure issues. Don’t be surprised to get Erectile Dysfunction (ED) once you start suffering from cholesterol problems.
  • High-density lipoprotein: It is the good cholesterol that is produced by our body. Our body transports it through our bloodstream. The extras are removed by transporting it to the liver and excreting it out from the body.

Why do we need Cholesterol?

At this point, you must be asking yourself why do we need a substance that is harmful to our health and increases our life-risk. This is because cholesterol helps in the making of hormones, produces various body fluids, and also regulates the formation of Vitamin D. Although as mentioned above, our body does not require large quantities of the substance to perform these functions. Thus the unused portion often accumulates and brings about unwanted and unwarranted changes in bodily functions.

This can result in causing several issues and some of the symptoms are as follows:

  • Chest pain (Angina) is the primary symptom that is showed by the body. It generally occurs due to clogged arteries leading to the heart.
  • Untreated chest pain often leads to coronary heart disease, which stops oxygenated blood from reaching the heart and thus begins to deprive the pulmonary veins of blood.
  • This further leads to the malfunction of the circulatory system and results in a heart stroke. At this stage, the plaques (bad cholesterol) creates bigger clots in the arteries.
  • When the plaques break to create several small clots in the artery that supplies oxygen or blood to the brain, the person suffers from a stroke. 

How does Cholesterol affect different systems in the body?

Since the primary symptoms of high cholesterol are discussed, let us look at its harmful effects on our organs in detail:

Nervous System

It is a known fact that 25% of the body’s supply of cholesterol is contained by the brain. Cholesterol is therefore an important component that is used in the production of nerve cells and also helps in protecting nerve connections. This helps the brain to transmit signals efficiently and effectively to the rest of our body. 

Excessive cholesterol in the arteries can lead to significant impairments like loss of memory, inability to move, difficulty with swallowing, and even a rare inability to speak. High blood cholesterol even leads to acute diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, where deposits of beta-amyloid become like plaque amongst the brain cells. This results in a possible permanent loss of memory and also affects other cognitive abilities. 

Digestive System

A healthy level of cholesterol helps our body to produce bile. This bile helps in breaking down food and nutrients during digestion. But too much of cholesterol results in the formation of gallstones (hardened deposits of bile) which is extremely painful and sometimes needs to be removed via an operation to restore the normal functioning of the body. 

Regular digestive system checkups and a healthy lifestyle can make all the difference and reduce these fatal health risks caused by high cholesterol.

Endocrine System

Cholesterol is also used up by the hormone-producing glands to make estrogen, cortisol, and testosterone. Sometimes, these hormones regulate the cholesterol levels of our body, especially in women. For example. monthly menstrual cycles lead to the rise in the levels of HDL cholesterol and the decline in the level of LDL cholesterol. 

Other than this, the thyroid also fluctuates the level of HDL and LDL. Thus the deficiency of other hormones also leads to a rise in the levels of LDL cholesterol and increases the risk for heart diseases as an individual age.

Circulatory System

Atherosclerosis is a heart condition that is caused by the increase in the levels of LDL cholesterol in our arteries, hence making them stiff. Dead red blood cells create traffic in the arteries which restricts the amount of blood flow to different organs and most importantly to the heart. These waxy deposits of lipoprotein will lead to choking of the arteries due to high blood pressure. The worst situation arises when you burst an artery due to this pressure.

When plaque accumulates in coronary arteries then the flow of oxygenated blood is restricted to the heart and brain muscles. One of the first symptoms that our body shows is that of chest pain or angina. In such situations, one should visit a hospital and take medical precautions to dismiss the life-threatening risks that follow.

At times when chest pains go unexamined then these plaques continue to deposit and narrow down the arteries to an extent where the blood flow is disrupted. This leads to heart problems that can be so acute that the chances of revival are one in ten at the most. 

Conclusion

Now that we know how bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol can harm our health due to various factors, we need to cut back on foods that contain them. We can also alter our lifestyle choices by quitting cigarettes, alcohol, and medicines consumed for the “feel good” vibe. Exercise can also be an effective way of reducing cholesterol levels and maintaining heart health.

Do not underestimate the range of health problems that high cholesterol can introduce into your life. The sooner you take precautionary measures, the lesser chances of such discomforting health conditions arising.

So did you cancel your pizza delivery and replace it with a salad yet? If not, now is the time!