How do you know if you have high cholesterol?

Having high cholesterol can lead to a number of health risks such as heart disease and stroke. Blockages in your arteries occur from a build up of plaque which makes it harder for blood to flow around your body. The development and build up of this plaque is caused by an imbalance of the lipoproteins within your body.

The role of lipoproteins

The two lipoproteins that you need to be aware of when it comes to your cholesterol are; LDL and HDL.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)  is produced by the liver and is the main protein that delivers cholesterol around the body.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is also produced by the liver and it regulates the build up of cholesterol in arteries by channelling the excess back to the liver where it is expelled.

When there is an imbalance in your LDL and HDL levels plaque builds up within your arteries and can result in health complications.

What are the symptoms of having high cholesterol?

Typically there are no explicit signs of high cholesterol, a blood test would be needed to determine your exact levels.

There are however a number of factors that you can take into consideration:

High blood pressure: Having high blood pressure coupled with high cholesterol puts added pressure on your blood vessels and heart.

Being overweight: The food that you eat along with the level of exercise you do can both contribute to the development of LDL and HDL along with the efficiency of your blood flow.

Smoking: Smoking lowers HDL levels along with damaging the walls of your blood vessels.

Diabetes: Having high blood sugar levels have been shown to elevate triglycerides, which is worth keeping in mind.

It may also be worth knowing what the symptoms of heart disease are if you fear that you are at risk.

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Claire is the Inbound and Content Manager here at Thriva. Her mission is break through all the clutter of information that is out there relating to health and bring you informative, easy to digest, actionable insights.