High cholesterol levels can be particularly dangerous as it greatly increases the risk of heart diseases, such as a stroke. Too much cholesterol leads to an excessive buildup of plaque, which means it’ll start narrowing or even blocking your arteries. A blood clot is often the cause of a heart attack or a stroke.
Additionally, an excessive amount of cholesterol can also lead to stiff arteries, preventing them from widening to increase the blood flow in your body.
In other words, the consequences of having high cholesterol are pretty severe. Only a doctor can reliably determine whether or not you have too much cholesterol with a blood test, but there are good indications and signs out there that could warn you of too much cholesterol in the body.
Let’s take a look.
1) Neck pain and headaches
Because high cholesterol leads to the blocking of arteries, there’s a good chance that the blood flow to and from your head can be disturbed. The result is a sore neck and sudden headaches on an occasional basis, and you might even deal with some pain in your shoulders as well. A nagging headache in the back is a very good indication of excessive cholesterol levels according to doctors.
2) Tingles in your hands and feet
A sort of tingling sensation in your hands and your feet definitely isn’t uncommon if you’re dealing with too high cholesterol levels. Because of blocked blood vessels, the peripheral nerves in your feet and hands are also affected as they’re not getting enough oxygen and blood flow. This usually doesn’t result in pain, but can induce a rather noticeable tingling sensation instead.
3) Eating a lot of fatty foods and lack of exercise
We’ll admit, this sign seems pretty straightforward, but there’s absolutely no denying that eating a lot of fatty foods greatly increases the cholesterol levels in your body. A lack of exercise allows cholesterol to build up in your body. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are also highly detrimental. In short, if you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle, chances are you’re also dealing with high cholesterol.
4) The appearance of cholesterol ‘bubbles’ on the skin
Sometimes, the excessive amount of cholesterol may manifest on the outside of your body as well. A yellowish sort of rash can appear on the skin, which is filled with cholesterol. They’re called xanthomas and are usually found on the Achilles heel and the hand, although they’re sometimes located on the tendons of your foot, knee or elbow too.
5) Sudden heart palpitations
It’s quite common to have heart palpitations once in a while, especially after exercising, but sometimes they’re a clear sign of cardiovascular issues as well. Rapid beating of the heart means that the heart has to work/pump faster than usual. And you’ve probably already guessed it – clogged blood vessels due to high cholesterol will make your heart rate spike.
6) The forming of a grey ring around your cornea
This one is pretty tough to spot, so look closely. If you notice that there’s a greyish ring around the cornea of your eye, that could be a pretty good indication of high cholesterol being built up in that area. The cornea covers the iris of the eye. Because the grey rings are common with older people, it’s only a reliable indicator of high cholesterol for people under 45.
7) Yellow rashes on the eyelids
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These yellow rashes are similar to the yellow cholesterol bubbles on your body, but smaller and on this time on your eyelids. The condition is known as ‘xanthelasma’. Luckily, it doesn’t have any negative effects on your eyesight. Laser and acid treatments are available to get rid of these rash bubbles, but the more effective and permanent solution is just to lower your cholesterol levels altogether.
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