A lot of people are diagnosed with high cholesterol after a simple blood test. Without this blood test, however, they may never have known they had it, because there are very few symptoms of high cholesterol. The exception is in people who have familial hypercholesterolemia, which means that there are visible deposits of cholesterol in the skin or, in the worst cases, in the ligaments and joints, which means they have mobility difficulties as well.
Early Signs And Symptoms Of High Cholesterol:
One of the reasons why cholesterol is so dangerous is because it has almost no symptoms and therefore kills silently. Sometimes, deposits can be visible in the eye, which are usually spotted by optometrists. However, this is not until people become much older. A person may, however, experience symptoms of arcus senelis, which is when a white or gray circle or arc forms around the cornea's edge. Again, this is more common in elderly people, however, and a blood test will be required to confirm whether or not it is caused by cholesterol.
The bloodstream carries nutrients, fluids, proteins, and lipids through the body. With reference to cholesterol, it is the triglycerides that carry glucose and fatty acids through the body. If someone eats too much bad fat, their triglyceride and LDL levels will become elevated. This can lead to various circulatory system diseases, including heart disease. This is because the fatty acids can calcify or oxidize, forming clots. The clots, in turn, can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Doctors routinely check their patients' blood levels for high cholesterol. Specifically, they count their levels of LDL, HDL (the good cholesterol), and triglycerides. Because there are almost no outward symptoms of high cholesterol, doctors usually find that they have to investigate their patients' lifestyle in order to determine whether it is likely that they have it or not. A blood test will look at the cholesterol levels, and this is what will determine whether someone needs treatment as well.
For those who are found to have a low HDL level, a high LDL level, and a high level of triglycerides, they will be considered 'at risk' of developing cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, they will be classed as 'unhealthy' and they need to make significant lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes include eating a healthier, balanced, and nutritious diet, exercising regularly, stopping smoking, and lowering alcohol consumption. Depending on just how high a person's cholesterol levels are, a doctor may also prescribe statins. These drugs may also be prescribed if a person tries and fails to make lifestyle changes. They should, however, only be taken for a short period of time.
Natural Cholesterol Treatment:
A lot of people now look for natural ways to lower their cholesterol level. Natural practitioners recommend consuming natural products that contain phytosterols, found in soy, for instance, as these can lower the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed by the body. However, scientific evidence to support this is lacking, and there is also a suggestion that these foods may lower levels of good cholesterol as well. Because high cholesterol is generally asymptomatic, having regular checkups is incredibly important.