We've all been warned that dangerous levels of cholesterol can take a major toll on our health. A high concentration of cholesterol in the blood can interrupt the blood flow that feeds the rest of your body. We all know and understand this, but it would also be helpful if we could identify the signs and symptoms cholesterol is harming your body. This way, we will be able to adjust our habits and develop a healthier lifestyle.

We Need Cholesterol:

With all the warnings we've been given it's hard to grasp that our bodies do need cholesterol in healthy doses in order to function properly. The fatty substance is produced in the liver and is transported throughout the body through our bloodstream. Without cholesterol, our bodies would have a difficult time producing Vitamin D and essential hormones and acids we need to survive. The problem comes when we consume too much cholesterol in our diets. Most people with a high cholesterol count are totally oblivious that they have too much. There are usually no obvious signs and symptoms cholesterol is harming your body, however, a simple blood test can reveal if there is a problem.

What To Look For:

While signs of high cholesterol are not always evident there are still ways to tell if your level is too high. Cholesterol is transported through the bloodstream but if there is too much of it, the excess may be deposited in the body's arteries. The sole purpose of the arteries is to transport blood to various parts of the body, but if you have too much cholesterol in the arteries the blood flow can either slow down or be interrupted. This can lead to blood clots and/or put you at risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Some of the signs & symptoms cholesterol is harming your body can include chest discomfort, pressure, and angina. Some people report symptoms of jaw pain, pain in the neck, shoulder, arms and the back. If the blood flow to the heart is completely blocked, a heart attack is the result.

Digestive System:

High cholesterol can also interfere with the digestive system causing some people to develop gallstones. As they point out at the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, more than 80% of gallstones are actually collections of cholesterol.

When a buildup of plaque in the arteries blocks flow to the kidneys and stomach, you may experience extreme symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and even bloody stools.

It is extremely important that we understand what too much cholesterol can do to your body. Most of us do not realize what our cholesterol level is but when you consider just how important it is to our health we may need to make a few lifestyle changes to ensure that we can keep our level under control. It takes time to readjust our eating and daily routine but it is much easier to do that than to take the time to recover from a major setback to our health because we didn't.