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Cholesterol is a fatty and waxy substance inside your body. Although it’s beneficial, our body needs it to build healthy cells. However, the production of anything in excessive amounts is harmful. The same is the case with cholesterol levels in the blood. Therefore, signs of high cholesterol need your attention.

What is High Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance in your body that helps make cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D. Since it doesn’t dissolve in water, it needs help from lipoproteins to move through your blood. There are two main types: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.

  • LDL Cholesterol
    High levels of LDL cholesterol, also called “bad cholesterol,” can cause problems. When LDL is too high, fatty deposits can build up in your blood vessels, reducing blood flow to your heart and brain.
  • HDL Cholesterol
    But not all cholesterol is bad. High-density lipoproteins (HDL), or “good cholesterol,” help remove LDL from your bloodstream, reducing your risk of heart disease, blood clots, and stroke.
  • Triglycerides
    Triglycerides are another type of fat your body uses for energy. When you eat more than you need, your body stores the extra triglycerides in fat cells. If you have too many triglycerides, it can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke. Your doctor can check your levels with a blood test.

What Causes High Cholesterol?

Causes of high cholesterol include a fusion of lifestyle and genetic factors. Such as:

Lifestyle Factors: Both lifestyle and genetics can cause high cholesterol. Here are some lifestyle factors:

  • Smoking and Tobacco Use: Smoking can lower your “good cholesterol” (HDL) and raise your “bad cholesterol” (LDL).
  • Stress: Being under a lot of stress can cause hormonal changes that lead to higher cholesterol levels.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your total cholesterol.
  • Lack of Physical Activity: Not moving around enough, like with a desk job or sitting a lot, can lower your “good cholesterol.” Exercise helps improve your cholesterol levels.
  • Diet: Certain foods can affect your cholesterol levels. Your healthcare provider may suggest dietary changes or meeting with a nutritionist to discuss your diet.

Signs of High Cholesterol on Face

High cholesterol usually shows no symptoms. A blood test is the only way to find out. However, it can sometimes show symptoms on the face. Common signs include:

  • Xanthelasmas
    These are cholesterol deposits under the skin, showing up as small bumps or nodules. When they appear under the eyes, they’re called xanthelasmas palpebrarum. They can be on the upper or lower eyelids or in the corner of the eyes.
  • Corneal Arcus
    Another sign is corneal arcus, which is a grayish-white ring around the eye. It’s more common in people with a family history of high cholesterol.

Diagnosis of Cholesterol Levels

Rising cholesterol levels don’t show any evident symptoms until a complication occurs. You could run a marathon and yet be a patient of high cholesterol. The only sure way to find out if your cholesterol is high is a blood test.

If your total blood cholesterol level is over 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), it might be high. Ask your doctor for a cholesterol test when you’re 20 years old and then every 4 to 6 years after that.

Your doctor might want you to check your cholesterol more often if you have a family history of high cholesterol or if you have certain risk factors, like high blood pressure, obesity, or smoking.

Final Word

There are no signs of high cholesterol. It is always silent and sneaky. Therefore, it is better to eat healthily and exercise daily. A healthy lifestyle is the only way to keep stroke, heart disease, and other complications at bay.

Visit Dr. Muhammad Irfan at the Family Diagnostic Clinic. Our board-certified internal medicine expert can diagnose and treat various chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and other complicated issues. Call us at (281) 351-6800 for an appointment.

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