Also known as hypercholesterolemia, high levels of cholesterol in the blood are associated with atherosclerosis, which is the deposition of cholesterol in blood vessels. Both good and bad cholesterol is present in our bodies and their functions differ with respect to fat deposition in vessels. Bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (HDL), deposits in vessels decreasing blood flow while good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), helps to remove those depositions. When one is diagnosed with high cholesterol, it means the LDL type, the bad variety, has increased. High cholesterol levels can lead to heart disease and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke if left untreated. The good news is that lifestyle changes and medication can help keep your cholesterol levels in check and good health is in your future!
High cholesterol is generally a silent condition however when it deposits in vessels, the organs to which those vessels supply blood can show signs. If vessels in the heart are affected, then individuals can have a heart attack or angina (chest pain felt on exertion). Blood vessels of the brain being affected can lead to stroke, while those in the extremities can lead to pain or overt gangrene.