Identifying the Symptoms of High Cholesterol
If you don’t go in for yearly cholesterol tests, you may want to watch out for the following symptoms of high cholesterol, which are an indication that there may already be a problem.
The first visible sign is the appearance of fat deposits under the eyes, on the hands, on the feet, and on other parts of the skin. These fat deposits in the skin may appear as yellowish patterns that are slightly deformed or swollen.
Other noticeable symptoms of high cholesterol are difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath and sporadic chest pains. These symptoms occur due to the buildup of excess cholesterol in the walls of your arteries. If you experience such symptoms, you should see a doctor right away so that you can get a correct diagnosis as soon as possible.
There are hundreds of products that are labelled ‘low-cholesterol’ or ‘cholesterol-free’ and most people have been made aware that having high cholesterol is bad for their health. That said, we need the good cholesterol in our body. Ultimately you want to aim for healthy cholesterol levels so that your heart health takes top priority.
What Are Your Cholesterol Levels?
How then, can you know what your cholesterol count is? The most accurate way is through a cholesterol screening test. Even if you are not experiencing any of the symptoms of high cholesterol, it is recommended that you undergo this test once a year.
This way, you will know right away if anything is amiss even before noticeable symptoms appear and you can do something about lowering your cholesterol.
Even without the cholesterol screening, you should already have an idea of what your cholesterol levels are based on your regular diet. If you eat foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fat, for instance, then it’s very likely that your cholesterol count is high.
On the contrary, if your diet consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat products, and other low-cholesterol foods, then you will probably don’t have anything to worry about. Plus, if you take your fish oil capsules everyday (your Omega-3’s) then you are already helping avoid the risk of heart disease.
Interpreting the Cholesterol Test
The cholesterol screening test is actually a blood test — approximately 5ml of blood is taken from you and brought to the laboratory for testing. Once the test is finished, the results will contain three numbers…
- your LDL count, your HDL count and your total cholesterol count.
LDL or low density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol, and its number should not exceed 160. HDL or high density lipoprotein, on the other hand, is the good protein and you want it to be at 60 or higher. The total cholesterol count is ideally lower than 200. The bottom line is if you live a healthy lifestyle you shouldn’t experience or notice any of the symptoms of high cholesterol.