High cholesterol is a common problem that many people suffer with, but a lot of these individuals do not even know they have this problem. Without getting tested, you will not know either; and if you leave it unaddressed, it can lead to two major health problems. If you are worried you might have high cholesterol, it's important for you to get tested and learn what the health risks are that this condition poses.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is something that is found in everyone, and it does not pose any problems if the amount a person has is within normal limits. It is a problem, though, when a person has high amounts of cholesterol in their body.
Cholesterol is a waxy type substance that can build up inside your arteries. Having high cholesterol often results from eating the wrong types of foods, failing to exercise, and carrying around too much weight. When a person's cholesterol is too high, it can lead to problems. Unfortunately, you will probably not experience any symptoms if you have high cholesterol.
What health risks does high cholesterol pose?
High cholesterol can lead to a heart attack if left unaddressed for too long. This happens from the way cholesterol clogs the arteries. When cholesterol begins building up in the arteries near the heart, the heart cannot get enough oxygen and blood. This damages the heart, and eventually the clogged artery can place so much stress on the heart that a heart attack occurs.
The second main health risk high cholesterol poses is the increased chance of having a stroke. This occurs in the same way as a heart attack, except that the clog is located near the brain. If the clogged artery becomes clogged completely, it can cut off the blood and oxygen supply to the brain, which is what causes a stroke to occur.
How can you prevent these health issues?
The best thing you can do to prevent high cholesterol from affecting your body is to treat it. In order to do this, you will need to have a blood test completed at your doctor's office. This test will tell you how high your cholesterol is, and your doctor is likely to give you medication for it. In addition, your doctor may ask you to make some lifestyle changes, such as starting an exercise routine each day.
If you are worried about this and want to avoid health problems in the future, visit a doctor today to have your cholesterol checked. For more information, contact local professionals like Burnsville Family Physicians.