Wellness

And here is how cholesterol affects your body:

Cholesterol is a waxy chemical that is found in your blood and plays an important role in the development of healthy cells; nevertheless, high levels of cholesterol can be harmful. High cholesterol is known as a “silent killer” because there are frequently no warning signs, and the common condition can lead to serious issues such as stroke or heart disease; however, it is preventable. Anything with a cholesterol level of about 200 mg/dL or higher is considered to be a health risk. It is always a good idea to get your cholesterol checked regularly by getting a blood test, and making healthy lifestyle choices like avoiding smoking, exercising for at least 150 minutes each week, and eating a nutritious diet all contribute to maintaining a normal level. Consume This and Not That! Health spoke with Sean Marchese, MS, RN, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center with a background in oncology clinical trials and more than 20 years of direct patient care experience, who shared what cholesterol can do to your body. Sean Marchese has a background in oncology clinical trials and over 20 years of experience directly caring for patients. Continue reading, and make sure you don’t miss any of these sure signs that you’ve already had COVID to protect not only your health but also the health of others.

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Marchese notes, “Atherosclerosis, often known as the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, is one of the most perilous aspects of high cholesterol. The coronary artery, which supplies the heart tissue with oxygen, is the most vulnerable location for this to take place in the body. The most common cause of death in the United States is coronary artery disease, also known simply as heart disease.”

Adult male with heart attack or heart burn
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Marchese tells us, “A high cholesterol level causes damage to the arteries because it causes the formation of plaque, which obstructs blood flow and reduces the delivery of oxygen. When this takes place in the coronary arteries, which provide blood to the heart, the muscle of the heart begins to deteriorate, and it is no longer able to pump blood as effectively. Pain in the chest is often the first symptom of an impending heart attack, which is caused when heart tissue begins to die off as a result of a lack of oxygen.”

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According to Marchese, atherosclerosis not only increases the risk of having a heart attack but also decreases the capacity of the heart to pump blood throughout the body. “Because of this, it is much simpler for blood to coagulate, either in veins far away or within the heart muscle itself. Clots have the potential to migrate to the lungs, where they can then create a pulmonary embolism. This condition, which can be identified by symptoms such as shortness of breath or coughing, reduces the amount of oxygen that the body receives and can be fatal. If immediate treatment is not received, a clot that has traveled to the brain will produce an ischemic stroke, which will result in the irreversible loss of function or even death if blood flow to important brain tissue is restricted.”

high blood pressure
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Marchese is quoted as saying that “A high cholesterol level is associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension. Plaque buildup in the arteries causes them to become stiff and narrow, which in turn reduces the amount of blood that can flow through them. The circulation of blood throughout the body requires increased effort from your heart. This additional effort raises the pressure within the arteries, which, over time, can cause the walls of blood vessels to become more fragile.”

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Marchese is responsible for, “A condition known as peripheral artery disease can be brought on by consistently high cholesterol levels, which cause damage to blood arteries throughout the body. Because of this disease, your body will have a harder time pumping blood through your limbs, especially your arms and legs. A cramping sensation that spreads throughout the affected limb can be a symptom of peripheral artery disease. This cramping sensation could go away as you stand or move around. Edema, also known as fluid retention, is a common symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This occurs because PAD makes it harder for the veins in the legs’ extremities to drain blood and fluid. PAD can also develop into a condition called deep vein thrombosis, which is a form of a blood clot that frequently results in pulmonary embolism or stroke.”

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