Many people know that high cholesterol can lead to heart health issues, but few understand how it can contribute to other physical issues. South Macomb Internal Medicine is here to help you understand the effects of high cholesterol and what you can do about it.
What is High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. It’s actually necessary for your body to function properly, but if you have too much of it in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and lead to serious health problems. There are two different types of cholesterol – LDL (low-density lipoproteins) and HDL (high-density lipoproteins). The higher your LDL levels, the greater the risk of developing heart disease or stroke.
How Can High Cholesterol Affect Other Areas of My Health?
High cholesterol has been linked to a number of other physical issues. For example, having high cholesterol increases your risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD), which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood from the heart to other parts of your body such as arms and legs. This buildup can cause pain or numbness in those areas as well as coldness in hands or feet. Additionally, if left untreated, PAD can lead to more serious complications such as gangrene or even amputation.
High cholesterol also increases your risk for diabetes or kidney disease. People with high cholesterol often have higher levels of insulin which can put them at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes due to insulin resistance. Additionally, high cholesterol levels may contribute to kidney damage by causing hardening of the arteries leading into the kidneys which can impair their functioning over time and eventually lead to kidney failure if left untreated.
High cholesterol is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. If you think you might be at risk for high cholesterol levels, we highly recommend making an appointment with our internal medicine office so we can run some tests and get you on track with a healthy lifestyle plan tailored specifically for you! Taking steps now will help ensure a healthier future full of fewer risks associated with high cholesterol!