5 Complications of High Cholesterol

    High cholesterol complications occur when it remains uncontrolled over the months and can affect people of all ages, including children and adolescents, but are more common in middle-aged or elderly people who have had uncontrolled cholesterol for years.

    These possible complications are triggered in a cascade and include:

    1. Atherosclerosis

    The first complication of high cholesterol is atherosclerosis which consists of the accumulation of blood on the inner walls of veins and arteries. This accumulation is caused by the excess of fat in the bloodstream being serious because it generates a decrease in the diameter inside the vessels, making the heart have to make more force so that the blood reaches all parts of the body.

    How to identify and treat: Usually there are no symptoms but there may be chest pain and can be found in a cardiac catheterization exam or cardiac angiotomography, the treatment can be done with food reeducation and medications.

    2. High blood pressure

    As the diameter of the blood vessels decreases, the blood passes with greater pressure through these areas and this is called high blood pressure. High blood pressure is particularly serious because it does not always show symptoms, only when it is very high and the person is at risk of heart failure.

    How to identify and treat: The diagnosis of high blood pressure must always be made by a doctor, through various pressure measurements in the office or with the 24-hour ABPM exam. High blood pressure can be controlled through adequate nutrition, with little salt, or the use of medications prescribed by the doctor.

    3. Heart failure

    Heart failure happens when the heart muscle is not strong enough to pump blood to all parts of the body. This usually happens in people with high blood pressure or when there is a problem with a heart valve, for example.

    How to identify and treat: It generates symptoms such as tiredness, shortness of breath, coughing and swelling in the legs, and the treatment is done with a diet low in salt, medications and when it is severe, with surgery or heart transplant.

    4. Heart attack

    Infarction occurs when there is a lack of blood in the vessels of the heart, which leads to the death of cardiac tissue from lack of oxygen. This can happen when a vessel is completely blocked and blood cannot pass and reach the heart. Its main symptom is the chest pain that can arise when making efforts, but the infarction can also happen when the person is resting or sleeping.

    How to identify and treat: Symptoms include chest pain that can radiate to the left arm, jaw or back. Treatment can be done with medication, catheterization or surgery.

    5. Stroke

    Another possible complication of high cholesterol is Stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is completely blocked and does not allow blood to pass into this region. The lack of blood in the brain is called ischemic stroke and has serious consequences because the nervous tissue can die from this lack of blood and as a consequence there may be paralysis on one side of the body and difficulty in talking and eating, requiring treatment throughout life.

    How to identify and treat: in ischemic strokes, symptoms such as decreased strength on one side of the body, tingling on one side of the face, decreased sensitivity or difficulty in speaking are common. Treatment can be done with drugs, surgery and physical therapy for rehabilitation.

    Thus, the best way to prevent all these complications is by taking measures to lower cholesterol, decreasing the consumption of foods rich in sugar and fat and practicing physical activity to burn the accumulated fat under the skin and inside the blood vessels.

    Watch the following video and learn what to do to lower cholesterol: