High cholesterol causes the development of deposits of fat within the blood vessels. This accumulation of fat within the arteries makes it difficult for blood to flow through the blood vessels making it hard for the heart to receive the oxygen rich blood that it requires to function properly and this, in turn, increases the risk of a heart attack.
High cholesterol may also cause an insufficient amount of oxygen rich blood to reach the brain which increases the probability of experiencing a stroke. Studies show that the main cause of high cholesterol stems from consuming foods that are high in cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fat.
Symptoms are not usually present with high cholesterol and only emergency events such as heart attacks and strokes provide evidence of advanced stages of high cholesterol. It’s recommend that anyone over the age of 20 have their cholesterol levels checked about every five years.
Treatment for high cholesterol is focused on lowering your LDL (low density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol to a level that will prevent a heart attack or hardening of the arteries. Changes in diet, the addition of regular physical activity, and weight management are additional tools used in treating high cholesterol. Bile acid sequestrants, statins, nicotine acids, fibric acids, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors are drugs that may also be employed to treat high cholesterol.