High cholesterol may trigger pain in different body parts – full list of areas affected

Dr Chris reveals how eyes can indicate high cholesterol levels

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Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. Pain in any of these body parts could be major risk indicators and should not be ignored. 

According to Healthline, high cholesterol increases a person’s risk for coronary artery disease.

Symptoms to spot include pain in any of these body parts which include:

  • Neck
  • Jaw
  • Upper abdomen
  • Back.

A study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, analysed the association between serum lipids and low back pain.

The study included adults between 40 and 64 years old who underwent an annual health check-up.

A total of 258,367 eligible participants were analysed to investigate associations of lower back pain with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and LDL-C/HDL-C ratio.

The study found that low HDL-C and high LDL-C/HDL-C ratio were significantly associated with lower back pain indicating the pain felt in the back could indicate high cholesterol levels.

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If the arteries that supply your heart with blood (coronary arteries) are affected, you might have pain in different body parts and other symptoms of coronary artery disease.

Other body parts which may begin to feel pain due to high levels of cholesterol include the feet and hands.

“Accumulation of cholesterol can clog the blood vessels of legs and hands,” said Medicover Hospitals.

The health site continued: “This build-up of cholesterol can occur continuously and make the hands and feet painful.”

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a person’s first cholesterol screening should occur between the ages of nine and 11, and then be repeated every five years after that.

The NHLBI recommends that cholesterol screenings occur every one to two years for men ages 45 to 65 and for women ages 55 to 65. People over 65 should receive cholesterol tests annually.

If your test results aren’t within desirable ranges, your doctor might recommend more-frequent measurements.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad cholesterol,” can build up in the arteries and lead to serious health problems, like heart attack or stroke.

High-density lipoproteins (HDL), sometimes called “good cholesterol,” help return the LDL cholesterol to the liver for elimination.

Eating too many foods that contain high amounts of fat increases the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
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