Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver and delivered to all parts of the body where it performs a number of functions. It is responsible for allowing the body to makes hormones, synthesize vitamin D, and helps the liver create bile acids which are necessary for proper absorption of foods, especially fats.
However, when cholesterol levels go beyond by what is needed by the body, it can becomes a precursor for a number of serious health conditions. While high cholesterol itself does not present any symptoms, the condition can be identified by taking a blood test. It is very important to address the condition quickly as its effects can be devastating for health and even fatal in some cases. Some of the ways in which high cholesterol can affect an individual include the following.
Atherosclerosis is a hardening and narrowing of the arteries that puts normal blood flow at risk. One of the contributing factors to atherosclerosis is the damage caused to arterial lining by high levels of cholesterol.
Fatty deposits in cholesterol start to accumulate in arteries causing its lining to harden and creating what is known as plaque in the arteries. Overtime, plaque creates bumps on arterial walls which as they get bigger, can create a blockage and choke off blood supply to different parts of the body, including the heart and brain.
The condition is the usual cause of heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease.