These Are The Effects Of High Cholesterol On The Body

By Sripriya Satish

First of all, let us be clear as to what is meant by the term cholesterol and then proceed to explain the ill effects of high cholesterol on the body.

The term cholesterol refers to the fatty substance present in the blood which is an essential component needed by the cells to function efficiently.

This wax-like substance is mostly generated by the human system and it is also obtained from the food which we consume. They come in two types, namely bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL).

cholesterol rich foods

The reason for the LDL cholesterol being coined as bad is that it gets deposited in the blood vessels called arteries thus hampering the blood flow. The reason for HDL being coined as good cholesterol is that it carries the excess cholesterol from the arteries to the liver from where it gets eliminated from the body.

The good cholesterol helps in the proper functioning of the vital organs and also helps in the formation of hormones, vitamin D and many fluids that help in the digestion process.

Having got a bird's eye view of the medical term, cholesterol, let us proceed to the crux of the article as to how this component may affect our body.

Heart Problem:

Having increased levels of LDL cholesterol can cause various heart diseases. Want to know why? Arteries are the blood vessels which are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the tissues of the body.

These arteries can get heavily affected due to the high levels of this so called bad cholesterol. The arteries get hardened; in other words, they lose their flexibility by the deposition of LDL cholesterol on the walls of the arteries.

This condition of the hardening of the arteries is called arthrosclerosis. The heart finds it very difficult to pump blood through these stiff and blocked blood vessels causing various heart ailments.

Affects The Nervous System:

Increased levels of cholesterol can have a very high damaging effect on the brain. Let us see how. Ranging from strokes to Alzheimer's disease, the brain becomes susceptible to various deadly disorders.

Not having optimal levels of cholesterol can disrupt the blood flow to the brain and thus it can hamper the most important vital organ's functions. This may result in loss of memory and disruption in several mental functions.

Affects The Digestive System:

Optimal levels of cholesterol are always important for the production of bile. Bile is helpful in the breaking down of food and absorption of nutrients in our body. When there is an increased level of cholesterol, chances are that you might get gall stones in your gall bladder which can be very painful.

Chest Pain:

To understand as to what causes chest pain, let us be clear about the term plaque. Plaque is the excessive deposition of cholesterol in the artery thus causing the heart to really push through them with a lot of effort.

When the plaque disrupts the flow of blood in the coronary artery it results in chest pain. This pain is different from a heart attack and is given the name angina.

Maintaining optimal levels of cholesterol through diet and exercise is always a better option to ward off all the cholesterol-related diseases.

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    Read more about: cholesterol weight gain heart
    Story first published: Sunday, September 3, 2017, 14:30 [IST]
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