How to know your cholesterol is high

optimal cholesterol

Between oily iftar items and the other delicious delicacies throughout the month of Ramadan, it will be very easy for some of us to delve into our favourite items and just let go. However, we must keep our cholesterol in check. High cholesterol is a fairly common problem and although most people face it in their 40s, the prevalence of high cholesterol level among individuals in their 20s and 30s is on the rise. And why wouldn't it be? Our generation is easily among the most stressful ones in history. Stress, along with several other factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive weight, smoking and drinking all contribute to increased levels of cholesterol.

It can also be genetic but regardless of its cause, it is not to be taken lightly, as high cholesterol level is notorious for causing heart attacks (and other heart conditions), strokes, diabetes and even chronic kidney disease. Our bodies often try to communicate rising levels of cholesterol to us and here is how to tell if your cholesterol level is high without going to a doctor. Keep an eye out for these signs.

Frequent chest pain

Given our hectic routines and somewhat unhealthy living habits, we can be forgiven for taking chest pains as heartburns due to stress or acidity. However, frequent chest pain is also a sign that there is something wrong with our cholesterol levels. So, if medicines and all those DIY heartburn remedies do not work, chances are you have more cholesterol in your system than your body can handle. It is always a good idea to look after what we eat but when the chest pains start coming in thick and fast, that's when you truly have to re-evaluate your diet and incorporate exercising into your routine. 

Sudden increase in belly fat

Sure, dad bods are in and bhuri is love but an overnight increase in belly fat is cause for concern. So, if you notice that your six pack aspirations have taken a hit while the rest of you is doing fine, you should be a bit alarmed because this means that there is excessive visceral fat in your belly and your cholesterol is slowly approaching dangerous levels.

High Blood Pressure

The most common indicator that you might be having issues with your cholesterol levels is your blood pressure. A rise in one often indicates the rise in the other. It is generally a good practice to measure your blood pressure twice per day. Occasional spikes are nothing to be worried about but if it is consistently high, a visit to the doctor is a must as this could be an indication of serious underlying conditions.

Achy breaky limbs

If your lower limbs feel like they are about to give up even after the smallest of walks, it is a sign of high cholesterol. Increased level of cholesterol blocks the arteries in your leg thereby stopping blood from being circulated back and forth properly. This is the wakeup call you need to bring about changes in your life to lower those cholesterol levels and avoid a trip to the hospital.

The only way to confirm your actual cholesterol level is through a blood test known as lipid profile. However, if you do experience any of the above, it's best to take it as a sign to get your life in order and avoid more damage. Cholesterol levels can easily be controlled through exercising, changing your dietary habits as well as limiting smoking and drinking.