‘Severe pain’ may be a warning sign of high cholesterol enlarging the spleen
Patients with high cholesterol levels are often undertreated due to the absence of obvious symptoms of the disease. This asymptomatic feature of the condition means that many people go untreated until they are at high risk for a cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke. However, in severe cases, high cholesterol symptoms may appear due to an enlarged liver and spleen.
Triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as the two main types of fats that the body needs for energy and protection from the cold.
These fats and proteins that circulate in the bloodstream form their own lipoproteins, which help distinguish between good and bad cholesterol.
Mount Sinai explains: “Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is one of them. It is known as “bad” cholesterol because it increases the risk of a heart attack. Ideally, it should be less than 130 mg/dl.”
When there is too much cholesterol in the bloodstream, the body becomes prone to increasing fatty deposits in the blood vessels.
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Eventually, these deposits stick to the inner walls of the arteries and narrow the passages, limiting the amount of blood the vessels can hold.
Cedars-Sinai adds: “There are no symptoms of high cholesterol unless the condition is severe.
“In such cases, fatty deposits can form in the tendons and skin, or even cause severe abdominal pain due to an enlarged liver or spleen.”
Bloating or pain for no apparent reason can occur when triglyceride levels in the blood vessels approach or exceed 800 mg/dL.
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These high levels can also cause symptoms such as severe abdominal pain and frequent bouts of nausea.
The liver is related to cholesterol in the sense that it is responsible for producing and removing excess cholesterol.
When a diet high in cholesterol tends to build up fat around the liver, setting the stage for liver damage and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
This creates a vicious cycle: liver dysfunction can, in turn, hinder the organ’s ability to produce or clear cholesterol, leading to more cholesterol buildup.
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The NHS states that high cholesterol is caused by fatty foods, lack of exercise, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol.
Although it can also be inherited, most people can lower their cholesterol levels by eating healthy and getting more exercise.
YorktTest Scientific Director, Dr. Gill Hart, commented: “High cholesterol can often be silent, but if left untreated, it can potentially lead to a heart attack or stroke.
“In particular, the statistics on young people are interesting, as those in their 20s and 30s may not even know they are affected by this problem.
“But the good news is that in many cases, cholesterol levels can be balanced through lifestyle changes, such as a healthy, balanced diet and exercise.”
To check if a person’s cholesterol levels are within normal limits, doctors will need to do a blood test called a lipid profile.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises healthy adults to have their cholesterol levels checked every four to six years.
However, those with a history of heart disease or diabetes are advised to have their levels checked more regularly.
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