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Cholesterol and lipids

Cholesterol and lipids: Introduction

High cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia, is a very common condition in which the level of total cholesterol in the blood is higher than normal. High cholesterol is a serious condition and increases the risk of developing such life-threatening diseases as heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.

Cholesterol is a naturally occurring waxy, fat-like substance that is present in the blood and in the body's cells. It is both made by the body itself and is also brought into the body through eating certain foods such as animal meats, which contains various levels of cholesterol.

Cholesterol is comprised primarily of three components, HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. These components of cholesterol are a necessary element in the proper functioning of the body. When the HDL, LDL, and triglycerides are present in the right levels and balance in the body, cholesterol functions to protect health, including cardiovascular health.

However, when the total cholesterol levels become too high, and the levels and balance of HDL, LDL, and triglycerides in the body are not normal, it can result in the buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries and increase the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. These include atherosclerosis, heart disease, blood clots, hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States, and more than a million Americans have myocardial infarctions, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute.

There generally are no symptoms of high cholesterol until complications develop. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of high cholesterol.

Making a diagnosis of high cholesterol includes completing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination. Diagnostic testing includes a blood test that measures cholesterol levels. Cholesterol testing primarily measures the total amount of cholesterol and the three components of cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides.

However, blood cholesterol levels are only one aspect that can help determine a person's total risk for developing cardiovascular disease. A comprehensive evaluation from a licensed health care professional includes compiling and analyzing many factors that impact cardiovascular disease risk. These include lifestyle, family history, personal history, dietary habits, weight, blood pressure, stress levels, and smoking/drinking habits. Other tests, including blood tests, EKG, and imaging tests, such as heart scans, are also evaluated to assess risk and if any complications of high cholesterol have developed.

It is very possible that a diagnosis of high cholesterol can be missed or delayed because there are generally no symptoms. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of high cholesterol.

High cholesterol can be successfully treated with an individualized treatment plan that best fits the individual case of high cholesterol and a person's life style. Treatment generally involves regular medical monitoring and cholesterol testing and lifestyle and dietary changes. Treatment may also include medication for some people who are unable to normalize their cholesterol levels through diet and lifestyle changes. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of high cholesterol....more »

Cholesterol and lipids: Lipid abnormalities such as high cholesterol or triglycerides are important conditions. This section examines lipid problems as symptoms of other underlying conditions. See also symptoms of high...more »

Cholesterol and lipids: Misdiagnosis

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of high cholesterol is vital to preventing serious, even life threatening complications, such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, blood clots, hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke.

A diagnosis of high cholesterol may be overlooked or delayed because there are no symptoms. Regular medical care, including physical examinations and ...more misdiagnosis »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Cholesterol and lipids

Home medical tests possibly related to Cholesterol and lipids:

Causes of Types of Cholesterol and lipids:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Cholesterol and lipids:

Cholesterol and lipids: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Cholesterol and lipids, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Cholesterol and lipids Treatments

With regular medical care and consistent patient compliance with treatment, high cholesterol and all the components of cholesterol, including HDL, LDL, and triglycerides, can successfully be brought to normal levels in the right balance.

The most effective high cholesterol treatment plan uses a multifaceted approach. This includes preventive care aimed at keeping cholesterol levels ...Cholesterol and lipids Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Cholesterol and lipids may include:

Review further information on Cholesterol and lipids Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Cholesterol and lipids

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Cholesterol and lipids may include:

Stories from Users for Cholesterol and lipids

Real-life user stories relating to Cholesterol and lipids:

Message Boards for Cholesterol and lipids

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Cholesterol and lipids or relevant symptoms:

Diagnostic tests for Cholesterol and lipids:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Cholesterol and lipids. Some of these are listed below :

  • Physical examination
    • Physical signs of elevated cholesterol e.g. xanthomata ( yellow lipid deposits on elbows, knees or palms), xanthelasmata (yellow lipid deposits on eyelids) or corneal arcus before age 50 ( grey ring around periphery of cornea that occurs due to deposition of fat)
    • Body mass index - should aim for BMI between 20-25.
  • Blood tests
  • more tests...»

Cholesterol and lipids: Animations

Cholesterol and lipids: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Cholesterol and lipids may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

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Research the causes of this symptom in broader categories:

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Causes of Similar Symptoms to Cholesterol and lipids

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Cholesterol and lipids:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Cholesterol and lipids. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Cholesterol and lipids Assessment Questionnaire (15 listings)

Cholesterol and lipids: Deaths

Read more about causes and Cholesterol and lipids deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Cholesterol and lipids

Metabolic syndrome often undiagnosed: Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is an often overlooked medical condition that causes a cluster of chronic symptoms. There are often four symptoms and...read more »

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common...read more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. Some of the...read more »

Unnecessary hysterectomies due to undiagnosed bleeding disorder in women: The bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease is quite common in women, but often fails to be...read more »

Undiagnosed causes of weight gain and obesity: Although obesity may be related to lifestyle issues, there are also a number of medical causes of weight gain or obesity that may go undiagnosed. Some of the...read more »

Cholesterol and lipids: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Cholesterol and lipids

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Cholesterol and lipids:

Cholesterol and lipids: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Cholesterol and lipids: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Cholesterol and lipids

Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver to help meet the body’s need for hormones and bile acids. It also enters the body when high-fat foods are consumed and when the body’s cholesterol level is higher than necessary for normal cell functioning. The resulting high blood cholesterol is a condition that greatly increases your chances of developing coronary heart disease. That is because extra cholesterol in the blood settles on the inner walls of the arteries, narrowing them, allowing less blood to pass through them to the heart. The higher your total blood cholesterol level, the greater your heart disease risk. (Source: excerpt from High Blood Cholesterol: NWHIC)

Organs affected by Cholesterol and lipids:

The list of organs typically affected by Cholesterol and lipids may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Cholesterol and lipids

The list below shows some of the causes of Cholesterol and lipids mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Cholesterol and lipids?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Cholesterol and lipids. Of the 40 causes of Cholesterol and lipids that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 3 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 4 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 2 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 38 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Cholesterol and lipids:

The following list of conditions have 'Cholesterol and lipids' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Cholesterol and lipids or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Cholesterol and lipids:

The following list of medical conditions have Cholesterol and lipids or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Causes of Cholesterol and lipids Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Cholesterol and lipids based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Cholesterol and lipids?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Cholesterol and lipids, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    Classifications of Cholesterol and lipids:

    Subtypes of Cholesterol and lipids:

    Hypercholesterolemia (27 causes), Hyperlipidemia (28 causes), Raised Cholesterol (12 causes)

    Medical Conditions associated with Cholesterol and lipids:

    Blood symptoms (2297 causes), Blood lipid symptoms (64 causes), Abnormal blood test symptoms (1538 causes)

    Symptoms related to Cholesterol and lipids:

    High cholesterol (40 causes), High blood pressure (398 causes), Abetalipoproteinemia (2 causes), Acquired total lipodystrophy, Apo A-I deficiency, Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipodystrophy, Hypercholesterolemia (27 causes), Hyperlipidemia (28 causes), Raised Cholesterol (12 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Cholesterol and lipids

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Cholesterol and lipids and many other medical conditions:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Cholesterol and lipids

    Medical research papers related to Cholesterol and lipids include:

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