The vast majority of us are aware that having high cholesterol is a bad thing, but not everyone may know that in general, no high cholesterol signs exist. Cholesterol is not something we can feel or sense, nor can it be detected simply by looking at a persons weight or heredity. Surprisingly, the only way to determine whether or not cholesterol levels are in a healthy range is to get tested; if left undiagnosed cholesterol problems can be quite dangerous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site, our bodies need the waxy, fat-like substance called cholesterol. However, if there is too much in the blood, it can build up on the walls, leading to heart disease and stroke.
While hereditary and lifestyle factors such as being overweight or eating a high-fat diet can put people at higher risk for cholesterol problems, they are not the only determining factors. Many people may think they are in the clear when in fact they are not as healthy as they may appear. Since there are no tangible high cholesterol symptoms, it is nearly impossible to tell without a blood test.
The CDC recommends that healthy adults get their cholesterol checked at least once every five years. Approximately one in every six adults has total high cholesterol, according to the CDC; people with high cholesterol have about twice the risk of developing heart disease as those with optimal levels. Furthermore, more women than men have high cholesterol in the United States, and more than thirty percent of women between the ages of 55-64 have high cholesterol.
Fortunately, reducing and preventing high cholesterol is not too difficult; the top two recommended prevention measures are getting more exercise and reducing the amount of trans fats and saturated fats in the daily diet. Diet and exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help ensure you are not at risk for cholesterol problems in the future.