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Can high cholesterol cause dizziness: The request could not be satisfied


Cholesterol Disorders | Endocrinologists, Greensboro, NC

The word cholesterol has a bad reputation since it’s typically associated with heart disease, yet our body actually needs a certain level of cholesterol to function properly. Cholesterol helps your body make Vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium, and is vital in producing hormones. Cholesterol also plays a role digesting food. However, if cholesterol levels are out of balance, your body can suffer.

Cholesterol levels that are too high can lead to heart disease and stroke, while levels that are too low have been associated with mental health concerns. Levels that are either too high or too low are considered a cholesterol disorder.

How do you know if your cholesterol is too high or too low? In many cases there are no obvious signs that cholesterol levels are out of balance, so the most reliable indicator is a blood test. If cholesterol has been out of balance over a period of time, there may be a few indicators.

High Cholesterol Warning Signs

The following signs typically indicate an advanced cholesterol disorder:

  • Chest Pain – If arteries leading to the heart are blocked by a cholesterol buildup, it can create chest pain, also called angina. You should contact your doctor right away to have chest pain evaluated. If you have any severe chest pain or chest pain accompanied by sweating, dizziness, nausea, or arm pain, you should call 911.
  • Dizziness – Feeling dizzy or lightheaded may indicate blocked arteries and can sometimes be signs of a stroke. If you have dizziness accompanied by slurred speech, a sudden severe headache, or numbness on one side of the body, you should call 911.
  • Leg Pain – Arteries clogged with cholesterol can reduce blood flow to the legs, creating pain. This is referred to as Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Signs of PAD include pain in any part of the leg or a feeling that your legs or heavy or tired. Some people also report a burning sensation. Symptoms will usually get better with rest and return with walking or activity.

Possible Signs of Low Cholesterol

Some studies have shown a link between low cholesterol and certain mental health disorders.

  • Depression – While there are many causes of depression, studies have shown patients with low cholesterol are more prone to depression Researchers do not totally understand the link between depression and low cholesterol, but believe it may be tied to cholesterol’s role in making Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for cell growth. If brain cells aren’t healthy, you may experience anxiety or depression.
  • Anxiety – Like depression, studies show patients with very low levels of cholesterol had higher rates of anxiety than the general population.

Understanding Cholesterol Numbers

The only way to properly diagnose your cholesterol levels is through a blood test. You should discuss individual goals for cholesterol readings with your physician. The types of cholesterol and general target numbers are:

  • Total cholesterol – all the cholesterols combined. Target is less than 200 mg/dL. Lower numbers are generally better, but anything below 120 mg/dL is considered too low.
  • High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – often called “good” cholesterol. Target number is more than 50 mg/dL. For HDL, high numbers are better.
  • Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – often called “bad” cholesterol. For LDL, 70 to 100 mg/dL is ideal. Lower numbers are generally better; however anything below 50 mg/dL is considered too low.

Treating Cholesterol Disorders

Initially, your primary care provider will probably be the person to diagnose and treat high or low cholesterol. However, for patients with a family history of cholesterol disorders or for those who continue to have a hard time controlling cholesterol, an endocrinologist can help. Endocrinologists are doctors who are trained in the endocrine system, which includes the various glands that produce hormones, hormones, and elements that affect hormone production, including cholesterol.

The Endocrinologists at LeBauer HealthCare in Greensboro, NC, help identify possible causes of cholesterol disorders and help patients create an individualized treatment plan. Learn more about the LeBauer Endocrinology team or schedule an appointment by calling 336.832.3088.

Signs of Very High Triglycerides

Triglycerides are fats that circulate in your blood. When you eat fatty foods, most of the fats are in the form of triglycerides. When you eat too many calories, the extra calories are converted to triglycerides and stored away inside your body’s fat cells.

Most people find out they have high or very high triglycerides from a blood test. Triglycerides are checked along with total cholesterol, good cholesterol (HDL), and bad cholesterol (LDL). These are all lipids and the combined blood test is called a lipid profile.

One reason it’s important to have a lipid profile is that there are usually no symptoms associated with high cholesterol or high triglycerides, a condition called hyperlipidemia. You could have very high triglycerides and not know it.

Signs of Very High Triglycerides

You have very high triglycerides if your level is 500 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher. Very high triglycerides can lead to a dangerous swelling of your pancreas called pancreatitis. You can also have swelling of your liver, increase your risk for stroke and heart attack, and even get fat deposits under your skin. Here are some warning signs:

  • Xanthomas. Fatty deposits beneath the skin are called xanthomas. They can be very small or as wide as three inches or more. They can be any shape and may have a yellow or orange color. Xanthomas can be a warning sign of very high cholesterol or triglycerides. They are common over joints like elbows and knees, or on the hands, ankles, back and buttocks. Xanthelasmas are fatty deposits that can occur on your eyelids. Xanthomas are not dangerous but can be unsightly. They may go away once triglyceride levels are lowered.

  • Pancreatitis. Another warning sign of very high triglycerides is a condition called acute pancreatitis. Symptoms include sudden severe belly pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, rapid heartbeat, and rapid breathing. Alcohol can trigger an attack of pancreatitis, and if you have high triglycerides, alcohol can shoot them up even higher.

  • Other warning signs. You may also get swelling and pain in your liver or spleen. Very high triglycerides may cause blocking of the blood supply to your heart or your brain. Symptoms of decreased blood supply to your heart could include chest pain. Decreased blood supply to your brain could cause numbness, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, or severe headache. With triglyceride levels above 4,000 mg/dL your doctor may notice some changes on your eye exam. Finally, memory loss has been associated with some conditions causing elevated triglycerides.

Remember that you may have no warning signs for high triglycerides or even very high triglycerides, so it’s best to have a lipid blood test to find out about your cholesterol levels and your triglycerides. The National Cholesterol Education Program advises that everyone have a lipid profile every five years starting at age 20.

If you have any warning signs of very high triglycerides, talk to your doctor. If your blood test shows high triglycerides you may be able to lower them with diet and exercise. If you have very high triglycerides you will probably need medications along with diet and exercise.

  • High triglycerides can lead to dangerous health problems.

  • You can have high triglycerides without having any symptoms.

  • Yellow, fatty deposits under your skin, called xanthomas, can be a warning sign.

  • Don’t wait for problems to develop. If you are over age 20, have your triglyceride level checked as part of a lipid profile every five years. 

Dizziness and Vertigo – Hanna Saadah

      Dizziness is a general term that includes four
syndromes: A) vertigo—the illusion of motion, B) pre-syncope—the feeling that one
is about to faint, C) disequilibrium—the feeling of unsteady gait, and D)
light-headedness—the feeling of a vague imbalance inside one’s head.  To follow are pertinent
examples from each of these four syndromes.

      A. Vertigo is the false sensation of motion when nothing is
actually moving.  One may feel that
the room is spinning or that one is tumbling.  Moreover, one or both ears may feel plugged, have diminished
hearing, or emit a ringing sound. 
The four commonest causes of such illusion of motion are:
1. Vestibular
inflammation of the
balance nerve of the inner ear—is usually caused by viral infections or
migraines.  The episodes come on
suddenly, last several days, and then slowly resolve without treatment.  When such episodes prove recurrent, the
usual cause is a dormant herpes virus that reactivates periodically, causing
the same syndrome to recur. 
Treatment with anti-viral medicines may shorten the course if given
early, and anti-viral medicines when taken daily may prevent or lighten the
vertigo attacks. 
2.  Meniere’s Disease—high ear canal fluid pressure—is caused by build up
of fluid in the balance canals of the inner ear.   Menire’s recurrent and prolonged episodes of vertigo may
result in diminished hearing and ear ringing.  The vertigo responds to diuretics, which reduce the fluid
overload and decrease the ear canal pressure.
3.  Benign Positional Vertigo—sudden, brief attacks of vertigo provoked by head
turning even when the patient is in bed—is caused by floating crystals inside
the balance canals of the inner ear and is the commonest cause of episodic
vertigo.  Regardless of posture,
when the head is moved from one position to another, the floating crystals
tumble in the ear canal fluid, agitate the balance nerve, and cause brief
vertigo spells.  The vertigo
resolves in less than a minute but leaves the head feeling slightly fuzzy for a
while.  The treatment is to
maneuver the floating crystals out of the inner ear canals and down into the
ear canal sinks.  This Epley maneuver can be done in the office setting and can
provide dramatic relief. 
Otherwise, the condition may last several months before it spontaneously
4.  Hyperlipidemic,Transient Ischemic Inner Ear Attacks—sudden, prolonged spells of vertigo caused by a
sudden drop in inner ear blood supply—is seen in older persons who have high
cholesterol.  Once the cholesterol
is lowered, the vertigo resolves. 
Other factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking may
amplify the bad effects of high cholesterol on the inner ear circulation.

      B.  Pre-Syncope—faint-headedness as if one is about to collapse and lose
consciousness—is caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain, which in
turn causes the person to sweat, become nauseous, and turn pale.  The two commonest causes of such
pre-faints are:
1.  Postural Hypotension—the dropping of one’s blood pressure upon rising
from a sitting or lying-down position—is usually caused by overactive blood
pressure medications or by dehydration from any cause such as diarrhea,
sweating, and prolonged exercise. 
It usually resolves momentarily as one begins to move and can be avoided
by getting up slowly while holding the arms above one’s head for a few seconds.
2.  Cardiac Arrhythmias—abnormal heartbeats that reduce brain blood
supply—cause a faint feeling that may be followed by syncope.  It is not position dependant and is
always serious.  When an older
person feels suddenly faint or faints for no reason, a cardiologist should be

      C.  Ataxia—a disequilibrium that results in gait
unsteadiness—is caused by diseases of the brain balance centers or of the
peripheral nerves.  The diseases
are numerous but can be diagnosed with a careful neurological examination and
some special tests.  Common causes
are brain tumors, brain and nerve degenerations, strokes, high brain water, and
pernicious anemia, which is a
vitamin B12 deficiency. 

      D.  Light-headedness—a vague feeling of dizziness or imbalance inside
the head—is usually pervasive, chronic, tends to fade in and out without
reason, and is not influenced by head position, body posture, or blood
pressure.  Gait is unaffected,
function is preserved, the physical and neurological examinations are intact,
and all tests and investigations are normal.   The commonest causes of this syndrome are anxiety disorders,
with or without panic.  Once the
anxiety is treated, the dizziness disappears.  Heightened brain sensitivity, increased brain alarm,
excessive brain adrenaline, and unconscious hyperventilation are the suspected
causes.  This dizziness can be
reproduced or magnified with forced hyperventilation in the office
setting.  The condition is very
common and is often misdiagnosed and mistreated.   

This information is not intended to replace the personal physician, who
should always be consulted before any treatment or action are taken.                                       

High Cholesterol Levels – Symptoms -Medicover Hospitals

Everyone needs to monitor their cholesterol levels regularly to lower the risk of heart diseases and blockages in the blood vessels. High cholesterol levels typically don’t cause any symptoms and in most cases, they only cause emergency events. But there are a certain set of physical symptoms of high cholesterol, which indicate high cholesterol levels in the body and warns us to follow the guidelines to control the cholesterol. The warning signs of high cholesterol symptoms include:

  • Pain in Hands and Feet: Accumulation of cholesterol can clog the blood vessels of legs and hands. This build-up of cholesterol can occur continuously and make the hands and feet painful.
  • Frequent tingling: Interruptions in the blood flow to certain parts of the body makes a tingling sensation in hands and legs. The high cholesterol levels in the blood make the blood flow thick and affect the normal flow of blood in the nerves and cause tingling.
  • Chest Pain in the Left Side: Chest pain, especially on the left side indicates blockage of blood vessels around the heart and can cause pain. Sometimes, the pain may even spread up to the neck. The high levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause chest pain and can also be a sign of heart attack.
  • A Frequent headache in the back of the head: The blockage of blood vessels in the area around the head causes a headache in the back of the head. This occurs when the blood vessels are clogged by the cholesterol plaque. If this is left unchecked, the blood vessels can rupture and cause a stroke.

Long back, when people aren’t totally aware of the cholesterol, it is believed that presence of cholesterol in the body has adverse effects on health and only obese people used to have high cholesterol levels. Over time, these misconceptions have been disappeared when people started to be conscious more about health. To prevent health issues related to high cholesterol levels, let us know the impact of cholesterol on our health.

Clogged Neck Arteries | Choosing Wisely

When you need a screening test—and when you don’t

There are two large arteries in the neck, one on each side. They are the carotid arteries, and they carry blood to the brain. If one of them is narrowed or blocked, it can lead to a stroke.

Doctors can test for a narrowed carotid artery, but it’s usually not a good idea. In fact, the test may do more harm than good. Here’s why.

Blocked carotid arteries are not a common stroke risk.

Only 1/2 to 1 percent of U.S. adults have a narrowed carotid artery. Even if you have the condition, it’s not likely to cause a stroke unless you have other symptoms or risk factors too.

Most people are better off getting screened and treated for the major stroke risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes

The tests are not very accurate.

There are two main screening tests for blocked carotid arteries:

  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the arteries.
  • Your doctor may use a stethoscope to listen for an abnormal sound from the arteries.

Neither of these tests is accurate. And both lead to many false-positive results. A false-positive result says you have the condition when you actually don’t.

Follow-up tests and surgery have risks.

False-positives can lead to unneeded follow-up tests and surgery. These can cause serious harm.

For example, a false-positive result can lead to angiography. In this test, a dye is injected into the carotid arteries. The test itself has a small risk of causing a stroke.

Or you might get surgery to remove a blockage that doesn’t exist. The surgery can cause bleeding, infection, nerve injury, stroke, heart attack, or even death.

Don’t pay for a test you don’t need.

The test is often offered at health fairs, senior centers, and other public locations. Before you pay for it, ask your doctor if you need it. If you really do need it, your health plan may pay. Your plan is more likely to pay if:

  • Your doctor orders it.
  • You get it in an office or lab that is part of your health plan.
  • You have other symptoms or risk factors for stroke.

When is it a good idea to get a carotid ultrasound?

You may need the test if:

  • You have already had a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack, or TIA).
  • You have sudden symptoms of stroke or mini-stroke, including:
    • Weakness or numbness on one side of the face or body
    • Trouble seeing from one eye
    • Confusion
    • Slurred or slow speech
    • Difficulty using or understanding words
    • Dizziness, and loss of balance or coordination

This report is for you to use when talking with your health-care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.

© 2015 Consumer Reports. Developed in cooperation with the American Academy of Family Physicians for Choosing Wisely, a project of the ABIM Foundation.


Carotid Artery Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine

What is carotid artery disease?

The carotid arteries are the main blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the brain. When these arteries become narrowed, it’s called carotid artery disease. It may also be called carotid artery stenosis. The narrowing is caused by atherosclerosis. This is the buildup of fatty substances, calcium, and other waste products inside the artery lining. Carotid artery disease is similar to coronary artery disease, in which buildup occurs in the arteries of the heart and can cause a heart attack.

Carotid artery disease reduces the flow of oxygen to the brain. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen to work. Even a brief pause in blood supply can cause problems. Brain cells start to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen. If the narrowing of the carotid arteries becomes severe enough that blood flow is blocked, it can cause a stroke. If a piece of plaque breaks off it can also block blood flow to the brain. This too can cause a stroke.

What causes carotid artery disease?

Atherosclerosis causes most carotid artery disease. In this condition, fatty deposits build up along the inner layer of the arteries forming plaque. The thickening narrows the arteries and decreases blood flow or completely blocks the flow of blood to the brain.

Who is at risk for carotid artery disease?

Risk factors associated with atherosclerosis include:

Although these factors increase a person’s risk, they do not always cause the disease. Knowing your risk factors can help you make lifestyle changes and work with your doctor to reduce chances you will get the disease.

What are the symptoms of carotid artery disease?

Carotid artery disease may have no symptoms. Sometimes, the first sign of the disease is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a sudden, temporary loss of blood flow to an area of the brain. It usually lasts a few minutes to an hour. Symptoms go away entirely within 24 hours, with complete recovery. When symptoms persist, it is a stroke. Symptoms of a TIA or stroke may include:

  • Sudden weakness or clumsiness of an arm or leg on one side of the body

  • Sudden paralysis of an arm or leg on one side of the body

  • Loss of coordination or movement

  • Confusion, decreased ability to concentrate, dizziness, fainting, or headache

  • Numbness or loss of feeling in the face or in an arm or leg

  • Temporary loss of vision or blurred vision

  • Inability to speak clearly or slurred speech

If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, call for medical help right away. A TIA may be a warning sign that a stroke is about to occur. TIAs do not precede all strokes, however.

The symptoms of a TIA and stroke are the same. A stroke is loss of blood flow (ischemia) to the brain that continues long enough to cause permanent brain damage. Brain cells begin to die after just a few minutes without oxygen.

The disability that occurs from stroke depends on the size and location of the brain that suffered loss of blood flow. This may include problems with:

Recovery also depends on the size and location of the stroke. A stroke may result in long-term problems, such as weakness in an arm or leg. It may cause paralysis, loss of speech, or even death.

The symptoms of carotid artery disease may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always see your doctor for a diagnosis.


How is carotid artery disease diagnosed?

Along with a complete medical history and physical exam, tests for carotid artery disease may include:

  • Listening to the carotid arteries. For this test, your doctor places a stethoscope over the carotid artery to listen for a sound called a bruit (pronounced brew-ee). This sound is made when blood passes through a narrowed artery. A bruit can be a sign of atherosclerosis. But, an artery may be diseased without producing this sound.

  • Carotid artery duplex scan. This test is done to assess the blood flow of the carotid arteries. A probe called a transducer sends out ultrasonic sound waves. When the transducer (like a microphone) is placed on the carotid arteries at certain locations and angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the blood vessels, where the waves echo off of the blood cells. The transducer sends the waves to an amplifier, so the doctor can hear the sound waves. Absence of or faintness of these sounds may mean blood flow is blocked.

  • MRI scan. This procedure uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequency energy, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures in the body. For this test, you lie inside a big tube while magnets pass around your body. It’s very loud.

  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). This procedure uses magnetic resonance technology (MRI) and intravenous (IV) contrast dye to make the blood vessels visible. Contrast dye causes blood vessels to appear solid on the MRI image so the doctor can see them.

  • Computed tomography angiography (CTA). This test uses X-rays and computer technology along with contrast dye to make horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CTA shows pictures of blood vessels and tissues and is helpful in identifying narrowed blood vessels.

  • Angiography. This test is used to assess the how blocked the carotid arteries are by taking X-ray images while a contrast dye is injected. The contrast dye helps the doctor see the shape and flow of blood through the arteries as X-ray images are made.

How is carotid artery disease treated?

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:

  • How old you are

  • Your overall health and medical history

  • How sick you are

  • How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies

  • How long the condition is expected to last

  • Your opinion or preference

If a carotid artery is less than 50% narrowed, it is often treated with medicine and lifestyle changes. If the artery is between 50% and 70% narrowed, medicine or surgery may be used, depending on your case.

Medical treatment for carotid artery disease may include:

Lifestyle changes

  • Quit smoking. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk for carotid artery disease and cardiovascular disease. All nicotine products, including electronic cigarettes, constrict the blood vessels. This decreases blood flow through the arteries.

  • Lower cholesterol. Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Eat plenty of vegetables, lean meats (avoid red meats), fruits, and high-fiber grains. Avoid foods that are processed, and high in saturated and trans-fats. When diet and exercise are not enough to control cholesterol, you may need medicines.

  • Lower blood sugar. High blood sugar (glucose) can cause damage and inflammation to the lining of the carotid arteries. Control glucose levels through a low-sugar diet, and regular exercise. If you have diabetes, you may need medicine or other treatment.

  • Exercise. Lack of exercise can cause weight gain and raise blood pressure and cholesterol. Exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce risks for carotid artery disease.

  • Lower blood pressure. High blood pressure causes wear and tear and inflammation in blood vessels increasing the risk for artery narrowing. Blood pressure should be below 140/90 for most people. People with diabetes may need even lower blood pressure.


Medicines that may be used to treat carotid artery disease include:

  • Antiplatelets. These medicines make platelets in the blood less able to stick together and cause clots. Aspirin, clopidogrel, and dipyridamole are examples of antiplatelet medicines.

  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines. Statins are a group of cholesterol-lowering medicines. They include simvastatin and atorvastatin. Studies have shown that certain statins can decrease the thickness of the carotid artery wall and increase the size of the opening of the artery.

  • Blood pressure-lowering medicines. Several different medicines work to lower blood pressure.

If a carotid artery is narrowed from 50% to 69%, you may need more aggressive treatment, especially if you have symptoms.

Surgery is usually advised for carotid narrowing of more than 70%. Surgical treatment decreases the risk for stroke after symptoms such as TIA or minor stroke.

Surgical treatment of carotid artery disease includes:

  • Carotid endarterectomy (CEA). This is surgery to remove plaque and blood clots from the carotid arteries. Endarterectomy may help prevent a stroke in people who have symptoms and a narrowing of 70% or more.

  • Carotid artery angioplasty with stenting (CAS). This is an option for people who are unable to have carotid endarterectomy. It uses a very small hollow tube, or catheter, that is thread through a blood vessel in the groin to the carotid arteries. Once the catheter is in place, a balloon is inflated to open the artery and a stent is placed. A stent is a thin, metal-mesh framework used to hold the artery open.

What are the complications of carotid artery disease?

The main complication of carotid artery disease is stroke. Stroke can cause serious disability and may be fatal.

Can carotid artery disease be prevented?

You can prevent or delay carotid artery disease in the same way that you would prevent heart disease. This includes:

  • Diet changes. Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats such as poultry and fish, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products, Limit your intake of salt, sugar, processed foods, saturated fats, and alcohol.

  • Exercise. Aim for 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous-level physical activity at least 3 to 4 days per week.

  • Manage weight. If you are overweight, take steps to lose weight.

  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, break the habit. Enroll in a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success. Ask your doctor about prescription options.

  • Control stress. Learn to manage stress in your home and work life.

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Learn the symptoms of stroke and have your family members also learn them. If you think you are having symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Key points about carotid artery disease

  • Carotid artery disease is narrowing of the carotid arteries. These arteries deliver oxygenated blood from the heart to the brain.

  • Narrowing of the carotid arteries can cause a stroke or symptoms of a stroke and should be treated right away.

  • Eating a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet that is high in vegetables, lean meats, fruits, and high fiber is one way to reduce the risk of carotid disease. Exercise, quitting smoking, blood pressure control, and medicine can also help.

  • Opening the carotid arteries once they are narrowed can be done with a surgery or with angioplasty and a stent.

  • Carotid artery disease may not have symptoms, but if you have significant risk factors, see your healthcare provider for screening and diagnosis.

Heart Disease: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

There are many different kinds of heart disease, and while each can produce its own set of symptoms, there are some key ones that many types share. These frequent symptoms include chest pain or discomfort, palpitations, lightheadedness or dizziness, fainting, fatigue, and shortness of breath. However, sometimes heart disease has no symptoms at all, especially if it’s in the early stages.

© Verywell, 2018

Frequent Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms most frequently found in many types of heart disease:

Chest Pain or Discomfort

Few symptoms are more alarming than chest pain, and while many other conditions can cause chest pain, cardiac disease is so common—and so dangerous—that this symptom should never be dismissed or considered insignificant.

Chest pain is an imprecise term. It’s often used to describe any pain, pressure, squeezing, choking, numbness, or other discomforts in the chest, neck, or upper abdomen, and it’s often also associated with pain in the jaw, head, or arms.

Depending on its cause, chest pain may last from less than a second to days or weeks; might occur frequently or rarely; and might occur completely randomly or under predictable circumstances. Sorting through these variations can help your doctor determine the actual cause of your chest discomfort, in particular, whether it represents angina or some other serious problem.


Noticeable differences in your heartbeat, whether that means it’s rapid, unusually strong, or irregular, are classified as palpitations. They are an extremely common symptom of heart disease.

Many people who complain of palpitations describe them either as “skips” in the heartbeat (that is, a pause, often followed by a particularly strong beat) or as periods of rapid and/or irregular heartbeats.

Most people with palpitations have some type of cardiac arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm. There are many types of arrhythmias, and almost all can cause palpitations. The most common causes of palpitations are premature atrial complexes (PACs), premature ventricular complexes (PVCs), episodes of atrial fibrillation, and episodes of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).

Unfortunately, on occasion, palpitations can signal a more dangerous heart arrhythmia, such as ventricular tachycardia. Palpitations are more likely to signal a serious cause if they’re accompanied by episodes of lightheadedness or dizziness.

Lightheadedness or Dizziness

Episodes of lightheadedness or dizziness can have many causes including anemia (low blood count) and other blood disorders; dehydration; viral illnesses; prolonged bed rest; diabetes; thyroid disease; gastrointestinal disturbances; liver disease; kidney disease; vascular disease; neurological disorders; dysautonomias; vasovagal episodes; heart failure; and cardiac arrhythmias.

Because so many different conditions can produce these symptoms, if you experience episodes of lightheadedness or dizziness, you ought to have a thorough and complete examination by your physician.

Fatigue, Lethargy, or Daytime Sleepiness

Fatigue, lethargy, and somnolence (daytime sleepiness) are very common symptoms. Fatigue or lethargy can be thought of as tiredness, exhaustion, or loss of enthusiasm that makes it difficult to function at your normal level. Somnolence implies that you either crave sleep or, worse, that you find yourself suddenly asleep during the daytime, a condition known as narcolepsy.

While fatigue and lethargy can be symptoms of heart disease (particularly heart failure), these common and non-specific symptoms can also be due to disorders of virtually any other organ system in the body. If you suffer from fatigue or lethargy, you need a general medical evaluation in order to begin pinning down a specific cause.

Somnolence is often caused by nocturnal sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or insomnia. All these sleep disturbances, however, are more common if you have heart disease.

Dyspnea (Shortness of Breath)

Dyspnea, the medical term for shortness of breath, is most often a symptom of cardiac or pulmonary (lung) disorders. Heart failure and coronary artery disease frequently produce shortness of breath among other symptoms. If you have heart failure, you may commonly experience dyspnea with exertion, or orthopnea, which is dyspnea when lying flat. You may also suddenly wake up at night gasping for breath, a condition known as paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. Other cardiac conditions such as heart valve disease or pericardial disease can produce dyspnea, as can cardiac arrhythmias.

Syncope (Fainting/Loss of Consciousness)

Syncope is a sudden and temporary loss of consciousness or fainting. It’s a common symptom (most people pass out at least once in their lives) and often does not indicate a serious medical problem. However, sometimes syncope indicates a dangerous or even life-threatening condition, so it’s important to figure out the cause.

The causes of syncope can be grouped into four major categories: neurologic, metabolic, vasomotor, and cardiac. Of these, only cardiac syncope carries a serious threat of causing sudden death. Vasomotor syncope, commonly called vasovagal syncope, is by far the most common cause. It happens when your body reacts to certain triggers such as severe emotional stress or seeing blood or needles. Neurologic and metabolic syncope are relatively rare.

Any loss of consciousness should be evaluated by a doctor.

By Condition

These are the symptoms that are common to some of the major types of heart disease, including atherosclerotic disease, cardiac arrhythmias, heart valve disease, heart infections, and heart failure.

Atherosclerotic Disease

Atherosclerosis is caused by a buildup of plaque within blood vessels. Symptoms occur when the atherosclerotic plaques restrict blood flow to one or more of the body’s vital organs, particularly the heart or the brain. Symptoms of atherosclerosis often include:

  • Pain or discomfort in your chest, including tightness or pressure (angina)
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Numbness, weakness, coldness, or pain in your legs or arms
  • Pain in your neck, jaw, back, upper abdomen, or throat
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Cardiac Arrhythmias

While many people with cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) have no symptoms whatsoever, any type of arrhythmia has the potential to produce palpitations, weakness, or lightheadedness.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Pain in your chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Fainting (syncope)

Heart Valve Disease

Symptoms of heart valve disease depend on which of the four valves isn’t working right, but they can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Pain in your chest
  • Fainting

Heart Infections

If you have an infection in your heart, symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Swelling in your legs, feet, or abdomen
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Pain in the center or left side of your chest that often gets worse when you lie down or take a deep breath
  • A dry cough that may be persistent
  • Rash or strange spots
  • Weight gain

Heart Failure

Heart failure, which is due to a weak heart muscle and is also a potential complication of heart disease, may not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. As it gets worse, the most prominent symptoms are shortness of breath (dyspnea) when exerting yourself and/or when you’re resting, becoming easily fatigued, and an irregular heartbeat that may feel fast or like it’s pounding.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Fainting


Potential complications of heart disease illustrate the importance of getting treatment and living a healthy lifestyle. They include:

  • Heart failure: One of the most common complications of heart disease, heart failure occurs when your heart becomes damaged and weak, leaving it unable to pump your blood the way it should. Heart failure can be the result of many different types of heart disease such as heart attack, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, valve disorders, and heart infections.
  • Heart attack: A blockage in one or more of your coronary arteries can cause a heart attack. Atherosclerotic disease is usually the culprit of this complication.
  • Stroke: Also usually caused by atherosclerotic disease, a stroke occurs when the arteries to your brain are blocked and don’t allow enough blood flow. This is an emergency because your brain tissue starts to die within minutes of this occurring.
  • Aneurysm: A bulge in the wall of an artery is called an aneurysm. This can occur anywhere in your body and, if it ruptures, it can be a life-threatening situation. One of the causes of aneurysms is atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries.
  • Peripheral artery disease: This type of atherosclerotic disease is technically a complication of atherosclerosis. When you have peripheral artery disease, the blood flow to your extremities, especially your legs, is poor, potentially causing pain, numbness, and infections.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest: Often caused by a cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat), sudden cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops working, causing you to lose consciousness and stop breathing. If you don’t get emergency treatment, it will result in death.

When to See a Doctor

The symptoms most commonly caused by heart disease can also be produced by other medical conditions, from very serious to entirely benign. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you need an evaluation by your doctor to identify the cause. These are symptoms that should never be ignored.

Additionally, if you’re having any difficulty getting an erection, especially if the problem has been gradual, this is nearly always one of the first signs of either heart disease or diabetes in men. Be sure to see your doctor as soon as you notice any problem with erectile dysfunction.

If you have a family history of heart disease or you’re worried about your risk for developing it, be sure to talk to your doctor. Staying proactive where your heart health is concerned can help you detect any problems early, giving you a better potential outcome.

Heart Disease Doctor Discussion Guide

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When to Go to the Hospital

You need to seek emergency treatment if you have any of these symptoms:

Chest Pain

Chest pain should always be considered a serious symptom because it can indicate an emergency situation. If you’re experiencing chest pain and any of these factors apply to you, you should seek emergency care:

  • You have a strong family history of early heart disease.
  • You’re 45 years old or older and you have any of the risk factors for coronary artery disease, including obesity, smoking, family history, diabetes, high cholesterol, or a sedentary lifestyle.
  • The pain is worse than any other chest pain you’ve had.
  • The pain feels like it’s spreading to your neck, shoulders, arms, back, or jaws.
  • The pain is crushing, tight, heavy, or feels like squeezing.
  • You also feel nauseous, weak, short of breath, dizzy, sweaty, or you’ve fainted.
  • You feel like something is very wrong.
  • The pain keeps getting worse as the minutes pass.
  • The pain is unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

Heart Attack Symptoms

If you have symptoms of a heart attack, be sure to seek emergency medical care. These symptoms include:

  • Chest or arm pain, pressure, or discomfort that may spread to your neck, back, or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn, indigestion, nausea, or pain in your abdomen
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy

Stroke Symptoms

If you have symptoms of a stroke, you need to seek emergency medical care. These include:

  • Difficulty speaking or difficulty understanding someone else when they’re speaking
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Numbness or paralysis of your arms, face, or legs, usually on one side of your body
  • Visual disturbances such as blurry, black, or double vision in one or both eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness and loss of coordination
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing

If you’re with a loved one and suspect he or she is having a stroke, use these measures to help you determine if there’s a problem:

  • Ask your loved one to smile. If one side of his or her face droops, this can indicate a stroke.
  • Ask your loved one to raise both arms. If one arm starts to fall down or he or she can’t raise one arm, this is a sign of stroke.
  • Have your loved one repeat a sentence back to you. Slurred or unusual speech is another symptom.

Call 911 immediately if any of the above symptoms occur. With a stroke, every minute counts. The longer your loved one goes without blood to his or her brain, the more damage there can be.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

A sudden cardiac arrest is dramatic, happens fast, and can result in death if it’s not treated immediately. If a loved one has these symptoms, call 911 right away:

  • Collapsing suddenly
  • No pulse
  • Not breathing
  • Unconscious

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the early symptoms of heart disease? 

Heart disease can often be silent and may not have any noticeable symptoms. In some people, the first sign of heart disease is a heart attack. When warning signs do appear, they may include chest pain or discomfort, heart palpitations, lightheadedness or dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

What are the symptoms of heart disease in females? 

In women, heart disease is often overlooked, in part because the symptoms can differ from the typical ones seen in men. While some women have no symptoms, other women experience chest pain; pain in the neck, jaw, or throat; pain in the upper abdomen or back; nausea; vomiting; and fatigue.  

Why cholesterol is dangerous and how to lower it – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

We often find out that the level of cholesterol is “off scale”: during a medical examination, for example. Or, which is much worse, when problems with blood vessels and heart already begin, pressure begins to jump. After all, cholesterol “does not hurt”, but gradually kills, being one of the main factors in the development of atherosclerosis. What you need to know about “high” and “low” cholesterol? What are “bad” and “good” cholesterol? From what age to control its level? Is it enough to follow a diet and is it necessary to take medications prescribed by a doctor? This “RG” was told by the doctor of medical sciences, leading researcher of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Russian Cardiological Research Center” of the Ministry of Health of Russia, President of the National Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis Marat Yezhov.

As you know, a high level of cholesterol for the time being does not manifest itself in any way: a person feels normal. Nothing hurts him. But what will happen if nothing is done, cholesterol is not controlled, not treated?

Marat Yezhov: Hypercholesterolemia is one of the main factors leading to atherosclerosis. Excess cholesterol accumulates, is deposited on the walls of blood vessels, affecting the coronary arteries, the vessels that feed the brain – the carotid and vertebral arteries, as well as the arteries of the lower extremities.Accordingly, a person develops coronary heart disease (IHD), cerebrovascular insufficiency, intermittent claudication and, as extreme manifestations, heart attack, stroke, gangrene and amputation of the lower extremities. Atherosclerosis is a dumb enemy, it develops slowly and gradually. Accordingly, cholesterol, without exaggeration, can be called a silent killer. In Russia, according to the WHO, 60% of the population have high cholesterol levels. Its extremely high values, this is already the data of our National Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, in every tenth.And one in 200-300 people has genetic disorders of lipid metabolism.

In Russia, 60 percent of the population has high cholesterol levels

It is clear that the earlier the deviations in the state of health are revealed, the easier it is to recover. When should you start monitoring your cholesterol regularly?

Marat Yezhov: On average, a 25-year-old person may have the initial manifestations of atherosclerosis of the vessels of the heart. In general, if we take the entire population in our country, we are dealing with an average cholesterol level of about 6 mmol / L with a norm of up to 5.If a person is already sick with coronary artery disease, his total cholesterol level should not exceed 4, and low density lipoproteins (LDL) – 1.8 mmol / l. Therefore, already at a young age, it is worth regularly, at least once a year, to take an analysis to determine total cholesterol. If there are deviations from the norm, conduct more detailed studies (the so-called lipid profile – the levels of low and high density lipoproteins – LDL and HDL, as well as triglycerides). And, of course, take action together with a cardiologist.

Why does the level of cholesterol rise with age? Is the wrong diet to blame? Something else?

Marat Yezhov: The nature of this process is multifactorial. The classic risk factors are well known. They are divided into those that do not depend on us, and those that we can influence. The former include gender, age, family history, or, in other words, heredity. There are genetic “breakdowns” when extremely high cholesterol values ​​- both 15 and 20 mmol / l – are detected already in infancy.Nobody understands why such a child tries to run and cannot, starts crying. And he has a typical angina pectoris, exertional angina …

Therefore, if there were early cases of strokes, heart attacks in the family, you need to be doubly attentive to your own health and the health of children.

What about the factors that we can influence? What is this – a way of life?

Marat Yezhov: Yes, of course. In addition to high cholesterol levels, hypertension is literally the leading risk factor.This is followed by hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus, smoking, lack of sufficient physical activity, unhealthy diet, when fats and carbohydrates prevail in the diet to the detriment of vegetables, fruits, seafood … Metabolic syndrome, which occurs as a result of an improper lifestyle, and leads to diabetes the second type, and hypertension.

You mentioned “bad” and “good” cholesterol – these are low density lipoproteins (LDL) and, accordingly, high density lipoproteins (HDL), two fractions of cholesterol, whose levels are determined together with the level of total cholesterol.What is their role? Should the person himself figure it out, or is it a doctor’s business?

Marat Yezhov: I don’t see anything wrong if a patient seeks to understand in detail what is happening in his body. Indeed, in this case, he will be more responsible approach to treatment.
According to the most recent recommendations, which were published in 2016 by the European Society of Cardiology, the leading indicator for both diagnosis and treatment decision was recognized as “bad” cholesterol – LDL.That is, we must act precisely on bad cholesterol, trying to bring its content in the blood to normal. The indicator of triglycerides is also important – their high concentration is also, in principle, atherogenic, that is, it leads to atherosclerosis. In addition, the higher the triglyceride concentration, the higher the risk of developing pancreatitis.

As for “good” cholesterol (HDL), the higher the level, the better. It is believed that it is the “bad” cholesterol that “settles” on the walls of blood vessels, forms plaques, leading to stenosis.”Good”, on the other hand, is involved in the reverse transport of cholesterol and helps to remove it from the body. But all attempts to find drugs that would artificially raise HDL levels have failed. The researchers thought – if you achieve a high HDL, you can “start” the processes occurring in the body, reverse: the plaques will disappear, the risk of stroke and heart attack will decrease. But this idea was not realized.

That is, recommendations for patients: eat right, lead an active lifestyle, regularly monitor the level of “bad” cholesterol and glycerides and, if the doctor recommends, take medications that normalize their performance.Statins are usually prescribed. But many are afraid of them – sometimes even doctors warn that they have a bad effect on the liver …

Marat Yezhov: As for the diet, even a serious restriction in the diet of animal fats and “fast” carbohydrates will not help bring the level of cholesterol back to normal if it is seriously elevated. It is believed that by adjusting the diet, the maximum that can be achieved is a decrease of 10-15%. Therefore, drug therapy is required. The “gold” standard for the correction of hypercholesterolemia, the prevention of cardiovascular complications are really statins.And you do not need to be afraid of them, the likelihood of developing side effects when taking them is negligible compared, for example, with aspirin or paracetamol, which can be bought without a prescription at all.

In addition, recently other classes of drugs with a different mechanism of action have been developed and registered, which are used either together with statins, enhancing their effect, or independently. So the doctor has a lot to choose from, choosing the most effective therapy for the patient.

But it is probably no less important that the patient fulfills these appointments.After all, we are talking, in fact, about lifelong medication.

Marat Yezhov: Yes, unfortunately, poor adherence to therapy is quite common. The patient says: I feel good, why take pills, “get poisoned”? Or drank for six months, does not feel any changes, and the medicine is not very cheap. Thinks: well, and what is the money to spend? But I’ll say it again: cholesterol doesn’t hurt. But this is a “normal” state – for the time being.

And the second important point: we need early diagnosis and constant monitoring of these patients.We need lipid centers – for specialists to specifically deal with such patients. Ideally, it would be correct for every large institution to have a lipid cabinet. Now our society is developing the concept of such a program.

Elevated Blood Cholesterol: Check These 10 Symptoms!

Despite the fact that these symptoms are not always associated with an increased level of cholesterol in the blood, if you notice not one, but several at once, it is advisable to make an appointment with a doctor and take the necessary tests to start treatment.

Last updated: March 10, 2021

Elevated cholesterol is a condition also known as hypercholesterolemia. This is a very common ailment, many people suffer from it and do not even know about it. After all, it does not always manifest itself with noticeable symptoms, especially in the initial stages.

For this reason, it is very important to learn how to identify the signs of this dangerous condition. And although the symptoms may be associated with other diseases, you should pay attention to them and consult a doctor promptly.

And although this lipid is somehow present in all cells of our body, its excessive accumulation in the arteries is one of the 90,083 main risk factors for the development of chronic cardiovascular diseases.

The liver is mainly responsible for the segregation of cholesterol. But its excess amount in the body is associated with the consumption of certain food in which it is contained.

Possible symptoms of high cholesterol

Of course, sometimes signs and symptoms can overlap with other conditions, but the possibility cannot be ruled out that they indicate precisely the problem of high cholesterol.So do not ignore these signs: , if in any doubt, see your doctor.

1. Feeling of heaviness

Excessive accumulation of bad cholesterol in the arteries is one of the triggers for recurring feeling of heaviness in the abdomen and stomach upset. Lipids that remain in the blood and liver interfere with the normal course of metabolic processes. They have a negative effect on digestion, especially if foods rich in fat are consumed.

2. Vision problems

Elevated cholesterol levels lead to poor circulation, which in turn sometimes causes vision problems. People suffering from high blood cholesterol levels often complain of 90,083 eye irritation, blurred vision. And sometimes the whites of their eyes turn yellow (xanthelasm appears).

Read also: 6 secrets of how to improve vision without resorting to surgery

3. Dizziness and headache

With high cholesterol levels there is a tendency to form hard plates in the arteries (the so-called atherosclerotic plaques). They interfere with normal blood circulation and disrupt the process of oxygenation of cells throughout the body. As a result, a person is often dizzy, headaches, loss of coordination and balance is observed.

4. Inflammation of the extremities

Excess lipids in the arteries can be manifested by a noticeable inflammatory process in the extremities . It could be a tingling sensation or numbness. This symptom appears again due to the fact that fat interferes with normal blood circulation and the process of saturating cells with oxygen, and our muscles and joints suffer from this .

5. Bad breath

Most patients with hypercholesterolemia find it difficult to cope with bad breath, even if they have good oral hygiene habits. This is due to the fact that cholesterol disrupts the digestive process, which leads to changes in the functioning of the liver and changes in the pH of saliva.

6. Chest pain

Chest pain is a symptom that is hard to miss. And even if the pain is not very severe, it should be a wake-up call for you.Of course, it can be associated with other diseases as well. But very often it is the increased cholesterol level that is the cause. And all due to the fact that it becomes much more difficult for the heart to pump blood and as a result, hypertension develops.

7. Weakness and fatigue

Many factors can affect the fact that a person suddenly feels tired.

These are:

  • Poor or insufficient sleep
  • Chronic diseases
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Increased physical activity

However, if this condition becomes too frequent, for no apparent reason, then it will not be superfluous to check whether is somehow related to an increase in blood cholesterol levels.

After all, as we mentioned above, its excessive accumulation interferes with normal blood circulation. The supply of oxygen to the cells of the body and the supply of nutrients to them is impaired. Taken together, these factors 90,083 cause both physical and emotional fatigue.

8. Constipation

Constipation is a chronic disorder caused by changes in bowel function. It is almost always caused by poor eating habits and digestive problems.

However, this can also be a consequence of hypercholesterolemia, since, acting on the liver, cholesterol can change the rhythm of the intestines and cause constipation.

Interesting: These 9 fruits are ideal for combating constipation

9. Some food intolerances

Digestive enzymes play an important role when it comes to health. Thanks to them, it is possible to assimilate some nutrients.

Often, when a person has metabolic and digestive difficulties associated with high cholesterol levels, food intolerances occur.

Excessive accumulation of fats in the arteries and liver leads to a feeling of heaviness in the stomach and inflammation , especially when consuming spicy and fatty foods.

The following foods usually cease to be digested normally:

  • Dairy products
  • Deep-fried dishes
  • Red meat
  • Refined flour

10. Urticaria

Difficulty in removing cholesterol from the arteries may manifest as urticaria and other skin conditions.

The patient may notice / feel:

  • Skin irritation
  • Acne
  • Appearance of red spots
  • Itching

Consult your doctor if your health is dear to you

If you find several of the above symptoms at once, then consult a specialist as soon as possible and take a blood test to get a diagnosis. If your cholesterol level is really high, then try to change your eating habits and lead a healthy lifestyle, to prevent more serious consequences for your health.

This may interest you …

Transient ischemic attack

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – an attack similar to a stroke, but lasting only a few minutes and leaving no consequences. A transient ischemic attack may serve as a warning. Approximately one in 3 people with transient ischemic attacks suffered a stroke within a year of their onset.

Transient ischemic attack serves as both a warning and an opportunity to initiate measures to prevent impending stroke.


TIA usually lasts a few minutes. Most of the symptoms disappear within an hour. Signs of TIA are similar to early signs of stroke and include:

  • sudden weakness, stiffness or paralysis of the face, upper or lower limbs, usually on one side of the body;
  • slurred, distorted speech, or difficulty understanding other people;
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, double vision;
  • dizziness, lack of coordination.

You may have multiple TIAs and the recurring symptoms may be the same or different depending on the area of ​​the brain involved. If symptoms last longer than 24 hours or persist after another attack, you may have had a stroke.

You need an immediate medical examination if you think you have had a transient ischemic attack. Early diagnosis can prevent stroke.

Transient ischemic attack


Transient ischemic attack occurs for the same reasons as ischemic stroke.In the event of an ischemic stroke, a blood clot blocks the blood supply to the brain. In the case of TIA, unlike a stroke, the block is temporary and does not cause permanent damage to the brain.

The main cause of TIA is a build-up of cholesterol called plaque (atherosclerosis) in the arteries that supply the brain. The plaque reduces the volume of blood flowing in and can contribute to blood clots. Another reason is the movement of a blood clot from other parts of the body, most often from the heart to the brain.

Risk factors

Risk factors for stroke and TIA are divided into those that cannot be controlled and those that can be:

Uncontrollable risk factors

  • Heredity. Your risk is higher if a family member has a TIA or stroke.
  • Age. The risk increases with age, especially after 55 years.
  • Pol. Men are more likely to experience TIAs and strokes, but more than half of deaths from strokes occur in women.
  • Sickle cell anemia. Stroke is a common complication of this hereditary disease. Sickle-shaped blood cells carry less oxygen and tend to get stuck in arteries, obstructing blood flow.
  • Race. Blacks are more at risk of dying from stroke, in part due to higher blood pressure and prevalence of diabetes.

Controllable risk factors

  • High blood pressure. The risk of stroke appears when the pressure rises above 115/75 mm Hg. Your doctor can help you determine acceptable blood pressure numbers based on age, diabetes, and other factors.
  • Cardiovascular diseases. Includes heart attack, heart failure, heart infections, and arrhythmias.
  • Damage to the carotid arteries. Narrowing of the arteries in the neck that carry blood to the brain.
  • Lesion of peripheral arteries. Narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the arms and legs.
  • Smoking. Smoking increases the risk of thrombosis, high blood pressure and contributes to the deposition of cholesterol plaques in the arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Sedentary lifestyle. Regular 30-minute exercise reduces the risk of developing TIA.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes aggravates the course of atherosclerosis – narrowing of the lumen of blood vessels due to the deposition of fatty plaques.
  • Incorrect power supply. Eating excessive amounts of salt and fat increases the risk of TIA and stroke.
  • High cholesterol level. Eating less cholesterol and less fat, especially saturated and trans fats, can limit the development of plaque in blood vessels. If you are having difficulty controlling your cholesterol with your diet, your doctor may prescribe a statin drug or another cholesterol-lowering drug.
  • High homocysteine ​​level. Increased blood levels of this amino acid contribute to thinning and damage to the walls of the arteries, which makes them more prone to thrombosis.
  • Overweight. A body mass index of 25 or more increases the risk of developing TIA.
  • Alcohol. Limit alcohol intake.
  • The use of prohibited drugs. Avoid using cocaine and other drugs.
  • Oral contraceptive use. If you are on hormone replacement therapy, check with your doctor about the possible effects of drugs on your risk of TIA and stroke.

Diagnostic methods

Because transient ischemic attack is a short-term occurrence, a physician can diagnose TIA based on history, physical examination, and neurologic status. To determine the cause of TIA, assess the level of risk of stroke, the doctor may prescribe the following tests:

  • Clinical examination. The doctor may assess risk factors by measuring blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, homocysteine ​​levels. Using a stethoscope, a doctor may hear murmurs above the arteries, which is a sign of atherosclerosis. It is possible to identify fragments of cholesterol plaques in the retinal vessels by examining the fundus during ophthalmoscopy.
  • Triplex scanning of the carotid arteries. A special transducer called a transducer emits high frequency sound waves in the neck.These waves bounce off the soft tissues of the neck to create images that help the doctor assess the presence and extent of narrowing of the carotid arteries.
  • Computed tomography. CT head scans use X-rays to create three-dimensional images of the brain.
  • CT angiography (CTA). Head scans can also be used for non-invasive assessment of arteries in the neck and brain. CTA uses the same X-rays as conventional CT scans, but with injection of a contrast agent.
  • MRI

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This type of examination uses a powerful magnetic field to form images of the brain.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). With this test it is possible to obtain images of the arteries of the head and neck. MRA uses the same magnetic field as MRI.
  • Echocardiography (echo-kg). Your doctor may choose transthoracic or transesophageal echo-kg.In the first case, a transducer is applied to the chest and ultrasonic waves are emitted. These waves, reflecting from various parts of the heart, create an ultrasound image. In the second case, a flexible probe with a built-in transducer is inserted into the esophagus. Since the esophagus is just behind the heart, this allows for more accurate images. This allows you to better see some details, such as small blood clots, which may not be visible on transthoracic ECHO.
  • Angiography. This test provides an image of the arteries in the head that are not visible on conventional radiographs. The doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through a small puncture, usually in the groin. The catheter is passed through the great vessels into the carotid or vertebral artery. The doctor then injects contrast and takes a series of pictures of your blood vessels.
  • Blood test. A doctor can check your blood for certain pathological conditions – glucose, cholesterol and homocysteine ​​levels – which can help diagnose some hidden diseases.

Treatment methods

Once a transient ischemic attack has been identified, your doctor will seek to correct this condition and prevent the development of a stroke. Depending on the cause of the TIA, your doctor may prescribe a drug that decreases blood clotting, or recommend balloon angioplasty or surgery.


Doctors use several drugs to reduce the likelihood of stroke after TIA.The choice of drug will depend on the location, cause, severity, and type of TIA. Most often discharged:

Antiplatelet agents. These drugs reduce the ability of platelets, a type of blood cell, to clump together. In case of damage to the vessel wall, platelets stick together to form a blood clot, which is strengthened by blood plasma proteins. The most commonly used antiplatelet drug is aspirin. Aspirin is also the least expensive drug with the fewest side effects.An alternative to aspirin is clopidogrel (Plavix).

Anticoagulants. This group of drugs includes heparin and warfarin. These drugs affect proteins in the blood coagulation system, not platelets. Heparin is used for quick action, and warfarin for long-term action. Anticoagulants require constant monitoring of the function of the blood coagulation system.

Surgical treatments

If you have a high degree of carotid artery narrowing, your doctor may advise you to have carotid endarterectomy.This is a preventive surgery, during which atherosclerotic plaques are removed, thereby preventing the risk of another TIA or stroke.

Angioplasty. In some cases, it is possible to perform a procedure called carotid angioplasty or stenting. For this manipulation, a balloon-like device is used to widen the narrowed artery and place a small stent tube into the artery to maintain its new shape.


Knowing your risk factors and leading a healthy lifestyle is the best thing to do to prevent TIA. A healthy lifestyle includes regular medical examinations. And also:

  • Stop smoking. Smoking cessation reduces the risk of TIA and stroke.
  • Limit fatty foods. Restricting the intake of fatty foods, especially saturated fatty acids, will reduce the growth of plaque in the arteries.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in potassium, folate and antioxidants that can help prevent TIA and stroke.
  • Limit salt intake. Limiting salty foods and adding salt to food prevents high blood pressure. Eliminating salt may not prevent the development of hypertension, but excessive salt intake can significantly increase blood pressure.
  • Regular physical activity. Exercise is one of several ways to lower blood pressure without the use of medication.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight contributes to the development of other risk factors such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Losing weight through diet and exercise can lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
  • Control diabetes. Monitor your blood glucose.

90,000 Early symptoms of high cholesterol, recognizing which you can be saved from vascular accidents

Elevated cholesterol levels do not cause any symptoms for a long time, so most people do not even think about this blood count.

Part of this substance we get from food, and the rest is synthesized in the liver. Cholesterol is necessary for the body, but in moderation.It is a structural component of the membranes of all cells, that is, it supports their life cycle.

Cholesterol is conventionally divided into bad and good. Low density lipoproteins, which are responsible for the deposition of cholesterol in the body, are understood as bad. Good cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein that removes excess cholesterol from the body.

Why is cholesterol dangerous?

With an excess of cholesterol in the blood, it begins to be deposited in various tissues and on the walls of blood vessels.This leads to a decrease in the lumen of blood vessels, an increase in the density of the walls of the arteries and vascular resistance to blood flow.

Such changes in the structure of blood vessels disrupt blood circulation and can lead to stroke, atherosclerosis of the vessels of the lower extremities, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, increased blood pressure and the risk of blood clots.


Initially, high cholesterol may not bother a person in any way, but gradually, when it is deposited on the walls of blood vessels and clogs their lumen, various symptoms will appear.

Fatigue and weakness

These symptoms are due to poor circulation and ischemia of nerve cells. An insufficient supply of oxygen to the tissues leads to a deterioration in mood and the appearance of anxiety.

Swelling and numbness of the limbs

Due to the blockage of blood vessels by cholesterol plaques, edema occurs. The arms and legs are the first to swell, and the damaged tissues squeeze the nerve endings and cause a burning sensation and tingling sensation in the extremities.

Chest pain

This symptom occurs when there is insufficient blood supply to the heart. Because of this, some parts of it experience starvation and signal the body about this with the help of pain sensations.

Bad breath

Elevated cholesterol levels disrupt the liver and digestive system, resulting in bad breath.

Skin manifestations

With an increased content of cholesterol in the blood, it begins to be deposited in various organs, tissues and under the skin.Thick, yellow, painless growths most often appear in the area of ​​the eyes and ears.


Disorders of digestion are associated with a narrowing of the lumen of the intestinal vessels and a deterioration in its blood circulation. For this reason motor skills

Dizziness, headaches and visual impairment

Narrowing of the lumen of the cerebral vessels impairs their blood supply and nutrition, and also reduces the access of oxygen to the cells. This causes headaches and dizziness.

90,000 Eight signs that you have high cholesterol. Take care of your blood vessels! – Life

Let’s figure out what threatens high cholesterol and what to do to protect blood vessels.

Scientists consider high cholesterol to be the main risk factor in the development of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. It is he who is responsible for the formation of plaques in the vessels, which subsequently cause more serious problems. The main role here is played by the so-called “bad cholesterol”, namely high levels of low density lipoproteins.

But the good news is that we can control it. Doctors say a well-chosen diet can lower cholesterol levels by 10-15 percent. So what do you need to do?

First you need to recognize high cholesterol levels. Of course, you need to see a doctor so that he prescribes the necessary tests. This will help to accurately determine the level of cholesterol in the blood. But if you notice the following symptoms in yourself or your loved ones, then we can assume that it is high cholesterol:

  • migraines and headaches;
  • fast fatigability;
  • high pressure;
  • persistent drowsiness;
  • Appetite disturbance;
  • discomfort or pain in the liver area;
  • frequent constipation or, conversely, diarrhea;
  • increased nervousness.

How To Lower Your Cholesterol With Diet?

It’s simple: if possible, you should replace animal fats with vegetable ones. Vegetable fats not only do not contain cholesterol, but the vitamin E contained in them is useful for the walls of blood vessels. Also useful will be vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins C, P and group B, magnesium and potassium. All of these substances help our cardiovascular system to be healthy.

If you are overweight, it is very important to normalize it, because this is an additional risk factor in the development of many diseases.

It is necessary to eat often, but in small portions, it is important to drink enough fluids throughout the day.

Try to avoid fried foods, because during the frying process harmful low density lipoproteins are formed, so give preference to food baked, boiled or steamed.

Such a diet will not only help lower the level of bad cholesterol in the blood, but also improve your appearance.

The purpose of the article is educational.It cannot replace specialist medical advice. Marketium is not responsible for any diagnosis made by the reader based on information from the site. Always consult your doctor if you have any health-related questions.

Cholesterol: causes and prevention – Official website of the Administration of St. Petersburg

Heart disease is one of the first on the list of fatal ailments.The main reason for many of them is high blood cholesterol levels and related disorders and pathologies in the cardiovascular system. What is this substance and what is its danger?

Cholesterol are fat-like accumulations that are deposited on the walls of blood vessels, reduce their permeability to blood and cause arterial disease, hypertension and strokes. The so-called cholesterol plaques can completely block the vessel, and stop feeding the heart or other organ.If the carotid artery is affected, an ischemic stroke develops, which is life-threatening to the patient. In this regard, it is necessary to carefully monitor the level of cholesterol in the blood, especially for those patients who have a bad heredity.

Cholesterol level

The initial stage of the disease has no symptoms and proceeds latently, gradually increasing the threat to the heart and the whole body. To determine the level of cholesterol in such cases, you can use a blood test that takes into account the ratio of “good” and “bad” cholesterol.

The first is called HDL and is essential in the body, increasing the strength of cell membranes and preventing the risk of stroke and heart attack. Thanks to this substance, excess fat accumulations are removed from the vessels and returned to the liver, where they are synthesized. “Bad” LDL cholesterol causes plaque formation in blood vessels and arteries and the development of atherosclerosis. When conducting laboratory analysis, the ratio between them is taken into account, and a verdict is made on the presence of hypercholesterolemia.

Cholesterol and atherosclerosis

An increase in the level of cholesterol in the blood indicates, first of all, that there is a metabolic disorder. Such a patient is at risk due to the possible development of atherosclerosis. At the same time, there is a clear relationship between the content of LDL in the blood and the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases:

· High risk: more than 6.21 mol / L.

· Borderline state: 5.2–6.2 mol / l.

· Low risk: less than 5.17 mol / l.

Obesity and diabetes mellitus are factors provoking atherosclerosis. At the same time, it has been scientifically proven that the consumption of food rich in cholesterol is not always the main cause of atherosclerosis. Protein compounds such as low and very low density lipoproteins play a major role in this.

Norm of blood cholesterol

The average rate in adults should be estimated taking into account age, since in women after menopause and in men after 50 years, the level of cholesterol in the blood increases.As for children, it is considered necessary to check these indicators only when there are concomitant serious diseases or poor heredity. For other pediatric patients, it is not advisable to check cholesterol before the age of 9.

Causes of increased blood cholesterol

Common factors affecting the development of atherosclerosis and increased cholesterol levels include unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, age over 50, heredity.Such concomitant diseases as diabetes mellitus and hypertension associated with metabolic disorders should also alert the doctor.

The body of a healthy person synthesizes about 5 grams daily. cholesterol and receives an additional “portion” of it with food. If the metabolism is at a normal level, then this amount of lipoproteins is spent on the following needs:

  • Restoration of the structure of the nerve sheath in the brain and spinal cord.
  • Formation of bile acids and proper digestion.
  • Production and structure of sex hormones.
  • Synthesis of vitamin D.

In hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, cholelithiasis, cholesterol utilization processes are impaired. What can cause the appearance of signs of hypercholesterolemia. In some cases, the content of cholesterol in the blood increases with the use of certain drugs (immunosuppressants).

Correct power supply

In order to have clean blood vessels without sclerotic plaques, you need not only to lead a healthy lifestyle and control the blood cholesterol content, but also to monitor your diet, taking into account the cholesterol content in food

Products that increase blood cholesterol

The main source of bad cholesterol is animal foods high in fat.These are, first of all, meat, sausages, smoked meats, pates, liver and liver. A lot of cholesterol is found in butter, ghee and animal fats, as well as eggs. Such food is harmful for patients with atherosclerosis, liver and cardiovascular diseases. They negatively affect lipid metabolism, are poorly absorbed in the intestines and increase blood cholesterol levels.

Products that lower blood cholesterol levels

In the presence of hypercholesterolemia, it is advisable to replace animal fats and oils with vegetable ones, to consume more lean fish, vegetables, juices, fruits and low-fat dairy products.It is also advisable to limit the amount of salt and alcoholic beverages

90,000 October 29 – World Stroke Day

This day was first celebrated in 2004, when the World Health Organization declared a stroke a global epidemic. This initiative of WHO and partners is dedicated to the dissemination of information about such a common and dangerous disease as stroke. This ailment to this day remains one of the main causes of death and disability both in the world and in Russia.Vascular diseases account for more than half of deaths, and about a fifth of them overtakes people of working age.

In Russia, the death rate from stroke is one of the highest in the world, about 200,000 people die every year, and the same number remain disabled. According to the National Stroke Registry, 31 percent of people who have had the disease need help, 20 percent cannot walk on their own, and only eight percent of survivors can return to their previous jobs.

Very often neither the patients themselves, nor the people around them, even suspect that they have a stroke. But the future life and health of a person depends on the correct and quick “recognition” of the disease and the provision of first aid.

In Russia, at the initiative of a group of relatives of patients and the National Association for Stroke Control (NABI), in 2006, interregional fund for helping relatives of stroke patients “ORBI” was created.This public organization trains relatives of patients in the basics of care, provides them with information about treatment and rehabilitation centers, and conducts educational campaigns for the general population.

What is a stroke?

Stroke is a circulatory disorder in the brain caused by a blockage or rupture of blood vessels. This is a condition where a blood clot – a blood clot – or blood from a ruptured vessel disrupts blood flow in the brain. Lack of oxygen and glucose leads to the death of brain cells and impairment of motor functions, speech or memory.

What happens

Three quarters of all cases of the disease – ischemic stroke . This term refers to a condition in which a blood clot clogs a vessel and blocks blood flow to a specific part of the brain.

Usually a thrombus forms somewhere in the peripheral vessels of the body, breaks off and reaches the brain through the bloodstream. There it gets stuck in small vessels of the brain and blocks the blood flow in them.

The second type of stroke – hemorrhagic – is much less common.It occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain.

If the vessel is on the surface of the brain, the drained blood fills the space between the brain and the skull. This is called subarachnoid bleeding. And if a vessel bursts in deeper structures of the brain, blood from it fills the surrounding tissues.

But the result of both types of bleeding is the same – a violation of blood flow to the nerve cells and the pressure of the accumulated blood on the brain tissue.

Stroke consequences

The defeat of a small area of ​​the brain leads to minor disorders – weakness of the limbs. Violation of blood circulation in large areas of the brain causes paralysis and even death: the degree of damage depends not only on the extent, but also on the location of the stroke.

Many people who have had a stroke remain partially or completely paralyzed one side of the body, speech and control of the functions of urination and defecation appear. intellectual abilities also suffer – memory, cognitive functions.

Stroke symptoms

The onset of a stroke is usually asymptomatic. But after a few minutes, the brain cells deprived of nutrition begin to die, and the consequences of a stroke become noticeable.

Common symptoms of stroke:

  • sudden weakness in the face, arm, or leg, most often on one side of the body;
  • sudden clouding of consciousness, problems speaking or understanding speech;
  • sudden problems with vision in one or both eyes;
  • Sudden gait disturbance, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination;
  • Sudden severe headache of unknown cause.

It is very important to immediately recognize its symptoms in order to call an ambulance as quickly as possible. After all, the earlier treatment is started, the better a person recovers from a stroke.

Remember! The time it takes to restore blood flow in the artery after an ischemic stroke and stop the death of brain cells – the “therapeutic window” – 6 hours. The sooner you seek medical attention, the more effective the treatment will be.

How to recognize a stroke

If you think you are seeing symptoms of a stroke, do a simple three-item test . If it is difficult to perform of all three tasks , immediately call the ambulance team, immediately clarifying that we are talking about a suspected stroke.

  1. Ask the person to smile broadly, showing their teeth. With a stroke, the smile loses its naturalness, becomes very tense and looks like a grin, or one-sided and crooked.
  2. Then ask to close your eyes, raise your hands and hold them in this position for 10 seconds. With a stroke, muscles weaken and it is difficult to keep them lifted for a long time. If one arm does not rise at all, this is also a sure sign of a stroke.
  3. Next, ask to repeat some sentence, for example: “This morning the weather is good.” Stroke is characterized by speech disorders, and the patient does not cope well with this task.

What causes a stroke

  • Blood clots that cause ischemic strokes usually form in arteries that are narrowed by atherosclerotic plaques.These are deposits of proteins that transport cholesterol.

  • Blood clots can form due to poor heart function or an injury that ruptures blood vessels in the limbs, abdomen, or chest.

  • Hemorrhages are also caused by an increase in blood pressure – it leads to rupture of small vessels in the brain.
  • Another cause of stroke is rupture of aneurysms, abnormally enlarged sections of blood vessels.But this problem is often caused and aggravated by high blood pressure.

Main factors of development

A stroke can affect anyone. Some risk factors, such as developing an aneurysm or developing a blood clot from an injury, are difficult to control. However, a significant number of factors are mainly due to lifestyle.

These factors include:

  • high blood pressure;
  • high cholesterol levels;
  • diabetes;
  • obesity and overweight;
  • cardiovascular diseases;
  • smoking;
  • drug use;
  • drinking alcohol.

In addition, stroke develops more often in people over 55 and those whose close relatives have already suffered from a stroke. In the age range from 45 to 55 years, stroke in men occurs twice as often as in women,

Complicated research is not needed to understand if there is a risk of stroke. It is enough to monitor the state of blood vessels and pressure, eat normally, do not smoke. You can get tested completely free of charge at the Health Centers.

How can I prevent it?

Stroke prevention is based on the Healthy Living Principles .