1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What Are High Cholesterol Symptoms?

High Cholesterol Symptoms Are Silent and May Catch You By Surprise


Updated May 27, 2014

Unlike many diseases, high cholesterol is often silent -- you don't know you have it until you get tested, because there are no symptoms. Despite this, there are some things that you can do to detect high cholesterol. Getting your cholesterol checked regularly and knowing your risks are important. Allowing your cholesterol levels to remain elevated could place you at risk for many problems down the road - including a heart attack.

What Are the Symptoms of High Cholesterol?

Female labratory technician looking at blood sample, close-up
Tom Grill/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Unlike other conditions where the symptoms are pretty clear-cut, high cholesterol is one of those conditions that often creep up on you. In fact, many are surprised when they are diagnosed with high cholesterol - despite feeling relatively healthy. So how can you tell if your cholesterol is high? The answer may surprise you.

How Else Can You Tell If You Have High Cholesterol?

Because of the lack of symptoms associated with high cholesterol, a good way to tell if your cholesterol is high is by taking a cholesterol test. This is a simple blood test that will measure the levels of lipids, or fats, in the blood. If your cholesterol levels are not within the ranges that they are supposed to be in, your healthcare provider may prescribe that you make certain changes to your lifestyle, medications, or both of these to assist you in lowering your cholesterol.
Some ways you can help lower it:

Does Your Ethnicity Place You At Risk For High Cholesterol?

Genetics can also play a role in high cholesterol. In fact, having a certain ethnic background could also place you at higher risk of having high cholesterol and heart disease. If you are from one of these backgrounds, you should get your cholesterol checked on a regular basis. Doing this will address high cholesterol, and heart disease, before complications develop.
Who's more at risk?

Do Certain Diseases Cause High Cholesterol?

Having certain diseases may also place you at risk of having high cholesterol. Unfortunately, cholesterol levels sometimes get neglected in favor of treating the condition. The good news is that treating these conditions may help you to also get your cholesterol levels under control. It is very important to get your cholesterol checked - especially if you have a condition that places you at risk of having high cholesterol.
Some diseases that can raise your risk of having high cholesterol: Some medications may also cause your cholesterol to be high.

Signs That Your Cholesterol May Be Persistently High

So, you've been diagnosed with high cholesterol, but you feel great. This gives you a reason to ignore it, right? Wrong. Not addressing your high cholesterol may cost you later on. In fact, some people do not ever realize that there is a problem until they have had their first heart attack. Therefore, it's very important to get your cholesterol checked regularly - and lower your cholesterol if it is high.
Here are some things that can happen if you ignore your high cholesterol levels:

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.