This title is quite misleading, as clinically there are no obvious precursor symptoms of complications (such as redness on the skin or a runny nose). What can be considered as symptoms are in fact the first consequences of excess cholesterol, this means that the evil is there and that measures must immediately be taken to alleviate this problem.
But first, some fundamentals. Cholesterol is a type of lipid with many important roles such as the composition of cell membranes and the synthesis of different chemicals including steroid hormones, it is naturally present in the liver, brain, spinal cord and other places in the body. In humans, there are mainly two types of cholesterol:
- LDL cholesterol (low density lipoproteins = low density lipoproteins): Cholesterol is transported from the liver to other cells in the body, via LDL lipoproteins, which can reach their deposition in the arteries
- HDL cholesterol (high density lipoproteins): Cholesterol is transported from the cells to the liver, via HDL lipoproteins, which unclogs the arteries so that the cholesterol is eliminated.
Its chemical characteristic makes it insoluble and prevents it from traveling through the body on its own, therefore large accumulations can create fatty deposits in the arteries. This will slow down or even in the worst case, obstruct the blood flow, symptoms are chest and heart painwhich leads to myocardial infarction or stroke.
We can possibly notice traces at the level of the nasal angle of the eyelid or a corneal arch in people under 60 years old, but these signs are not specific to excess cholesterol only.
Especially since it is not predictable to an external eye, indeed, an overweight person can have a normal total cholesterol level just as a relatively thin person can have a high cholesterol level. It is for this reason that it is important to remain vigilant about our diet and our cardiovascular health. The best way to get to the bottom of it is to do a medical check-up.