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High Cholesterol: Symptoms, Causes, and Home Treatment

High Cholesterol: Symptoms, Causes, and Home Treatment

Did you know that nearly 80% of Indians have abnormal cholesterol levels, putting them at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke?

High cholesterol is a common condition that can lead to serious health problems if not managed properly. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. Your body needs some cholesterol to build healthy cells, but having high levels can increase the risk of heart disease. In this blog, we will discuss what high cholesterol is, its symptoms, causes, and natural home treatments to manage it effectively.

What is High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol means having too much cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is carried through your blood attached to proteins, called lipoproteins. There are two main types of cholesterol:

1. Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): Often referred to as "bad" cholesterol, LDL can build up on the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow. This buildup is known as plaque, and it can reduce or block blood flow, leading to heart problems.

2. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): Known as "good" cholesterol, HDL helps carry cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. The liver then removes cholesterol from your body. High levels of HDL can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Having high levels of LDL cholesterol or low levels of HDL cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health issues.

High Cholesterol Symptoms

One of the reasons high cholesterol is dangerous is because it often has no symptoms. Many people do not realize they have high cholesterol until they experience a serious event like a heart attack or stroke. However, there are some signs that may indicate high cholesterol:

1. Chest Pain: Also known as angina, chest pain can occur when the arteries that supply your heart with blood are affected. This pain may feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest and is a warning sign that your heart is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood.

2. Numbness or Coldness:
 You might feel numbness or coldness in your limbs, such as your legs or arms. This happens because reduced blood flow makes it harder for blood to reach these areas, indicating that your arteries may be blocked.

3. Xanthomas:
 These are yellowish deposits of cholesterol that can form under the skin. They often appear around the eyes, elbows, knees, and tendons. Xanthomas are visible lumps or patches that can indicate high levels of cholesterol in your blood.

What causes High Cholesterol?

Understanding what causes high cholesterol is crucial for prevention and management. Here are some common causes:

1. Poor Diet

Eating too much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol can raise your cholesterol levels. Foods high in these fats include red meat, full-fat dairy products, and processed foods. A diet high in these can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol.

2. Lack of Physical Activity

Not getting enough exercise can increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol. Regular physical activity helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels by increasing HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL cholesterol.

3. Obesity

Being overweight or obese can raise your LDL cholesterol while lowering HDL cholesterol. Excess weight can also increase your overall cholesterol levels, making it important to maintain a healthy weight.

4. Genetics

High cholesterol can run in families. If your parents or close relatives have high cholesterol, you are more likely to have it as well. This genetic factor can make it more challenging to manage cholesterol levels.

5. Age and Gender

As you age, your cholesterol levels naturally rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age, but after menopause, women’s LDL cholesterol levels often increase.

High Cholesterol Treatment

Managing high cholesterol often involves lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication. Here are some natural home treatments to help control high cholesterol:

1. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

Focus on foods that can help lower your cholesterol:

  • Millets: These ancient grains, such as foxtail millet and finger millet, are rich in fiber and essential nutrients that can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. Millets are gluten-free and can be used in place of rice or wheat.

  • Seeds: Flaxseedschia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. These seeds can help reduce LDL cholesterol and promote heart health. They can be added to smoothies, salads, or yogurt.

  • Dry Fruits and Nuts: Almondswalnuts, and raisins are beneficial for heart health and can help manage cholesterol levels. These dry fruits and nuts provide essential fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Snack on them or add them to your dishes for a nutritious boost.

  • Ayurvedic and Herbal Powders: Herbs like fenugreekamla powder, and ashwagandha powder have been traditionally used in Ayurveda to manage cholesterol levels. These herbs can be taken in powdered form mixed with water or added to your meals.

  • Lentils and Pulses: Incorporate lentilschickpeas, and beans into your diet. These are high in fiber and protein while being low in fat, which can help manage cholesterol levels. Use them in soups, salads, and main dishes.

2. Exercise Regularly

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling. Exercise can help raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Losing even a small amount of weight can help improve your cholesterol levels. Focus on a balanced diet and regular physical activity to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

4. Reduce Stress

Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga. Reducing stress can help lower cholesterol levels and improve overall health.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Poor sleep can contribute to high cholesterol. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and practice good sleep hygiene to ensure quality rest.


High cholesterol is a common but serious condition that can lead to significant health problems if left unmanaged. Understanding what causes high cholesterol and recognizing its symptoms are the first steps toward controlling it. By adopting natural treatments such as a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, and other lifestyle changes, you can effectively manage your cholesterol levels and improve your overall health.