Cholesterol is made up of fatty substances that are produced by the liver, and it can come in the forms of both “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. The “good” cholesterol is made up of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and it actually collects unnecessary cholesterol to try to remove it from the blood vessels. However, the “bad” cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), sticks to the linings of the blood vessels, causing a myriad of health problems, including heart-related diseases and other serious conditions. Cholesterol can also be determined by factors like age, hereditary disease, what foods a person generally eats and how much they exercise. Let’s take a look at the ways high cholesterol can adversely affect your health.

1. Obesity

When a person has high cholesterol, obesity is a condition that can be caused by these high levels of LDH that are residing in the body. Along with small or no amounts of exercise and a diet high in saturated fats, people with high cholesterol may also experience severe weight gain. When a person’s body mass is 30 or higher, physicians will typically place them in a high-risk category for having high cholesterol. Risk factors also increase with the size of the waist, with a male’s set at 40 inches and a female’s at 35 inches in total circumference.

2. Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease that affects the arteries with plaque buildup consisting of fatty substances along the arterial walls, which is an effect of high cholesterol. When a person has this condition, the arteries will begin to harden and narrow, making the normal flow of the blood difficult. This plaque can continue to build up until it creates bumps along the walls of the arteries, often creating severe blockages. This disease can adversely affect any of the arteries in the body, but it is seen most often in the heart, brain, arms, legs and kidneys. Atherosclerosis can eventually lead to heart attacks and strokes, along with death in severe cases.