It’s not a secret that high cholesterol can be a trigger for a variety of serious health issues. It includes coronary artery disease which can cause serious issues , such as heart attacks and other heart problems that cause pain.

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“The consequences of high cholesterol accumulate over time,” says cardiologist Luke Laffin, MD. “We must be aggressive in attempting to reduce the level. In long-term periods high cholesterol raises the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and the hardening of your arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. These are the most important things we are concerned about.”

If you suffer from high cholesterol and you also notice you suffer from frequent headaches or periods that cause dizziness or headaches, it could be tempting to believe there’s a direct correlation between both. But Dr. Laffin explains why that’s not the scenario.

Do high cholesterol causes headaches?

Many people who have high cholesterol don’t show any signs until they suffer heart attacks or a stroke, or have angina, a heart-related pain condition.

In this light, can excessive cholesterol cause headaches? “There’s no evidence conclusive to suggest that it causes headaches,” Dr. Laffin says.

When your levels of cholesterol are very high, your physical symptoms differ. “We may see deposits of cholesterol in unusual areas, such as your elbows or Achilles tendon” Dr. Laffin notes. “Particularly in young people, it is possible to notice cholesterol buildup and deposits within the eye area if levels are high.”

There is a lot of confusion about problems that are frequently related to high cholesterol — and not high cholesterol in and of itself may cause headaches.

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“I observe many people asking, “Is my blood pressure high creating headaches?’ It’s quite common,” says Dr. Laffin. It’s the “vast majority of times” there isn’t a need to worry about it Dr. Laffin says. “Your brain has an amazing capability to adjust to elevated blood pressure levels in brief periods of time. However, if the levels are extremely high then you may experience headaches.”

Blood pressure that is high and cholesterol are both the risk factors that can lead to atherosclerosis. “How it can cause headaches is uncertain,” says Dr. Laffin. However, plaque buildup within your arteries may create high blood pressure which could cause stroke.

The Dr. Laffin notes that there’s no research to prove that the presence of cholesterol in migraines causes headaches. “We typically consider migraine headaches to be possibly a vasodilation-related phenomenon,” he says, or something that happens when blood vessels expand or dilate. “That’s distinct in comparison to atherosclerosis.”

Over the last few years, however numerous studies have revealed intriguing connections between cholesterol levels and migraine headaches.

A study in 2015 revealed that people who suffered from frequent intense migraines had greater total cholesterol levels as well as greater levels of LDL (or the bad) cholesterol. In the case of those who participated in the study, they received treatment for three months which reduced migraines, their levels dropped.

But, the study involved only 52 participants who participated, which is not enough of a sample to draw any major, broad conclusions. It’s not clear that the high cholesterol level is responsible for these migraines. “The most common conclusion is that there’s a connection when talking about migraine headaches” Dr. Laffin says. However, that doesn’t refer to cause and effect.

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A different study from 2011 found that migraine sufferers with aura, a particular type of migraine that manifests with speech or vision changes (see figure 1) were more likely to have higher total cholesterol levels and triglycerides levels contrasted with those who did not have headaches. But, this is an instance of associationthat is, you can’t claim that the increased cholesterol levels led migraines with aura.

Furthermore, the study was only conducted by participants in the Epidemiology of Vascular Aging Study that were classified as being elderly. That is there’s no scientific proof that this applies to individuals of all ages.

Are heart-related problems related to dizziness?

If you’re experiencing dizzy, it could be experiencing a physical sign of a bigger problem.

“Dizziness is a general word that people often employ to describe a variety of things,” notes Dr. Laffin. “Room spinning, as well as the vertigo-like feeling is very unlike lightheadedness.”

The doctor. Laffin says feeling like that the room is spinning could typically be due to vertigo, or an inner-ear issue that is not necessarily related to heart illness. However, lightheadedness can surely be a sign of a heart-related problem.

“Say you have cholesterol or plaque in your carotid arteries , and lack of blood flow or if you’ve got narrowing of the valves in your heart or arrhythmias” Dr. Laffin says, “these could cause what people call dizziness but it’s probably better known as lightheadedness.”