Understanding Cholesterol Problems: Symptoms

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on July 17, 2019

What Are the Symptoms of Cholesterol Problems?

A high level of cholesterol in the blood doesn't have obvious symptoms, but it can increase your risk for conditions that do have symptoms, including angina (chest pain caused by heart disease), high blood pressure, stroke, and other circulatory ailments. Also:

  • Soft, yellowish growths or lesions on the skin called xanthomas may indicate a genetic predisposition to cholesterol problems.
  • Many people who are obese or have diabetes also have high cholesterol.
  • In men, impotence may be caused by arteries affected by excessive blood cholesterol.

Call Your Doctor About Heart Disease if:

  • You detect soft, yellowish skin growths on yourself or on your children. Ask about being tested for high cholesterol.
  • You develop symptoms of heart disease, stroke, or atherosclerosis in other blood vessels, such as left-sided chest pain, pressure, or fullness; dizziness; unsteady gait; slurred speech; or pain in the lower legs. Any of these conditions may be associated with high cholesterol, and each requires immediate medical intervention.
WebMD Medical Reference



American Heart Association. 

National Cholesterol Education Program.

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