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What is Familial Hypercholesterolemia? Know Symptoms, Causes and Complications

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High cholesterol and heart-related problems are unfortunately not uncommon today. This is because of our rapidly changing lifestyles that have accommodated several unhealthy choices, including intoxication, fast foods and spicy platters. This, in addition to zero physical activity, has caused high cholesterol to become a common health problem.

However, there is a community of people who do not have a choice when it comes to high cholesterol. Familial hypercholesterolemia affects the way the body processes cholesterol. People suffering from this disease have inherited it from their previous generation and are at a higher risk of heart diseases and early heart attacks.

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This condition is present in the patient from birth, but its symptoms may not be revealed until adulthood. People who inherit this disease from both their parents might witness its symptoms from childhood. This condition is rare and if left untreated, it could lead to the death of the person suffering from it by the time they turn 20 years old.

The only way to keep it in check is through medical treatment, which involves medication and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Symptoms of familial hypercholesterolemia

Adults and kids who suffer from familial hypercholesterolemia have high amounts of low-density lipoproteins or LDL in their blood. LDL is known as bad cholesterol as it is undesirable due to its ability to block arteries and even narrow them.

According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms are visible in the patient’s eyes, tendons and skin due to the build-up of LDL. LDL deposits in the skin around the eyes and on hands, knees and elbows. It thickens the Achilles tendon, along with some tendons in the hands.

Familial hypercholesterolemia is seen mostly in certain populations like Ashkenazi Jews, Lebanese groups and French Canadians. The disease can cause heart attacks in men before the age of 50 and before the age of 60 in women. For someone suffering from familial hypercholesterolemia, it’s important to eat healthier than usual and cut down on LDL-increasing foods to ensure greater longevity.

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