6 Reasons Why High Cholesterol Causes Headaches

6 Reasons Why High Cholesterol Causes Headaches

Do you ever get headaches when your blood sugar levels are low or when you’re stressed? High blood cholesterol causes headaches because it leads to other health problems, like migraine. It is also the leading cause of chronic sinusitis and impairs blood flow through small blood vessels in the head and neck. 

Chronic inflammation in the brain is another reason high cholesterol causes headaches. When the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol increases too much, it can lead to the narrowing of tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This is known as vasoconstriction. Less oxygen and nutrition reach the brain, causing pain and headaches. 

Furthermore, high levels of triglycerides — a type of fat found in foods such as red meat, dairy products, fast food, and sweets — are another common reason why high cholesterol causes headaches. They are also a significant risk factor for dementia as they build up inside the body over time.

 

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol are also connected. When cholesterol, plaque, and calcium build up in the arteries, the heart works significantly harder to pump blood through them (atherosclerosis). As a consequence, blood pressure rises to dangerously high levels.

High blood pressure is a crucial risk factor for headaches. When blood pressure is too high, the walls of the arteries expand, narrowing the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain and other vital organs. 

High blood pressure causes headaches by causing inflammation. High blood pressure causes persistent headaches after excessive cholesterol and high triglycerides.

It causes migraines, sinusitis, and cluster headaches. Kidney problems cause high blood pressure.

The kidneys regulate blood pressure by determining how much fluid is present in the body, whether it is the right amount, and how much fluid should be removed from the body and sent to the kidneys. Usually, the kidneys send a signal to the body when they need to concentrate the blood and send it to the organs while the body gets rid of excess water. If the kidney does not receive the proper signal, it continues concentrating the blood even if the body does not need more fluid; this is known as hypertension.

 

Small LDL Cholesterol (“Bad”)

LDL cholesterol is “bad” cholesterol that is found in the blood. The body needs some LDL to remove excess glucose from the blood and maintain normal blood glucose levels. However, a high LDL level is associated with increased heart disease and stroke risk. 

In a study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, researchers found that LDL cholesterol levels are not enough to cause headaches. Dietary LDL cholesterol intake is how much you get from food, and It is the most critical factor that causes headaches. 

Dietary LDL cholesterol levels were not even included in the analysis. “I was surprised to find that [LDL cholesterol] is not a significant risk factor because we are getting most of our LDL cholesterol from food and not from our liver,” said study researcher Dr. David Hill.

 

High Cholesterol Risk Factor – Higher Levels of Serotonin Lowered in the Brain

Cholesterol is a steroid hormone that plays an essential role in regulating mood and emotions, memory, and sleep. It is also associated with a standard, healthy sex drive. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in regulating brain function and mood. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, low mood, and lack of interest in sex, while high levels are associated with irritability and anxiety. Cholesterol affects the brain by affecting serotonin, and serotonin affects mood, so people with high cholesterol have a low level of serotonin in their brain.

 

Low Blood Sugar Causes Headaches

Chronic and low blood sugar levels are another common reason high cholesterol causes headaches. Low blood sugar is associated with headaches or migraines because it leads to inflammation and damaged brain cells in the hypothalamus — an area of the brain responsible for regulating blood pressure, appetite, and sexual desire. 

Furthermore, chronic low blood sugar is a risk factor for dementia because insulin is needed to remove excess glucose from the blood, and insulin levels decline as we age. Low blood sugar causes headaches because it increases levels of various inflammatory chemicals in the brain, including inflammatory hormones such as cortisol and pro-inflammatory neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

 

High Cholesterol Levels Are a Risk Factor for Dementia

High cholesterol is another risk factor for dementia because it increases the risk of developing vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is a common type of dementia caused by the breakdown of blood vessels in the brain that supply oxygen and nutrients to the cells. This leads to brain damage. If you have high blood cholesterol, it will build up in your brain, lowering the levels of serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression, low mood, headache, and lack of interest in sex.

 

Inflammation in the Brain

Chronic inflammation in the brain is another common reason high cholesterol causes headaches. When the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol increase too much, it can lead to the narrowing of tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This is known as vasoconstriction. 

Chronic inflammation in the brain is a risk factor for a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, low mood, and headaches. High LDL levels are associated with inflammatory responses in the body and brain, so high cholesterol is another risk factor for headaches.

 

Summing Up

High blood cholesterol causes headaches because it leads to other problems, like low blood sugar and chronic inflammation in the brain. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle that promotes long-term good health, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and getting regular exercise.

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