Symptoms of High Cholesterol – The Most Extreme High Cholesterol Sometimes Causes Visible Symptoms

Dr. Demetrio Sodi-Pallares was an imminent cardiologist, considered one of the most exceptional diagnosticians in the world in his time. Born in Mexico City, Dr. Sodi, as he preferred to be called, taught medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Michigan, and Baylor Medical School, and pioneered non-surgical treatments for heart attacks while working down the hall from Dr. Michael Debakey, who pioneered bypass surgery.

One of Dr. Sodi’s most memorable cases was a woman who came to his free clinic in Mexico City with several unusual symptoms. This patient displayed:

  • Flesh-colored, wart-like growths on her eyelids.
  • Orange, itchy spots on her hands.
  • Hard, white circular spots smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser on her legs.

Dr. Sodi immediately recognized that she probably had extremely high cholesterol levels, and her labs came back with a total cholesterol level of 833 mg/dl (about 21.5 mmol/L) and triglycerides of over 4,000 (45.2 mmol/L). Interestingly, this woman was cured of both high cholesterol and high triglycerides not with medication or by low-cholesterol diet, but by eliminating the salt from her diet.

Symptoms like those of Dr. Sodi’s patient are very rare. High cholesterol usually does not cause any visible symptoms. The only way most cases can be detected is by laboratory analysis of a blood sample.

The most useful measure of cholesterol is a test most doctors don’t offer unless asked. The best predictors of future risk of heart disease are not total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL, but rather two kinds of proteins attached to LDL, apoA1 and apoB100. LDL that is attached to apoA1 does not form plaques in arteries. LDL that is attached to apoB100 may form plaques in the walls of arteries.

It is possible to have high LDL and low apoB100 and have a low risk of heart disease, not needing cholesterol medication. It is also possible to have low LDL and high apoB100 and have a high risk of heart disease, needing medication that a doctor would not know to prescribe without ordering the correct test. When you have your cholesterol tested, ask for apoA1 and apoB100 testing.