Key Points

Does High Cholesterol Make You Tired?

Do you ever find yourself feeling exhausted and lacking energy, despite getting a full night's sleep?

High cholesterol might be to blame.

The effects of high cholesterol extend far beyond heart health, and could potentially leave you feeling constantly fatigued.

In this article, we will explore the relationship between high cholesterol and fatigue, examining the impact it has on your energy levels, daily functioning, and overall well-being.

So, if you're curious to discover whether there's a connection between high cholesterol and feeling tired all the time, keep reading to find out more.

Does High Cholesterol Make You Tired
Does high cholesterol make you tired?


📘 Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is cholesterol and why is it important?
  3. The relationship between high cholesterol and fatigue
  4. Common symptoms of high cholesterol
  5. How to manage cholesterol levels and combat fatigue?
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs


What is cholesterol and why is it important?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in almost every cell in our body. It is important for our overall health and performs several essential functions.

Firstly, our body uses cholesterol to build and maintain cell membranes, which are crucial for cell structure and function. Cholesterol is also a key component in the production of certain hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate various bodily processes, including growth, metabolism, and sexual development.

Additionally, cholesterol plays a vital role in the digestion of fats. It aids in the production of bile acids, which are necessary for the absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins.


The relationship between high cholesterol and fatigue

High cholesterol refers to high levels of cholesterol in the blood. As we discussed earlier, cholesterol is a wax-like substance found in the fats (lipids) in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but having high levels can increase the risk of developing various health problems, such as heart disease.

Fatigue, on the other hand, refers to a state of extreme tiredness or lack of energy. There can be various causes of fatigue, including a lack of sleep, stress, certain medical conditions, and medications.

The relationship between high cholesterol and fatigue is not direct or well-established. While high cholesterol itself may not directly cause fatigue, it is often associated with certain underlying conditions that can lead to fatigue.

For example, individuals with high cholesterol are more likely to have atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become narrowed and hardened due to the buildup of cholesterol plaques. Atherosclerosis can restrict blood flow and oxygen supply to different organs and tissues, leading to fatigue and reduced energy levels.

Additionally, high cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, which can manifest as chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, and fatigue. When the arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart become narrowed or blocked due to cholesterol buildup, the heart muscle may not receive enough oxygen to pump blood efficiently, resulting in fatigue.

READ ALSO: How to make heart healthier?


Common symptoms of high cholesterol

  • Chest pain or discomfort: High cholesterol can lead to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart. This can cause chest pain, known as angina.
  • Shortness of breath: Reduced blood flow to the heart can also result in shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, especially during physical exertion.
  • Fatigue: High cholesterol can cause a lack of oxygen-rich blood reaching the muscles, leading to fatigue or generalized weakness.
  • Heart palpitations: When cholesterol levels are elevated, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the narrower arteries, resulting in irregular heartbeats or palpitations.
  • Tingling sensations: In some cases, high cholesterol can lead to peripheral arterial disease, causing numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation, typically in the legs and feet.
  • Yellowish skin lesions: Excess cholesterol can sometimes form deposits under the skin, appearing as yellowish bumps or small, fat-filled pockets known as xanthomas.


How to manage cholesterol levels and combat fatigue?

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet: Focus on consuming low-fat and high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit your intake of saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol-rich foods.
  • Exercise regularly: Engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes most days of the week can help raise your HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can contribute to high cholesterol levels. Losing excess weight through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise can help improve your cholesterol profile.
  • Get enough sleep: Ensure you are getting the recommended amount of sleep per night, which is typically 7-9 hours for adults. Establish a regular sleep routine and create a comfortable sleep environment.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause fatigue, so drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid excessive caffeine or sugary drinks, as they can lead to energy crashes.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can lower your HDL cholesterol while increasing your LDL cholesterol and overall risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking can have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels and overall health.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol intake can increase your triglyceride levels and raise your blood pressure. Limit your alcohol consumption to moderate levels (up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men).
  • Include healthy fats in your diet: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel can help lower cholesterol levels. Nuts, seeds, and avocados are also good sources of healthy fats.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can contribute to fatigue. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or seeking therapy if needed.
  • Consider medication: In some cases, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to manage cholesterol levels. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if medication is needed to manage your cholesterol.
  • Prioritize self-care: Taking time for yourself and engaging in activities you enjoy can rejuvenate your mind and body, preventing fatigue. Make sure to incorporate relaxation, hobbies, and self-care practices into your routine.

NOTE: If you continue to experience persistent or debilitating fatigue, it is recommended to consult a health care professional to rule out any underlying medical conditions.



High cholesterol has been linked to various health concerns, it does not directly cause fatigue.

Fatigue could be a result of multiple factors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, underlying medical conditions, or medication side effects.

It is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle, manage cholesterol levels, and consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of fatigue and seek appropriate treatment if necessary.



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Frequently Asked Questions

What are 5 signs of high cholesterol?

Chest pain or angina, high blood pressure, fatigue or weakness, yellow skin or congestion around the eyes, difficulty digesting fatty foods.

Does high cholesterol make you dizzy?

No, high cholesterol does not make you dizzy.

Does high cholesterol make you sweat?

High cholesterol does not directly cause sweating, but it may be associated with certain medical conditions that can cause excessive sweating.

How long can you live with high cholesterol?

The longevity of a person with high cholesterol can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as overall health, lifestyle choices, and management of cholesterol levels.

Does high cholesterol make you feel sleepy?

No, high cholesterol does not usually make you feel sleepy.

Does high cholesterol make you gain weight?

No, high cholesterol does not directly cause weight gain.

Does high cholesterol cause shortness of breath?

High cholesterol does not directly cause shortness of breath. However, high cholesterol can contribute to the development of conditions such as heart disease, which in turn can cause shortness of breath.