In the United States, high cholesterol is a rather prevalent problem.
However, since this ailment may often manifest itself without causing any noticeable symptoms, you may not even be aware that you have it until you see a doctor.
Find out what causes high cholesterol, what to do if you’ve been diagnosed with it, and whether or not there are any methods to reverse it. Continue reading for all the answers.
What is cholesterol, and how does it affect us?
Cholesterol is a lipid, which means it is a fat. It is a waxy, fat-like material that is produced by your liver on its own own.
It is necessary for the creation of cell membranes, as well as the production of various hormones and vitamin D.
Due to the fact that cholesterol does not breakdown in water, it is unable to flow through your bloodstream on its own.
Lipoproteins are produced by your liver to aid in the transportation of cholesterol.
Lipoproteins are fat and protein-based particles that carry messages. They are responsible for transporting cholesterol and triglycerides, another form of lipid, throughout the body.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are the two most common types of lipoprotein found in the body (HDL).
A kind of cholesterol transported by low-density lipoproteins is known as LDL cholesterol. A diagnosis of high cholesterol may be made if your blood includes an excessive amount of LDL cholesterol.
High cholesterol, if left untreated, may lead to a variety of health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
High cholesterol seldom manifests itself in the form of symptoms in the beginning.
Because of this, having your cholesterol levels examined on a regular basis is very essential to maintain good health.
The signs and symptoms of high cholesterol
High cholesterol is, for the most part, a “invisible” problem.
In most cases, it does not manifest itself with any symptoms. When it comes to high cholesterol, many individuals don’t even recognize they have it until they have major issues such as a heart attack or stroke.
It is for this reason why regular cholesterol screening is so crucial.
If you are 20 years or older, consult with your doctor to determine if you should undergo regular cholesterol screening.
Find out how this screening might possibly save your life by watching this video.
High cholesterol has a variety of causes.
Consuming an excessive amount of foods that are rich in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats may raise your chance of getting high blood cholesterol levels. Obesity may also raise your chance of developing heart disease.
Inactivity and smoking are two more variables that might lead to elevated cholesterol levels in one’s lifestyle.
In addition, your genetics might influence your chances of acquiring high cholesterol levels. A person’s genes are handed on from his or her parents to their offspring.
Your body receives instructions from certain genes on how to metabolize cholesterol and lipids.
If one of your parents has high cholesterol, you may be at a higher risk of developing it as a result.
In a small number of instances, elevated cholesterol is caused by a genetic condition known as familial hypercholesterolemia.
This hereditary condition inhibits your body from properly eliminating LDL cholesterol from your bloodstream.
Per the National Human Genome Research Institute , the majority of persons with this illness had total cholesterol levels more than 300 milligrams per deciliter and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels over 200 milligrams per deciliter.
A number of other medical disorders, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, might raise your chance of getting high cholesterol and the difficulties that can result from it.
LDL cholesterol, sometimes known as “bad cholesterol,” is a kind of cholesterol that is produced by the liver.
LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad cholesterol.” It is responsible for transporting cholesterol to your arteries.
If your LDL cholesterol levels are too high, it has the potential to accumulate on the inside of your arteries.
Cholesterol plaque is the term used to describe this formation.
This plaque has the potential to constrict your arteries, restrict blood flow, and increase your risk of developing blood clots.
Having a blood clot in your heart or brain may lead to heart attack or stroke if it becomes trapped in the artery.
HDL cholesterol, sometimes known as “good cholesterol,” is a kind of cholesterol that is beneficial to the body.
HDL cholesterol is referred to as “good cholesterol” in certain circles.
It aids in the return of LDL cholesterol to the liver, where it may be excreted from the body.
This helps to prevent cholesterol plaque from accumulating in your arteries and narrowing them.
High levels of HDL cholesterol may help reduce your risk of blood clots, heart disease, and stroke, all of which are serious health problems.
Triglycerides are a form of lipid that is distinct from cholesterol.
Triglycerides are a kind of lipid that is similar to fatty acids.
They’re not the same thing as cholesterol.
However, triglycerides are used as a source of energy by your body, while cholesterol is used to construct cells and specific hormones.
When you consume more calories than your body is capable of using immediately, your body turns those calories into triglycerides.
It causes triglycerides to be stored in your fat cells.
It also makes use of lipoproteins to transport triglycerides throughout your body’s circulatory system.
If you consume more calories than your body can burn on a daily basis, your triglyceride levels may become dangerously excessive.
Heart disease and stroke are among the health concerns that might result as a result of this lifestyle choice.
Your doctor can assess your triglyceride levels, as well as your cholesterol levels, with a simple blood test.
Making an appointment to get your cholesterol levels tested
According to the American Heart Association, if you’re 20 years or older, you should get your cholesterol levels examined at least once every 4 to 6 years.
You may be advised to get your cholesterol levels checked more often if you have a family history of high cholesterol or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as determined by your doctor.
A lipid panel may be used by your doctor to determine your total cholesterol level, as well as your LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, among other things.
The total cholesterol level in your blood represents the entire quantity of cholesterol in your blood. It consists of both LDL and HDL cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels are abnormally high, your doctor may diagnose you with high cholesterol.
When your LDL cholesterol levels are too high and your HDL cholesterol levels are too low, excessive cholesterol may be harmful.
Chart showing cholesterol levels
Being diagnosed with high cholesterol does not inevitably imply that you will be placed on medication to control it.
If your doctor does decide to give you medicine, the sort of drug they suggest may be influenced by a variety of circumstances.
Most doctors make treatment decisions based on broad measures, which is understandable given the circumstances.
These readings may be classified as good, borderline high, or high cholesterol by the physicians.