High Cholesterol : Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and more

High Cholesterol Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and more

Concerning excessive cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is a lipid, which is a fatty chemical. It is necessary for the body’s regular functioning. Cholesterol is used by your body to make cell membranes, hormones, and vitamin D.
Cholesterol in your blood comes from two primary sources:

  • cholesterol found in your meal cholesterol created by your liver
  • Hyperlipidemia, or having an abnormally high amount of lipids in your blood, can have a negative impact on your health.

High cholesterol does not normally create any symptoms on its own, but it can raise your risk of major health problems.

Concerning cholesterol

Proteins transport cholesterol into the bloodstream. Lipoproteins are formed when the two join. Lipoproteins are divided into two categories.

HDL is a kind of lipoprotein that transports cholesterol away from cells and back to the liver. It is then either broken down or excreted as a waste product by the body. As a result, HDL is known as “good cholesterol,” with greater levels being preferable.

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) transports cholesterol to cells that require it. If the cells don’t have enough cholesterol to use, it can build up in the arterial walls, causing artery disease. As a result, LDL is referred to as “bad cholesterol.”

The amount of cholesterol in the blood, both HDL and LDL , is measured with a blood test.
 The recommended cholesterol levels in the blood vary between those with a higher or lower risk of developing arterial disease.

What are the benefits of lowering my cholesterol?

High cholesterol, according to the evidence, increases the risk of:

  • Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) (atherosclerosis)
  • transient ischemic attack (TIA) – often referred to as a “mini stroke” peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

Because cholesterol may build up in the arterial wall, reducing blood flow to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body, this is a problem. It also raises your chances of having a blood clot anywhere in your body.

As your blood cholesterol level rises, so does your chance of getting coronary heart disease. During times of stress or physical exertion, this might produce pain in your chest or arm (angina).

What factors contribute to high cholesterol levels?

If you have high cholesterol, a number of things can raise your risk of heart disease or stroke.
These are some of them:

  • an unhealthy diet, particularly one that is heavy in saturated fat
  • Cigarette smoke contains a molecule called acrolin, which inhibits HDL production.
  • is transported from fatty deposits to the liver, causing artery constriction (atherosclerosis)
  • Having diabetes or high blood pressure is a risk factor (hypertension)
  • having a history of stroke or heart disease in your family

There’s also familial hypercholesterolemia, which is a hereditary disorder. Even someone who consumes a healthy diet might get high cholesterol as a result of this.

When should I get my cholesterol checked?

If you have any of the following symptoms, your doctor may advise you to get your blood cholesterol levels checked:

  • have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, stroke or mini-stroke (TIA), or peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • have a family history of cardiovascular illness at an early age
  • have a close relative with a cholesterol-related illness are overweight
  • have high blood pressure, diabetes, or another health problem that raises cholesterol levels

What are the ideal cholesterol values for me?

Millimoles per liter of blood, or mml/L, is a unit of measurement for blood cholesterol.
Total cholesterol levels should, on average, be:

  • Healthy persons have a blood sugar level of less than 5 milligrams per liter (mml/L).
  • For those at high risk, 4mml/L or fewer is required.

LDL levels should, as a general rule, be:

  • For healthy people, 3mml/L or fewer is the limit.
  • For those at high risk, 2mml/L or fewer is required.

HDL levels exceeding 1mml/L are considered desirable. Lowering the level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease. 

It’s also possible to compute your total cholesterol to HDL ratio. This is the sum of your total cholesterol and HDL levels. This ratio should generally be less than four, as a greater ratio raises your risk of heart disease.

Is just one of several risk factors. If other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, are present, the level at which particular therapy is necessary will vary.

What can I do to decrease my cholesterol?

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is the first step in lowering cholesterol. It’s critical to eat a diet that’s low in fat.

Fruit, vegetables, and wholegrain cereals can be substituted for saturated fat-containing foods. This will also assist in preventing the recurrence of high cholesterol.

Other lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise and quitting smoking, can also help decrease cholesterol.

If these strategies fail to lower your cholesterol and you still have a high risk of heart disease, your doctor may prescribe statins or other lowering medications.

Your doctor will consider the possibility of statin side effects. Any hazards must be outweighed by the benefits of decreasing your cholesterol.

What methods are used to determine cholesterol levels?

A simple blood test is used to determine blood levels. A blood sample will be taken by your GP or Exercise nurse, generally by pricking your finger, or you may be requested to go to your local hospital for a blood test.

The levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, bad (non-HDL) , and triglycerides in your blood are then measured, as well as your total .

Millimoles per liter of blood, commonly abbreviated as mml/Liter’ or’ mml/L,’ are used to test cholesterol and triglycerides. In general, having a low non-HDL level and a higher HDL level is the goal for a healthy heart.

If you’ve been informed you have high cholesterol, your bloodstream contains too much ‘bad’ cholesterol, increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. A high amount of ‘good’ (HDL) , on the other hand, can assist keep ‘bad’ (non-HDL) under control.

Medications to lower cholesterol

Your doctor may recommend drugs to help you decrease your levels in some instances.
The most typically given drugs for elevated cholesterol are statins. They prevent your liver from creating any additional .
Statins include the following:

  • atorvastatin is a drug that lowers cholesterol levels (Lipitor)
  • fluvastatin is a drug that lowers cholesterol levels (Lescol)
  • rosuvastatin  (Crestor)
  • simvastatin is a statin drug (Zocor)

Other drugs for high cholesterol that your doctor may give include:

  • niacin
  • Colesevalam (Welchol), colestipol (Colestid), or cholestyramine are bile acid resins or sequestrants (Prevalite)
  • Inhibitors of cholesterol absorption, such as ezetimibe (Zetia)
  • Inhibitors of PCSK9, such as alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab, have been developed (Repatha)

Some products contain a mix of medications that help your body absorb less cholesterol from diet while also lowering synthesis in your liver. A combination of ezetimibe and simvastatin is one example (Vytorin).

Natural ways to decrease cholesterol at home

You may be able to decrease your levels without using medicine in some situations. It may be sufficient, for example, to consume a balanced diet, exercise frequently, and refrain from smoking tobacco products.

Some people also believe that using specific herbal and nutritional supplements might help them decrease their cholesterol levels. For example, there have been accusations made about:

  • garlic
  • hawthorn
  • astragalus
  • red yeast rice
  • plant sterol and stanol supplements
  • blond psyllium, found in psyllium seed husk
  • ground flaxseed

The quality of evidence supporting these statements, however, varies. Furthermore, none of these products have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of excessive . To find out if they can help treat this illness, more study is needed.

Before using any herbal or nutritional supplements, always with your doctor. They may interfere with other drugs you’re taking in some situations.

How can high cholesterol be avoided?

The hereditary risk factors for high cholesterol are uncontrollable. Lifestyle variables, on the other hand, may be controlled.

To reduce your chances of acquiring high cholesterol, do the following:

  • Consume a well-balanced diet rich in fiber and low in cholesterol and animal fats.
  • Excessive alcohol usage should be avoided.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Smoking should be avoided.

For routine screening, follow your doctor’s advice. If you’re at risk for high cholesterol or heart disease, they’ll probably recommend that you have your levels checked on a regular basis.

Final Thoughts

The majority of the time, elevated cholesterol causes no symptoms. High cholesterol, on the other hand, if left untreated, can lead to major health problems. The good news is that your doctor can assist you in managing this illness and, in many circumstances, preventing consequences.

Whether you’re 20 years or older, ask your doctor to test your levels to see if you have high . Inquire about your treatment choices if you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol.

Practice good lifestyle behaviors and stick to your doctor’s treatment plan to reduce your chance of high cholesterol issues.

A good level may be achieved and maintained by eating a balanced diet, exercising frequently, and avoiding tobacco products. It may also assist to reduce your risk of high blood pressure issues.

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