Yellow Growths On Your Eyelids
Do you notice painless yellow growths on your upper and lower eyelids? Their presence is called xanthelasma. Fret not because its something that wont negatively affect your vision. However, xanthelasma is a clear indicator that you have high blood cholesterol. Although those yellow-colored growths can be zapped with the use of acids and lasers, the only way to have them permanently removed is by having your cholesterol levels controlled.
Signs That You Have High Cholesterol & How To Maintain It
Having high cholesterol can put you at risk of developing heart problems and other serious health issues. Find out more about this condition and how you can maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is a substance that your body needs in healthy amounts to function. Your body produces cholesterol naturally, but you also get more from your diet. If your cholesterol levels get too high, you face a higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other potentially life-threatening complications. How do you know if you have high cholesterol? Having tests done at our federally qualified health center in Arkansas and knowing certain risk factors can help you find out.
Food Supplements That Do Not Help With Cholesterol
Many extracts and supplements have been promoted for their overall health benefits and lipid-lowering effects, but do they work?
We reviewed the available scientific research and found that the following supplements had no good evidence to support those claims:
Selenium: Supplements may help lower cholesterol in people with low levels of selenium, but not in people with normal levels of selenium. There is not enough scientific evidence to say that selenium protects against cardiovascular disease.
Calcium: Results here are mixed, but the bottom line is calcium supplementation does not improve cholesterol levels.
Garlic supplements: Raw, powdered, and aged garlic supplements had no effect on cholesterol levels.
Policosanol: This substance, which is extracted from sugar cane wax, did not improve cholesterol.
Coconut oil supplements: There is mixed evidence about the cardiovascular benefits or harm of coconut oil. It is not an evidence-based alternative treatment for high cholesterol levels.
Coconut water: There is no high-quality data about coconut water improving cholesterol levels.
Resveratrol supplements: There is no evidence that these improve cholesterol levels in humans.
Soy isoflavones supplements: Taking supplements of soy isoflavones does not improve cholesterol levels.
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Myth #: High Cholesterol Foods Wont Increase Your Cholesterol
The truth behind this myth is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. Yes, high cholesterol foods have a tendency to increase overall cholesterol, but this is also because foods high in cholesterol also tend to be high in saturated fats. Saturated fats can certainly raise your cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol or are at risk of having high cholesterol, its best to choose foods that are low in saturated fats and avoid foods high in saturated fats.
Some quick examples of foods to avoid include:
- Red meat
Foods to include in your diet are foods with unsaturated fats and foods high in fiber such as:
- Olive oil
Changing up your diet often means changing your eating habits, but the health benefits are worth it in the long run.
Why Do I Have High Cholesterol
For many people, lifestyle plays a big role in the development of the condition. Its often due to a combination of diet and how active you are, as well as your genetic capacity to produce cholesterol, says Raj Khandwalla, MD, cardiologist and director of digital therapeutics at Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Being overweight and smoking can also increase your chances of developing high cholesterol.
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Natural Treatments For High Cholesterol
In addition to lifestyle changes and medication, some foods and supplements can help reduce cholesterol levels, research shows. Its important to note that no natural food or supplement has been proven more effective than most cholesterol medications. Talk with your doctor before adding any supplement or alternative treatment to your routine.
Natural products that can be effective in lowering cholesterol include:
- Flaxseed, which studies show may help lower cholesterol when consumed as whole flaxseed or flaxseed lignans. Flaxseed oil has not been shown to have a significant effect on cholesterol levels. Pregnant women should avoid flaxseed as it may cause hormonal changes.
- Garlic supplements, which one study found lowered overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 10% when taken for more than two months.
- Green tea, which may have moderate benefits for reducing overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. However, studies have not shown any effect of green tea on increasing HDL cholesterol.
- Oats, which have consistently been shown to help lower total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in people who start with very high cholesterol levels.
- Soy foods, which have been shown to have a small effect on lowering cholesterol levels.
Recognizing Signs And Symptoms
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How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
A cholesterol blood test gives important information about the amount and types of fats in the bloodstream. Types of fats include cholesterol and triglycerides.
Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in your body. Triglycerides are produced by your body and also come from the food you eat. When you eat, your body converts unused calories into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells and are released for energy in between meals.
If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, this may lead to high levels of triglycerides. If the levels of triglycerides in your blood are too high, they can affect your blood cholesterol levels.
When Should High Cholesterol Be Treated With Medication
If youve had a heart attack, stroke, or have diabetes or been diagnosed with inherited high cholesterol, youll need to take one or more cholesterol-lowering medications, in addition to being careful with your diet and staying active. Statins can have a tremendous impact for lowering LDL cholesterol, says Khandwalla. Statins decrease your risk of illness and dying if youre in one of these high-risk groups.
In addition to statins, which should always be used first, other cholesterol-lowering drugs include fibrates, niacin, PCSK9 inhibitors, bile-acid sequestrants, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors, according to the CDC.
If you found out your cholesterol was high after a routine checkup, discuss your test results with your doctor. Your doctor will calculate your individual risk of heart attack or stroke to decide if you should be on a statin.
In some cases, the doctor may recommend giving a healthy diet and active lifestyle a try first. However, if your cholesterol levels remain high, you may need a heart scan to look for plaque buildup in your arteries, and your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to lower your heart-disease and stroke risk.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol typically doesnt cause any symptoms. In most cases it only causes emergency events. For instance, a heart attack or stroke can result from the damage caused by high cholesterol.
These events typically dont occur until high cholesterol leads to the formation of plaque in your arteries. Plaque can narrow arteries so less blood can pass through. The formation of plaque changes the makeup of your arterial lining. This could lead to serious complications.
A blood test is the only way to know if your cholesterol is too high. This means having a total blood cholesterol level above 240 milligrams per deciliter . Ask your doctor to give you a cholesterol test after you turn 20 years old. Then get your cholesterol rechecked every 4 to 6 years.
Your doctor may also suggest you have your cholesterol checked more frequently if you have a family history of high cholesterol. Or if you demonstrate the following risk factors:
- have high blood pressure
Truths About Statins And High Cholesterol
For every drop of scientific evidence that statins are safe and effective, there is a tidal wave of misinformation. Our patients are concerned about statin side effects theyve heard about from family or friends, or read about on the Internet.Statins are the gold-standard for high cholesterol treatment. Theyre a powerful medication, and theyve been proven to save the lives of many men and women living with or having a high risk of heart attack or stroke.But if statins are so effective, why are some people afraid to take them?As with any medication, there are risks associated with taking statins, but the benefits far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of high-risk patients.In an effort to put statin side effects into context and provide honest, scientific answers about statins and their use, weve put together a list of common questions our patients ask us:
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Can I Pass Fh To My Kids
If you inherited FH from one parent, theres a 50% chance youll pass it on to your children. If both of your parents passed the FH trait to you, your children will definitely have FH. Thats why its crucial to get children with a family history tested at an early age and begin cholesterol-reducing treatment for those with FH.
People with FH are usually not diagnosed until their 30s or 40s or later. Unfortunately, far too few are diagnosed as children. But early treatment can significantly impact a persons lifetime cardiovascular health by lowering their long-term exposure to high cholesterol levels, Martin advises. The treatment keeps their arteries healthier and prevents premature heart attacks and strokes.
Can High Cholesterol Cause A Stroke
Yes, if you have high cholesterol, youre at risk of stroke due to the excess cholesterol circulating in your blood, according to the AHA.
LDL builds up in your arteries, where it slows or blocks the flow of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your body, including your brain. As arteries narrow and stiffen, blood clots may form a blockage, which can cause a stroke if it travels to the brain.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and one of the main causes of disability, according to the American Stroke Association. But it can be mostly preventable keeping your cholesterol levels down is one way to cut your risk.
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What Is Dangerously High Cholesterol
You may be diagnosed with borderline-high or high cholesterol if your blood test results show:
- Total cholesterol higher than 200 milligrams per deciliter
- LDL cholesterol higher than 100 mg/dL
- Triglycerides over 150 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol lower than 40 mg/dL
But what do these numbers really mean for your health?
While having high cholesterol isnt something youll notice day to day, it does mean youre at risk for or may already have heart disease, the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States.
Want to know more? Here are answers to 11 frequently asked questions about high cholesterol.
Effects Of High Cholesterol
There are several ways high cholesterol can affect your body. About 75% of the cholesterol you need is made by the liver and the other 25% is from the food you eat. Too much in your systemparticularly LDLcan form fatty deposits, or plaques, in your blood vessels, explains Dr. Adeyemi. This is known as atherosclerosis. Complications of high cholesterol include:
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What Is The Least Amount Of Fat I Can Eat While On Keto
My blood sugars are not going down, although my oral monitor often has me at 0.1 . Typically 20-25 carbs, 120 g fat and 80 g protein. I am 71 years, old take no medications, moderately active, tried IF but dont think you can get all the macros I need in one meal. I would like to know the LEAST amount of fat I can consume and be healthy. I am a retired RN and all that fat makes me nervous. The only processed food I eat is keto bars. No sugar, flour or grains since October 4th. I want my blood sugars below 95 .
If you have excess body fat stores, you dont necessarily need fat energy from food, as long as you can live off your fat stores.
However, you do need some essential fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6. Its also wise to eat some fat every day to avoid getting gall stones.
Finally, eating too little fat might result in hunger and fatigue. But again, you dont necessarily NEED much.
Can I Live Long With High Cholesterol
Untreated or undertreated high cholesterol is associated with a lower life span due to the risk of heart attack and stroke, but its still possible to live a long life with high cholesterol, provided you follow a heart-healthy lifestyle and take medication if needed. According to a study published in April 2018 in the journal Circulation, a healthy lifestyle defined as not smoking, doing moderate exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and following a healthy diet was associated with an average of 14 more years of life for women and 12 for men.
Additional reporting by Erica Patino
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Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
- narrowing of the arteries
- transient ischaemic attack often known as a “mini stroke”
- peripheral arterial disease
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body.
Your risk of developing coronary heart disease also rises as your blood’s cholesterol level increases. This can cause pain in your chest or arm during stress or physical activity .
What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
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Does Stress Cause High Cholesterol
While stress is not a primary cause of high cholesterol, it may still have an effect on cholesterol levels. A study published in May 2017 in the journal Medicine found that in people who experienced stress due to work or personal conflict, higher stress was a risk factor for high cholesterol. And when you are feeling stressed and pressed for time, you may be less likely to follow heart-healthy lifestyle measures, such as eating a nutritious diet and getting exercise. The 2017 study found that regular physical exercise had a strong protective effect against cholesterol.
What Exactly Is Cholesterol
Everyone has cholesterol, a yellowy-white wax-like lipid thats in every cell of your body. Cholesterol keeps your cells and organs working properly. It also plays a major role in hormone, vitamin, and digestive fluid production.
Cholesterol comes from two sources 80 percent is naturally produced by your liver and intestines, and your diet accounts for the last 20 percent.
High cholesterol is a creeper condition it usually doesnt have any symptoms. It can go undetected until you have blood work or a serious health event like a stroke or heart attack.
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