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Does High Cholesterol Cause Stroke

High Cholesterol And Stroke: How Are They Related

Cholesterol Rx and Stroke: The Effects on Older Patients

Kayla Covert, PT, DPT Flint Rehab

Can high cholesterol cause a stroke? Generally speaking, yes high cholesterol is one of the leading causes of stroke. However, not all cholesterol is bad. In fact, the body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to function optimally.

To help you understand the link between high cholesterol and stroke, this article will discuss how cholesterol affects stroke risk as well as effective ways to manage cholesterol.

Treating High Cholesterol And Thyroid Disease

The good news is, treating thyroid disease may improve your cholesterol levels. Doctors treat hypothyroidism with thyroid replacement hormone medications. Thereâs no cure for hypothyroidism. Thatâs why improving your cholesterol levels doesnât improve your thyroid hormone levels. Experts recommend that adults whoâve been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels get tested for an underactive thyroid.

If youâre being treated for an underactive thyroid, your doctor will monitor your cholesterol levels. Some people with hypothyroidism may not lower their cholesterol levels enough with thyroid replacement hormones. If that happens to you, your doctor may recommend you take other measures, such as eating healthier, exercising regularly, and taking a cholesterol-lowering medication.

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Can Supplements Cause High Cholesterol

Yes. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. , and, are the most common types of cholesterol in the blood. The more cholesterol you have, the more likely you are to have high blood cholesterol. In addition, high levels of LDL cholesterol are also a major risk for cardiovascular disease . The American Heart Association recommends that people with high LDL cholesterol should avoid eating foods high in saturated fat, such as butter, margarine, cheese, or other processed foods. This is because saturated fats are known to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Obesity Unhealthy Diet And Physical Inactivity

People who are overweight or have obesity, compared to those at a normal weight, are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke and their risk factors, including high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes. In the United States, 72% of adults are overweight or have obesity.

Having a healthy diet can reduce a persons chances of getting heart disease. A healthy diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and limits saturated and trans fat, added sugars, and sodium. Not getting enough physical activity can also lead to heart diseaseeven for people who have no other risk factors. It can also increase the chance of other risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Only 1 in 4 US adults and 1 in 5 high school students gets enough physical activity.

CDCs Response

CDCs Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity develops and shares evidence-based approaches that help make healthy living easier for everyone, which can help people reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. For example, the division works with hospitals to support breastfeeding moms, child care centers to promote healthy eating standards, and workplaces to change policies so that employees have more healthy food choices.

Where Does Cholesterol Come From

High Cholesterol and Stroke Risk

Cholesterol is a very important molecule. Lipids, also called lipoproteins transport energy from the gut to the liver and other body tissues. Cholesterol is used by the body as a building block for hormones like testosterone and estrogen. It is also used as a supporting structural element in cell walls. When cholesterol is too low, anemia, testosterone deficiency, and irregular periods can occur.

Cholesterol is produced in the liver and in other tissues and is also absorbed in the gut. Both production and absorption can be influenced by genetics. Liver production can be influenced by weight gain or weight loss or by statin drugs, which block liver cholesterol production.

Dietary cholesterol sources like red meat and eggs influence how much cholesterol is absorbed in the gut. Oatmeal works like a sponge, holding cholesterol in the gut, taking it through the system, thereby decreasing gut absorption. Some medications also block absorption.

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Cholesterol And Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is when a man canât achieve or maintain an erection during sex. Over the long term, high cholesterol seems to trigger a narrowing of the smaller blood vessels of the penis when they should be stretching to allow more blood for an erection . In addition, when you have too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in arteries and then join with other substances to form plaque that hardens and narrows further blood vessels . The result can be less blood flow to both the heart and the penis, which can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Family History And Other Characteristics That Increase Risk For Stroke

Family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments that can influence their health and their risk for disease. Stroke risk can be higher in some families than in others, and your chances of having a stroke can go up or down depending on your age, sex, and race or ethnicity.

The good news is you can take steps to prevent stroke. Work with your health care team to lower your risk for stroke.

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Good Vs Bad Cholesterol

Bad cholesterol, Low-density lipoproteins , can build up in your arteries and lead to health complications. Good cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins , returns your LDL cholesterol to the liver where the body can get rid of it. Your body needs a healthy balance of both good and bad cholesterol.

A diet high in fats increases LDL cholesterol in your blood. If LDL levels become too high or if you dont have enough HDL cholesterol to remove excess LDL, fatty deposits build up in your blood vessels. As a result, it makes it difficult for your body to pump adequate blood supply, creating potentially life-threatening problems impacting the heart or brain.

High cholesterol does not always cause symptoms in fact it typically begins with no symptoms at all. Thats why regular cholesterol screenings are so important regardless if you think you have high cholesterol or not.

What Things May Cause The Rise In Your Blood Cholesterol And Heart Disease

Stroke and Cholesterol
  • Trans fats

Trans fats are the types of fats that cause an increase in the level of LDL and a decrease in the level of HDL. Both of these changes are related to increased risk factors of heart disease. Trans fats are the kinds that offer no nutritional value to the body. It is partially hydrogenated oil that is the main source of trans fats. This kind of oil is mostly found in processed food. It is not safe to consume processed food continuously or every day. It is rather advisable to avoid the intake of PHO or trans fats in the form of processed food.

  • Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are the source of LDL meaning that they increase the level of LDL. This often causes you to meet or look for a Cardiologist in Chennai. Saturated fats are rich in the following types of food:

  • Pastries, donuts, cakes, and cookies
  • highly processed meat, red meat, fatty meat
  • fried foods
  • whole-fat dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese, and cream

The above-mentioned foods are rich in saturated foods. These types of food along with processed food contribute to weight gain and obesity. Being overweight can increase your cholesterol level or the level of LDL and thereby causing an increase in the risk of heart disease.

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How Do You Measure Cholesterol Levels

Your cholesterol levels are measured in a blood test conducted by your healthcare provider called a lipoprotein panel. This test gives you information on the different cholesterol levels in your body, such as:

  • Total cholesterol
  • Low-density lipoprotein, which is the main source of blockage in your arteries
  • High-density lipoprotein, which helps remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries
  • Triglycerides, another form of fat in your blood that can raise your risk for heart disease

The Work Of Weston Price: Its Enduring Value

Weston Price promoted two theories about the relationship of nutrition and oral health to degenerative disease, which have long been ignored but have more recently gained support. In his earlier career, Price conducted 25 years of research demonstrating the ability of oral pathogens to cause cardiovascular and other systemic diseases. His work focused primarily on the tendency of the root canal procedure to facilitate this process.45 In his classic work on nutrition, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, he connected nutritional status during development to deformities of the oral palate as well as to the risk of tuberculosis. Price believed that developmental deformities of the chest cavityproduced by the same nutritional causes as the deformities of the oral palatemade a person more vulnerable to the tuberculosis bacterium. For these reasons, he placed a special emphasis on the importance of nutritional preparation for and support of pregnancy and lactationpractices he universally observed among the healthy indigenous groups he studied.2 Modern science is now rediscovering the links between vascular disease and oral health and fetal nutrition.

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Natural Remedies And Lowering Cholesterol

Its very important to talk to your health professional before using any:

  • supplements
  • natural remedies
  • or complementary therapies.

Sometimes they can do more harm than good. They may interact with any medication that youre taking, which can be dangerous. They can also make your medication less effective. Your doctor needs to know everything that you are taking to ensure that the combination is safe.

If youve been prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication, make sure you take it as directed by your doctor. This is one of the most effective ways to keep your cholesterol levels down.

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High Cholesterol and Stroke Risk

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Cholesterol And Coronary Heart Disease

The main risk from high cholesterol is coronary heart disease, which can lead to death from a heart attack. If your cholesterol level is too high, cholesterol can build up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, this buildup called plaque causes hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Arteries that feed the heart can narrow in certain areas and slow blood flow to part of the heart muscle. Or cholesterol plaques break off and float to smaller blood vessels and cause a partial or total blockage. Sometimes inflammatory cells might go to the broken plaque area and cause a narrowing there as well. Reduced blood flow can result in chest pain called angina, or in a heart attack if a blood vessel gets blocked completely.

Signs Of A Stroke Due To Atherosclerosis

Often, individuals with atherosclerosis do not experience any symptoms until the condition becomes severe. As a result, many people do not get diagnosed with atherosclerosis until after they have a stroke.

When a blood clot gets caught in a narrowed artery, the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the associated area of the brain gets cut off. As a result, individuals may experience early warning signs of stroke such as:

  • Paralysis/weakness on one side of the body
  • Confusion
  • Facial drooping
  • Vertigo

If you notice yourself or anyone around you experiencing any of these signs, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Timing plays an essential role in the treatment of a stroke. For example, a blood-thinning drug called tPA may be used to clear the blood clot and restore blood flow however, it is best used within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke. Timely treatment can help minimize damage to the brain and preserve as much function as possible.

However, when possible, its best to be proactive and manage atherosclerosis before a stroke happens. Up next, well discuss various ways atherosclerosis can be managed to help prevent a stroke altogether.

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A Convenient Choice Of Words

On February 20, 2007, Science Daily reported that researchers had shown total cholesterol levels to predict the risk of stroke in women. Women with the highest cholesterol levels, according to the article, had twice the risk of stroke as women with lower levels. The researchers claimed their findings underscored the importance of cholesterol levels as a risk factor for stroke, even if you have no history of heart disease and are otherwise healthy.8

The article left out one important fact: the study only looked at ischemic stroke.24 Did the women with high cholesterol levels have not only twice the risk of ischemic stroke but also half the risk of the much more dangerous and fatal hemorrhagic stroke? Was the incidence of total stroke any higher or lower in women with high cholesterol levels? We simply do not know the study did not address the question.

Whats The Research Behind This Recommendation

Teens, early 20s with high cholesterol at risk of having heart attack, stroke during middle age

There is moderately strong research behind this recommendation.

One study compared the effects of lowering LDL cholesterol to a low level versus a very low level . It showed that a very low level of LDL cholesterol is better for preventing another stroke. Over 3½ years, another stroke or heart attack occurred in 1 in 9 patients with low LDL cholesterol, versus 1 in 11 patients with very low LDL cholesterol. In this study, a third of patients needed additional medication on top of statins to lower LDL cholesterol to a very low level.

Another study looked at the combined results of 26 studies with 170,000 patients in total. There was a clear link between lowering LDL cholesterol and lowering the risk of stroke. On average, lowering LDL cholesterol by 1 mmol/L lowered the risk of stroke by 20%.

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Medical Professionals Treating Stroke

A person at high risk of stroke will have their condition managed by a team of medical professionals, which may include:

  • your doctor
  • geriatrician
  • neurologist
  • vascular surgeon
  • neurosurgeon .
  • Dietitians Association of Australia Tel. 1800 812 942
  • National Stroke Foundation StrokeLine Tel. 1800 787 653
  • – The Stroke Foundation – Get the information, tips & techniques to equip you in your stroke recovery.
  • Heart Foundation Heartline Tel. 1300 36 27 87
  • Quitline Tel. 13 7848

Responses To High Cholesterol Does Not Cause Stroke

  • George4 March 2011 at 12:44 pm#

    But will the health authorities and health insurance companies EVER accept that their dogma to eat a healthy diet is just plain wrong? I doubt it.

    Furthermore, I think it would take 20+ years for them to back away from the dogma because on a human level you need to wait until all the senior members have retired, or died, before they can change the institutional advice. In auditing as practiced by accountants, this is known as the self review threat where the same people review their previous work and as a result previous errors are either covered up, or simply not identified, or subject to saving face.

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    When Do You Need To See A Doctor For High Cholesterol

    Since there isnt a way to know if you have high cholesterol, its important to get regularly screened by your doctor.

    The National Lung, Heart, and Blood Institute recommends that a persons first cholesterol screening should be between the ages of 9 to 11 and then repeated every five years after that.

    For men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65, doctors recommend a test every one to two years. If you are over the age of 65, its recommended that you receive a cholesterol test annually.

    Atherosclerosis And Stroke: Key Points

    Recent Updates on Cholesterol Treatment

    Overall, atherosclerosis and stroke are closely related because excess plaque in the arteries can lead to an ischemic stroke.

    There are several ways to manage atherosclerosis before it leads to a stroke, like surgery and dietary interventions.

    If you or a loved one have atherosclerosis and worry that it may lead to a stroke, now is the time to talk to your doctor for recommendations to help prevent a stroke.

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    The Role Of Cholesterol

    Medications used to lower cholesterol levelsâin particular, the class of drugs known as statinsâhave been shown to lower the risk of having a stroke and may reduce the severity of a stroke, if one occurs. By reducing levels of LDL, statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs help prevent plaque formation, which prevents stroke and heart disease.

    In fact, statins have even been shown to reduce stroke risk in patients with normal cholesterol levels.

    Statins have several effects:

    • Help stabilize existing plaque deposits.
    • Help make plaques less fatty and more fibrous, making them more resistant to rupture.
    • Reduce inflammation and help prevent clots from forming.

    Large research studies have drawn clear ties between the use of statins and reduced stroke risk. One meta-analysis found that statin use reduces stroke risk by 21% and that every 10% reduction in LDL levels resulted in a 15.6% reduction in stroke risk.

    Studies of specific statins have shown even more striking results. Several studies have found that while statins offer a general reduction in stroke risk, the greatest benefit is seen in those who have not had a prior stroke. Though statins confer benefits to those who have already had at least one stroke or mini-stroke, the impact is weaker.

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