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Does High Cholesterol Cause Weight Gain

High Cholesterol And Obesity

Truth About High Cholesterol, Liver Function and Weight Gain with Dr. Rob

Understanding why some people have high cholesterol and some do not has a lot to do with the interplay of your genes coupled with your environment. Your genes and your environmentin this case, what you eat and how much you exercisecombine to form a baseline risk for developing high cholesterol. If you eat a diet that is high in fat, like high-fat meats, fried foods and high-fat cheeses, you are increasing your risk of both obesity and high cholesterol.

What Is High Ldl

Cholesterol itself is a necessary substance in the body. Its manufactured in your liver and it can be present in certain foods, especially meats, eggs, and dairy. LDL is a lipoproteina substance that conveys cholesterol to cells, aiding in maintaining cell structure, and serving as a precursor for substances vital to human function. Everyone has some amount of this lipoprotein, but problems arise when these are elevated.

When there is an excess of LDL, plaques build up in the arteries, causing atherosclerosis and reducing blood flow. When your hearts arteries are affected, insufficient oxygen levels damage cardiac muscles and cause CAD, angina , and even heart attack. Further, arteries in other parts of the body can also be affected, leading to peripheral artery disease and stroke.

Causes Of High Cholesterol

Genetically inherited cholesterol is called familial hypercholesterolemia. Other factors may include, poor diet, age factor, lack of exercise, diabetes, smoking, etc.


People of any age group with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease are prone to high cholesterol.


Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide which can increase the deposit of cholesterol within the arteries, making them hard. This makes the heart prone to heart diseases.


Excess body weight may increase LDL cholesterol and reduce HDL cholesterol.

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Misconception: Only Men Need To Worry About Cholesterol

Both men and women tend to see higher triglyceride and cholesterol levels as they get older. Although atherosclerosis typically occurs later in women than men, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in women. Weight gain also contributes to higher levels.

Premenopausal women may have some protection from high LDL levels of cholesterol, compared to men. Thats because the female hormone estrogen is highest during the childbearing years and it tends to raise HDL cholesterol levels. This may help explain why premenopausal women are usually protected from developing heart disease.

But cholesterol levels can still rise in postmenopausal women, despite a heart-healthy diet and regular physical activity. So women nearing menopause should have their cholesterol levels checked and talk with their doctor about their risk factors and treatment options.

At one time, it was thought that hormone replacement therapy might lower a womans risk of heart disease and stroke. But studies have shown that HRT doesn’t reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in postmenopausal women. The American Heart Association doesn’t endorse HRT as a means to lower cardiovascular risks.

Doctors should consider women-specific conditions, such as premature menopause and pregnancy-associated conditions, when discussing their cholesterol levels and potential treatment options.

Cholesterol And Weight Gain


Having excess body weight can be a risk factor because it can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels. Eating a lot of saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels significantly. High cholesterol and obesity have been linked to cardiovascular conditions as well. The liver produces cholesterol, which our body needs to function properly, but certain foods also contain cholesterol so eating these foods can cause an imbalance in cholesterol levels in our body.

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Alternatives For High Cholesterol

Pravastatin is far from the only cholesterol drug available. There’s a long list of other medications that your doctor may prescribe, including other statins, such as the popular drug Lipitor. Drugs called bile acid binding resins, including cholestyramine and colesevelam , can work to decrease LDL levels, too, according to the Mayo Clinic, as can the cholesterol absorption inhibitor drug ezetimibe and various combinations of these drugs.

Potential side effects differ across the different categories of cholesterol drugs, making it important to read all the packaging information carefully and talk to your doctor about potential interactions.

Too Much Cholesterol In The Blood Directly Affects The Heart And May Result In An Increase In Cardiac

Mumbai: Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the normal functioning of the body. While good cholesterol have long known to be beneficial, its excess can also raise your risk of death, researchers claim. Once too much of cholesterol start to accumulate in our body, it becomes a breeding ground for physiology disorders. Too much cholesterol in the blood directly affects the heart and may result in an increase in cardiac-related illnesses. Increasing cholesterol also increases the risk of heart attack.

Here are some of the symptoms which indicate cholesterol increase in the body:

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How Can A High Ldl Level Raise My Risk Of Coronary Artery Disease And Other Diseases

If you have a high LDL level, this means that you have too much LDL cholesterol in your blood. This extra LDL, along with other substances, forms plaque. The plaque builds up in your arteries this is a condition called atherosclerosis.

Coronary artery disease happens when the plaque buildup is in the arteries of your heart. It causes the arteries to become hardened and narrowed, which slows down or blocks the blood flow to your heart. Since your blood carries oxygen to your heart, this means that your heart may not be able to get enough oxygen. This can cause angina , or if the blood flow is completely blocked, a heart attack.

How Much Weight To Lose To Lower Your Cholesterol

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Losing as little as 10 pounds can be enough to improve your cholesterol levels.

In one study, people who lost at least 5% of their weight significantly reduced their levels of LDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. But people who lost less than 5% of their weight only had lower levels of triglycerides.

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Misconception: With Medications No Lifestyle Changes Are Needed

Medications can help control cholesterol levels, but making diet and lifestyle changes are the best way to reduce heart disease and stroke risk. To lower your cholesterol, eat a heart-healthy diet and get at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise a week.

Its also important to take your medication exactly as your doctor has instructed.

Learn more about cholesterol medications.

What Is High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is when there’s too much bad cholesterol and/or not enough good cholesterol in your blood.

This picture shows what it looks like if you have low cholesterol, normal cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels.

Sometimes health professionals talk about the terms dyslipidaemia and hyperlipidaemia. Both are clinical terms that mean your levels of cholesterol are outside the normal range.

Symptoms of high cholesterol

You won’t know if you have high cholesterol because it doesn’t usually have symptoms. The only way to know is to have a blood test.

Why does high cholesterol matter?

When your cholesterol is too high it can build up as plaque in your arteries. If the plaque gets too big, or breaks off, it can cause a heart attack and stroke. This risk also increases when your triglycerides are too high.

Your doctor will use the results of your blood test and your other heart attack risk factors to decide whether you need medication to lower your cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

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Everyone Responds To Dietary Cholesterol The Same Way

Although some genetic and metabolic factors may warrant following a diet lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, for the majority of the population, saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods can be included as part of a healthy diet.

About two-thirds of the population has minimal to no response to even large amounts of dietary cholesterol and are known as compensators or hypo-responders.

Alternatively, a small percentage of the population is considered hyper-responders or noncompensators, as they are sensitive to dietary cholesterol and experience much larger increases in blood cholesterol after eating cholesterol-rich foods .

However, research shows that, even in hyper-responders, the LDL-to-HDL ratio is maintained after cholesterol intake, meaning that dietary cholesterol is unlikely to lead to changes in blood lipid levels that increase the risk of heart disease progression .

This is due to adaptations that take place in the body, including enhancement of certain cholesterol removal pathways, to excrete excess cholesterol and maintain healthy blood lipid levels.

Even so, some research has shown that people with familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that may increase heart disease risk, have a reduced capacity to remove excess cholesterol from the body .


Not everyone responds to dietary cholesterol in the same way. Genetics play an important role in how your body responds to cholesterol-rich foods.

Is It A Good Idea To Take Cholesterol Medication

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The majority of cholesterol medications lower cholesterol with few side effects, but effectiveness varies from person to person. In addition to following a healthy diet and getting enough exercise, you should also take cholesterol medication. Together, these two factors can reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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Higher Weight Gain With Taf

When used by people who are HIV-negative for PrEP, Descovy may cause a small amount of weight gainor at least may not prevent normal weight gain as happens with Truvada. This is the case for cisgender men and possibly trans women .

On average, cis men and trans women who participated in the DISCOVER study of Descovy for PrEP gained 1 kg after taking medication for 48 weeks. People taking Truvada lost a small amount of weight at weeks 12 and 24, and then returned to baseline weight at weeks 36 and 48.

In themetabolic sub-study of the iPrEx study, cis men and trans women taking Truvada for PrEP experienced weight loss after 24 weeks, with weight increases at later visits similar to that of placebo. The average total weight loss among people taking Truvada compared to people taking placebo was -0.8% at week 24. By week 96, the median weight of people taking Truvada was not significantly different from placebo.

Modest weight gain is expected in people during adulthood. Because people taking Truvada decreased their weight by -0.1% at week 24 in the iPrEx study, and showed less weight gain than people taking placebo at weeks 48 and 72, Truvada may initially prevent normal weight gain but, according to this study, this effect may fade with long-term use.

Mean change in weight to Week 96: men

How Do I Know What My Ldl Level Is

A blood test can measure your cholesterol levels, including LDL. When and how often you should get this test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:

For people who are age 19 or younger:

  • The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
  • Children should have the test again every 5 years
  • Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke

For people who are age 20 or older:

  • Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
  • Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years

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Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol

Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:

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 .

Do You Lose Weight When Taking Statins

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Statins users consumed fewer calories and fewer fat than non-users in 1999-2000, but their calorie consumption and fat consumption increased after 2000 and surpassed those of people who did not take them. In the study, Statin non-users showed stable eating patterns that did not change much over time.

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Why Your Doctor May Miss This Connection

You would probably like to think that your doctor is the best and that they are infallible but you’d be wrong on both accounts .

Why is it that doctors miss this important connection between low thyroid and high cholesterol?

Well, there are a couple of reasons:

#1. They are trained to only test for the TSH.

The first big problem is how doctors diagnose thyroid conditions.

All doctors are trained to look only at the TSH test as a means to determine whether your thyroid is working or not.

If the TSH test is normal then you are said to have a normal thyroid.

There’s one big problem with this:

Focusing only on the TSH means you will miss PLENTY of patients who actually have thyroid problems but have a normal TSH.

Important patients who fall into this group are those women who have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis .

#2. They have become desensitized to high cholesterol because “everyone” has it.

Another big reason is just the fact that almost everyone nowadays has high cholesterol.

If you go back in time 20 or 30 years ago, high cholesterol wasn’t nearly as common as it is now.

But with obesity rates skyrocketing, with hormone imbalances running rampant , and insulin resistance rates soaring, it’s uncommon to find someone with NORMAL cholesterol.

Unsurprisingly, this leads many doctors to just automatically assume that high cholesterol in any patient is probably from a poor diet or from obesity without ever testing or giving thought to the thyroid.

But you’d be wrong…

Other Causes Of High Cholesterol

People are often surprised to find out they have high cholesterol or triglycerides in their blood.High levels of blood fats which include cholesterol and triglycerides can have many causes. These include your lifestyle, genes, age, gender and ethnic background and these can all add up. Here you can take a look at some of the lesser-known causes, which include other health problems and certain medicines. Doctors might call these ‘secondary causes’ of high cholesterol.

Learn about changing your lifestyle to help lower your cholesterol

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Misconception: Using Margarine Instead Of Butter Will Help Lower Cholesterol

Butter is high in saturated fat and has some trans fat raising LDL cholesterol and contributing to atherosclerosis. But many hard margarines also have a high amount of saturated and trans fat.

The healthiest choice is a liquid or soft tub margarine. These are made with vegetable oils. They have less partially hydrogenated fat and saturated fat than solid spreads such as hard stick margarine and butter. Look for margarines that say 0 g trans fat on the Nutrition Facts label.

Switching from butter to soft margarine is a good step. But by itself, it probably wont reduce your cholesterol to healthy levels.

Exercise To Build Muscle

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Dont stop exercising just because youre trying to gain weight. But, instead of burning as many calories as possible, focus on building muscle and strength. Using weights or other forms of resistance training can help.

Include moderate amounts of resistance training, remembering not to aim for high-calorie output, says Dr. Collings.

If you still have trouble gaining weight, or if your cholesterol starts to rise, talk to your doctor. A registered nutritionist can also help create an eating plan that works for you, and a fitness trainer might be helpful for designing an exercise program to help you safely and effectively build muscle mass.

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Signs Your Thyroid Is Making You Gain Weight

Going up a couple of pant sizes could be caused by any of these ‘healthy’ habits secretly behind your weight gain, but it’s also one of the top symptoms of hypothyroidism. Also called an underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism is a condition in which your metabolism-running thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones to meet your body’s needs.

Hypothyroidism is more common than you would believe the metabolic disease affects 4.6 percent of the U.S. population and millions of people are currently hypothyroid and don’t know it.

There are over a dozen common symptoms of hypothyroidism, and weight gain is one of the most prevalent.

“Patients with hypothyroidism will have a generalized slowing of their metabolism and reduction in their basal metabolic rate ,” explains Dr. Reshmi Srinath, assistant professor of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Bone Diseases at Mount Sinai.

“This can lead to changes in the way their body expends energy. With a lower metabolic rate, people may gain excess weight eating a similar diet. Some of this may be excess fat, but there may also be fluid retention.” So, even if you’re diligently dieting and working out, you may still gain weight if you have hypothyroidism.

Lack Of Physical Activity

Certainly related to the above, insufficient physical activity can also drive LDL higher. The good news, however, is that even modest increases in the amount of exercise you get can help a great deal. Ideally, doctors may want you getting up to 90 minutes a day of physical activity however, even 30 to 45 minutes regularly can be helpful.

At bare minimum, the surgeon general recommends that adults get 2.5 hours of moderate exercise every week. This can include:

  • Biking
  • Swimming

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Sneaky Causes Of High Cholesterol

If youre doing all you can to lower your cholesterol, but your numbers are still high, know that youre not alone. Here are some of the most common reasons.

1. You have a genetic risk of high cholesterol. If youre someone who has a relatively healthy lifestyle and your cholesterol levels are high if you have an LDL greater than 160 you probably have some genetic component that leads to high cholesterol, says Raj Khandwalla, MD, cardiologist and director of digital therapeutics at Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited condition that leads to cholesterol accumulating in the bloodstream, according to the FH Foundation.

Once you receive a diagnosis of high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a statin, a type of medication that blocks a substance your body uses to make cholesterol. Statins help lower LDL cholesterol, which reduces the risk of stroke or death from a heart attack, Dr. Khandwalla says.

2. Youre following a trendy diet. Khandwalla emphasizes that people who have high cholesterol should avoid the keto diet, a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet touted for weight loss. The most effective diets to lower cholesterol are a plant-based diet or vegan diet in which you decrease your dietary intake of cholesterol, says Khandwalla. If you still want to include meat in your diet, stick to lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, and fish.


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