Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol can increase your levels of triglycerides. Along with LDL cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides raise your risk of heart disease.
Excess alcohol consumption also increases blood pressure and can lead to obesity both additional risk factors for heart disease.
To reduce the risk of heart disease and other risks from alcohol, limit your intake to no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 drinks per day.
Treatment For Chest Pain
If you have chest pain related to plaque buildup, we recommend lifestyle changes that can protect your heart, such as:
- Quitting smoking
- Losing weight if youre overweight or obese
- Becoming physically active
- Keeping your blood sugar in check if it is elevated
- Controlling your blood pressure if it is high
Lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk of having a heart attack.
We also may prescribe certain medications for chest pain, such as anticoagulants that help prevent blood clots. And for some patients, procedures such as angioplasty or bypass surgery can restore blood flow and reduce chest pain.
Physical Symptoms That Indicate High Cholesterol Levels:
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What You Should Worry About
Should you actually worry about cholesterol in food? The greater danger for everyone is in foods that are high in trans fats.
Those often appear on food labels as hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, he says. Those types of fats do tend to raise cholesterol and do tend to increase the risk of heart disease.
All in all, look for trans fat and saturated fat on labels at the grocery store. The American Heart Association recommends limiting dietary saturated fat intake and focusing more on eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean animal protein or plant protein sources.
What Happens To My Heart When I Have High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is in your cells and your blood. When you have high cholesterol, this waxy substance can build up into plaque and potentially cause damage in a few ways:
- The plaque narrows your arteries. Having narrow arteries means that your blood flow is limited throughout your body, including to vital organs like your heart and brain.
- The plaque can harden your arteries. This can also limit blood flow and make your heart work much harder, which can lead to heart disease.
- It can block your arteries. When a blood clot forms around a cracked part of the plaque, this can cause a heart attack or stroke.
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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.
Myth: I Would Be Able To Feel It If I Had High Cholesterol
Fact: High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too latewhen you have a heart attack or stroke. Thats why its so important to get your cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.1,2 Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.
Occasionally, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels.
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Does Alcohol Cause High Cholesterol
Drinking alcohol and increased cholesterol levels are essentially connected. According to a Japanese study conducted by the Japans Hyogo College of Medicine, even occasional heavy drinking can significantly boost the levels of blood cholesterol.
The study concluded that both occasional heavy drinkers and regular heavy drinkers have higher cholesterol, triglyceride, and overall blood-borne fat-related risks than nondrinkers.
So, does that mean you can drink in moderation? The answer is an emphatic No. Check this out.
Although 30 ml of alcohol consumption increase your HDL, it also simultaneously raises your triglyceride levels, thereby increasing your heart risk.
Again, the American heart association recommends that beginning to drink alcohol can increase the risk of addiction.
Secondly, alcoholism leads to a damaged liver, which then cannot metabolize the saturated fats from the diet and the cholesterol that the body produces. This leads to cholesterol buildup in the blood.
Can Natural Remedies Lower High Cholesterol Without Statins
Exercise on its own doesnt lower your LDL much often only a few points. Exercise helps minimize many heart disease risk factors, including obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Make a point to exercise five days a week for at least 30 minutes each day.Diet is incredibly important in managing your cholesterol.Every patient who comes to our preventive cardiology clinic for cholesterol management sees a nutritionist as part of the visit because we feel so strongly about the importance of diet. There are many patients for whom weve delayed prescribing statins, or suggested that they get off their medication if it isnt appropriate for their level of risk.Some patients think, Im on a statin I dont have to exercise, and I can eat whatever I want! But thats not the case. Lifestyle choices absolutely matter. For high-risk patients, its not a question of either improving the diet or getting on a medication, its both lifestyle changes and taking a statin together are necessary to protect high-risk patients against heart attack and stroke.If your cholesterol is borderline but not yet high, changing your diet and incorporating healthier food choices can help lower your cholesterol a decent amount. Eating more fiber and lowering your intake of saturated fat definitely can help. For people with relatively low risk, this may be enough to lower heart attack and stroke risk.
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Cholesterol And Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is when a man canÃ¢t 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.
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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When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
- are overweight
Learn More About Chest Pain
If you have questions about chest pain or any other health concerns for you or your family, contact the expert team at Calvary Medical Clinic. Were happy to help you understand whats causing your chest pain, how to reduce your pain, and how to protect your heart. for an appointment, or request a consultation using the convenient online booking tool.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Naturally
For many people, revamping everyday habits can go a long way toward lowering cholesterol without medication. There are a number of lifestyle changes that can be made, and they fall under the categories of diet and exercise, says Dr. Khandwalla.
Eating heart-healthy foods is a great place to start. This means reducing your intake of red meat and full-fat dairy products, both of which contain saturated fats that raise cholesterol. Instead, focus on eating lean proteins chicken, turkey, seafood and adding more soluble fiber to your diet from fruits, vegetables, and oatmeal, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute . Getting aerobic exercise most days of the week can also help lower cholesterol.
How To Know If You Have High Cholesterol
High cholesterol does not indicate significant and noticeable symptoms but has profound long-term health implications. Due to that reason, the only best way to establish if you have high levels is through a blood test.
Extremely high levels can manifest as fatty growths under the skin , or ring-like deposits around the outer part of the cornea, or a colored part of the eye .
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What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy type of fat produced by the liver that is essential to the digestion of food and also used in the production of certain hormones and vitamin D. However, when certain cholesterol levels are high, they can adversely affect blood circulation and contribute to the onset of heart disease.
There are two main types of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, this is the type of cholesterol that can accumulate on the walls of arteries, causing plaques that narrow and harden blood vessels and increase blood pressure.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Often referred to as “good” cholesterol, this is the type that transports cholesterol from the rest of your body to the liver so that it can be removed from the body.
In the broadest sense, high cholesterol can be described as having too much LDL cholesterol and not enough HDL cholesterol.
There is another form of LDL, called very low-density cholesterol, that is responsible for transporting triglycerides through the body. Triglycerides are another type of lipid that, when elevated, can increase the risk of heart disease.
Good Cholesterol Bad Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in all of your bodys cells. Your body uses cholesterol for various important jobs, such as manufacturing hormones and vitamin D and help you digest foods.
Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. You also get cholesterol from animal foods such as eggs, meat, and dairy products.
There are several kinds of cholesterol. The bad types include low-density lipoprotein and very-low-density lipoprotein , which carries triglycerides. These are referred to as bad because they lead to the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
Another type of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein is considered good because it helps remove cholesterol from your body.
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Cholesterol Health: Signs Your Levels May Be Out Of Balance
The word cholesterol has a bad reputation since its typically associated with heart disease, yet our body actually needs a certain level of cholesterol to function properly. Cholesterol helps your body make Vitamin D, which is needed to absorb calcium, and is vital in producing hormones. Cholesterol also plays a role digesting food. However, if cholesterol levels are out of balance, your body can suffer.
Cholesterol levels that are too high can lead to heart disease and stroke, while levels that are too low have been associated with mental health concerns. Levels that are either too high or too low are considered a cholesterol disorder.
How do you know if your cholesterol is too high or too low? In many cases there are no obvious signs that cholesterol levels are out of balance, so the most reliable indicator is a blood test. If cholesterol has been out of balance over a period of time, there may be a few indicators.
What High Cholesterol Means And Possible Causes
High cholesterol means that your body has too much cholesterol in the blood. It is a multifactorial condition hence it can result from various things. The leading causes include
- Genetic issues/ familial hypercholesterolemia
- Lifestyle factors like eating diets with too much-saturated fat and trans fats, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and lack of physical activity.
- Certain drugs and medical conditions
- Insufficient sleep
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Living With High Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. That is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Reducing your LDL bad cholesterol through good diet, exercise, and medicine can make a positive impact on your overall health.
Know The Warning Signs Of Heart Attack
Chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack. Call 911 if you feel any of the following:
- Pain, pressure, squeezing, or fullness in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back
- Pain or discomfort in one or both of your arms, your back, your neck, your jaw, or your stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness
Dont ignore any of these signs of a heart attack. Quick action could save your life.
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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.
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 bloods cholesterol level increases. This can cause pain in your chest or arm during stress or physical activity .
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What You Dont Know Can Hurt You
One of the things thats most dangerous about having high cholesterol is that youre unlikely to know it without a blood test. That means you could be living with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke and have no idea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends having your cholesterol checked at least every five years. If your total cholesterol reaches over 200 mg/dL, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes or more frequent screenings.
What Causes High Cholesterol
Your liver produces cholesterol, but you also get cholesterol from food. Eating too many foods that are high in fat can increase your cholesterol level.
Being overweight and inactive also causes high cholesterol. If you are overweight, you most likely have a higher level of triglycerides. If you never exercise and arent active in general, it can lower your HDL .
You family history also affects your cholesterol level. Research has shown that high cholesterol tends to run in families. If you have an immediate family member who has it, you could have it, too.
Smoking also causes high cholesterol. It lowers your HDL .
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Numbness In The Body Parts
If you are constantly experiencing numbness in your body parts, then high cholesterol can be responsible for that. However, other causes can also be responsible for numbness and swelling.
When bad cholesterol appears high in your body, it affects blood circulation and prevents healthy nutrients from reaching the body. The lack of proper oxygen is also a cause of swelling and unusual numbness.