Can Bad Cholesterol Levels Be Too Low Can Good Cholesterol Levels Be Too High
It isnt often that people have bad cholesterol that is too low or good cholesterol that is too high. There are studies being done that suggest that extremes of any kind are not healthy for everyone.
However, there is data from clinical trials to support that there is no evidence of harm when LDLs remain < 40mg/dl on statin therapy.
In some cases, genetic conditions can cause you to have very low cholesterol levels. In other cases, nutritional problems, some cancers, hypothyroidism and certain infections can also cause low cholesterol levels. In any of these types of situations, the underlying issues need to be addressed.
In terms of having too much of a good thing, researchers are studying the effects of too much HDL, the good cholesterol. No conclusions have been reached, but there have been studies into the possible relationship between high HDL and cancer, and a greater risk of heart attack among the high risk. Excessively high HDL may be dysfunctional HDL and not protective.
What Are The Symptoms Of 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
Abnormal Looking Toenails & Legs
If your legs and feet are not getting adequate blood flow the results may show in your toenails. Signs include thickening toenails or toenails that grow slower than normal.
Your skin may also change in appearance, becoming shiny and tight looking. If when you hold your leg up it appears white, but when you place it down it turns a purple/red color this indicates your body is diluting blood vessels in order to increase blood flow to your feet. Your feet may also turn pale or bluish when you sit for long periods because youre not getting proper blood circulation.
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How Quickly Can Cholesterol Levels Change
The Cholesterol Levels in the blood is not only affected by the daily diet, but also depends on the speed at which the body manufactures and eliminates LDL cholesterol, and heart disease is caused by the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood. The body can make the cholesterol the body needs without having to get extra from food.
There are reasons
for high and low cholesterol. Many factors determine whether your LDL cholesterol level is high or low, including:
There are genetic genes in the body that control the rate at which LDL cholesterol is manufactured and eliminated, thus affecting the level of LDL cholesterol. And familial hypercholesterolemia is a special hereditary high cholesterol condition, 1 in 500 people suffer from it, leading to the occurrence of early heart disease.
There are two substances in food, which will increase LDL cholesterol
- Saturated fat: A type of fat mainly derived from animals.
- Cholesterol: It also comes from animal food.
Eating too many foods containing saturated fat and cholesterol is the main reason for high cholesterol and high heart disease rate because saturated fat can increase the level of Low cholesterol more than any other food. Therefore, reducing the consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods is very important to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Regular exercise can lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Age and gender
Tingles In Your Hands And Feet
A sort of tingling sensation in your hands and your feet definitely isnt uncommon if youre dealing with too high cholesterol levels. Because of blocked blood vessels, the peripheral nerves in your feet and hands are also affected as theyre not getting enough oxygen and blood flow. This usually doesnt result in pain, but can induce a rather noticeable tingling sensation instead.
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Can High Cholesterol Cause Erectile Dysfunction
High cholesterol alone is not thought to cause erectile dysfunction , but plaque-clogged arteries can, because blood flow is essential to an erection, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Too much cholesterol may also affect the bodys ability to produce the hormone testosterone, as well as nitric oxide, which helps relax the penile tissue. Both of these factors can lead to ED as well.
The good news is that in older men with both high cholesterol and ED, taking statins medications used to treat high cholesterol is associated with a significant improvement in ED, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiologys 63rd Annual Scientific Session.
How Can Foods Help Lower Cholesterol
One way to help vegans keep their high cholesterol risk in check is by consuming enough vitamin B12. A vegan diet generally tends to be lower in absorbable vitamin B12 than other diets. Those with low B12 levels may also have a high homocysteine level, contributing to heart disease.
Using a diet to lower cholesterol from plants, consuming fruit, veggies, whole grains, peas, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds can help provide dietary fiber and unsaturated fat alternatives.
- Eating more dietary fiber helps to maintain lower cholesterol levels, as the fiber binds to the cholesterol in your digestive tract and takes them out of the body before they enter your blood system.
- Foods high in polyunsaturated fats not only replace saturated fat options but directly lower cholesterol levels.
- Any foods containing sterols and stanols, like margarine, directly block the body from absorbing cholesterol in the first place.
On top of the foods mentioned, these are a few fantastic options to give your cholesterol levels a healthy “boost”:
- Oats and barley
- Sterol and stanol fortified foods
- Fiber supplements
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Genetic Risk: Familial Hypercholesterolemia
You can have familial hypercholesterolemia if one or both of your parents carry a genetic mutation that helps control the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. In many cases, the mutation occurs in one of the following genes:
You have a 50% chance of inheriting the gene mutation that causes hereditary high cholesterol from each parent who carries it. This means that if one parent carries an affected gene, you have a 50% chance of developing familial hypercholesterolemia.
Roughly one in 200 Americans has familial hypercholesterolemia, but only 10% know it. When high cholesterol is inherited, it can cause severe problems at an earlier age. When familial hypercholesterolemia is untreated, women face a 30% chance of having a heart attack by age 60, and men have a 50% chance of having a heart attack by age 50.
If both parents carry the geneor have more than one gene mutation that could lead to the conditionyour chances of developing the condition are even higher. People who have genes from both parents need appropriate diagnosis and treatment to live a healthy life.
What Complications Are Possible If You Dont Treat High Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood
The main reason to treat high cholesterol is to prevent or treat coronary heart disease , also called coronary artery disease or CAD. CHD happens when heart is not able to get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well and kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. CHD usually refers to the large arteries, but there is also a condition called coronary microvascular disease that affects the small vessels and causes damage.
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Neck Pain And Headaches
Because high cholesterol leads to the blocking of arteries, theres a good chance that the blood flow to and from your head can be disturbed. The result is a sore neck and sudden headaches on an occasional basis, and you might even deal with some pain in your shoulders as well. A nagging headache in the back is a very good indication of excessive cholesterol levels according to doctors.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cholesterol Problems
A high level of cholesterol in the blood doesn’t have obvious symptoms, but it can increase your risk for conditions that do have symptoms, including angina , high blood pressure, stroke, and other circulatory ailments. Also:
- Soft, yellowish growths or lesions on the skin called xanthomas may suggest elevated levels of cholesterol.
- Many people who are obese or have diabetes also have high cholesterol.
- In men, impotence may be caused by arteries affected by too much blood cholesterol.
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How Long Can You Live With High Cholesterol
The longer you have high cholesterol, the more likely you are to develop heart disease. In one study, people who had high levels for 11 years or more had double the risk than those who had them for 10 years or less. Most people with high cholesterol dont have any warning signs.
The Forming Of A Grey Ring Around Your Cornea
This one is pretty tough to spot, so look closely. If you notice that theres a greyish ring around the cornea of your eye, that could be a pretty good indication of high cholesterol being built up in that area. The cornea covers the iris of the eye. Because the grey rings are common with older people, its only a reliable indicator of high cholesterol for people under 45.
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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
Treatment For High Cholesterol
Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.
You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.
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What Is Cholesterol And Why Is It Important
Cholesterol is a type of fat molecule found in the bloodstream. There are two primary sources of the cholesterol floating through the body we create most in our livers, and the rest comes from our diet, which is called dietary cholesterol.
Though we usually hear about cholesterol in the context of it being bad for us, cholesterol helps our bodies perform a number of essential functions, like cell division and vitamin and hormone synthesis.
Our livers make enough cholesterol to support our body function, so technically, scientists don’t consider it an essential nutrient we can physically survive and thrive without consuming any cholesterol at all. However, the diet would be pretty restrictive.
Some cholesterol in the blood is entirely normal. Still, when that level raises above the healthy range, it can increase your chances of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
What Causes High Cholesterol If I Eat Healthy Can It Be Genetic
If you eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise but still have high cholesterol, your DNA may be a bigger factor than your lifestyle. About 1 in 250 people in the United States live with familial hypercholesterolemia , a life-threatening inherited disorder that causes high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of people who have it dont know it, according to the FH Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in Pasadena, California. Screening for high cholesterol is the only way to identify people who have FH. Because of this, all children should have a cholesterol screening once between ages 9 and 11, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If your LDL is above 100, its already considered high. If its higher than 190, you may have FH, according to leading heart groups, such as the AHA, the American College of Cardiology, and the National Lipid Association. If a parent has FH, their child has a chance of having it, too. Finding out if you have FH and getting treated if you do is vital, because having FH means your risk of heart disease is 20 times higher than that of people who dont have inherited high cholesterol, according to the FH Foundation.
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Who Should 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
- are over the age of 40 people over 40 should have their estimate of CVD risk reviewed regularly
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease for example, if your father or brother developed heart disease or had a heart attack or stroke before the age of 55, or if your mother or sister had these conditions before the age of 65
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition, such as familial hypercholesterolaemia
- are overweight or obese
- have high blood pressure or diabetes
- have another medical condition, such as kidney disease, an underactive thyroid, or an inflamed pancreas these conditions can cause increased levels of cholesterol or triglycerides
What Are The Warning Signs Of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol typically doesnt have any symptoms until it is an emergency event. The only way to know if you have a high level of ldl cholesterol is through a blood test. Leaving cholesterol untreated can lead to the buildup of plaque over time, damaging the heart and putting you at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Keep an eye out for heart attack or early stroke symptoms like:
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Hdl Cholesterol Or Good Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol is sometimes called good cholesterol. It helps return LDL cholesterol to your liver to be removed from your body. This helps prevent cholesterol plaque from building up in your arteries.
When you have healthy levels of HDL cholesterol, it can help lower your risk of blood clots, heart disease, and stroke.
Do Plant Foods Contain Cholesterol
While a plant-based diet tends to maintain lower cholesterol levels than an omnivorous one, there are still plenty of vegan cholesterol sources to watch for, especially if you’re someone genetically prone to high cholesterol levels.
Read more about the plant sources of cholesterol below and how to quickly implement a lower cholesterol diet full of healthy and delicious plant-based foods.
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How Is High Cholesterol Treated
There are several ways to lower high blood cholesterol , including lifestyle changes or medication, or both. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine which therapy is best for you.
Healthcare providers like to start with the least invasive treatments when possible, such as lifestyle changes. Youll be advised to:
- Avoid tobacco. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking is bad for you in many ways, and reducing your level of good cholesterol is one of them.
- Change the way you eat. Limit the number of trans fats and saturated fat. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and whole grains. Limit red meat, sugary products and dairy products made with whole milk.
- Get more exercise. Try to get about 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or about 30 minutes per day for most days of the week.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider about safe ways to do this. Youll see results even before you reach your ideal weight. Losing even 10% of your body weight makes a difference in your cholesterol levels.
- Reduce the effect of negative emotions. Learn healthy ways to deal with anger, stress or other negative emotions.
- Control blood sugar and blood pressure. Make sure you follow your healthcare providers instructions for blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, and for keeping blood pressure in the healthy range.
- Atorvastatin .
- Simvastatin .
- Pitavastatin .
How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Level
The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It’s important to keep your diet low in fatty food.
You can swap food containing saturated fat for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. This will also help prevent high cholesterol returning.
If these measures don’t reduce your cholesterol and you continue to have a high risk of developing heart disease, your GP may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as statins.
Your GP will take into account the risk of any side effects from statins. The benefit of lowering your cholesterol must outweigh any risks.
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