How Is Cholesterol Measured
Most people with high cholesterol feel perfectly well and often have no symptoms. The best way to find out if your cholesterol is high is to have a blood test .;
Visit your GP to determine whether you need to lower your cholesterol level and what action to take.;
GPs can also do a heart health check, that calculates your heart disease and stroke risk.
Bloating And Digestive Issues
The main reason for increased;cholesterol levels;is overeating fatty and fried food affects our liver and produces bad cholesterol in the body. If you are facing high cholesterol, then you may feel bloated even after eating significantly less.;
Your stomach makes you feel heaviness and disinterest in appetite. The excess flow of lipid substance directly affects the metabolism and triggers the digestive system in your body, and you feel bloating and heaviness.;
If you are constantly feeling these issues, then you must go for a;lipid profile test.;;
How Is High Cholesterol Treated
If your child has an LDL cholesterol level of 130 mg/dL or higher, your doctor will talk to you about lifestyle changes or refer you to a dietitian. The goals are to:
- reduce fat and cholesterol in the diet
- increase exercise
- lose weight, if needed
Your doctor will probably do a cholesterol check again after 36 months of lifestyle changes.
Medicine might be considered for kids 10 and older whose LDL cholesterol is 190 mg/dL or higher if changes in diet and exercise haven’t worked. Kids with risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure or a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, may need treatment at lower LDL levels.
Also Check: Is Shrimp High In Cholesterol Mayo Clinic
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
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.
Don’t Miss: What Kind Of Cholesterol Is In Shrimp
How Quickly Does Cholesterol Levels Change
Cholesterol drops over time, not suddenly, after a few days of healthier living. There is no set period in which cholesterol is guaranteed to drop. Cholesterol-lowering drugs usually produce a change in LDL within 6 to 8 weeks. It is possible for lifestyle changes to change cholesterol levels within weeks.
How Can I Keep Healthy Blood Cholesterol Levels
Talk to your doctor about your numbers. Your risk of disease depends on other factors, too, in combination with high cholesterol. To keep your cholesterol managed, you should do the following:
- Choose healthy foods. Limit foods that are high in saturated or trans fats, sugar, and sodium . Choose foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and veggies, and in unsaturated fats, such as avocados and nuts. Learn more about healthy eatingexternal icon.
- Stay physically active.;You should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as biking or brisk walking, every week.6Learn more about physical activityexternal icon.
- Dont smoke. Smoking damages the blood vessels and greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. If you dont smoke, dont start. If you smoke, learn how to quit.
- Take medicine if necessary.;A healthy diet and physical activity can help many people reach healthy cholesterol levels, but some people may need medicines to lower their cholesterol. Always take your medicine as prescribed.
Learn more about ways to prevent high cholesterol.
Read Also: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Learn The Warning Signs Of Serious Complications And Have A Plan
High blood cholesterol can lead to serious cardiovascular complications, such as heart attack or stroke. If you think that you are or someone else is having the following symptoms,;Every minute matters.
Heart attack symptoms include mild or severe chest pain or discomfort in the center of the chest or upper abdomen that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. This discomfort can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, heartburn, or indigestion. There also may be pain down the left arm or in the neck. Although both men and women can experience these symptoms, women are more likely to have other, less typical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, unusual tiredness, and pain in the back, shoulders, or jaw. Read more about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and perform the following simple test.
FFace:;Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
AArms:;Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SSpeech:;Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
TTime:;If you observe any of these signs, . Early treatment is essential.
Read more about the;signs and symptoms of a stroke.
Who Is Most At Risk For Fh
Familial hypercholesterolemia can affect anyone whose family carries the genetic mutation. However, its found more frequently in those who are of French Canadian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Lebanese or Afrikaner descent. The biggest problem with FH is that more than 90% of people who have it havent been diagnosed, which means you should pay careful attention to your family history,;
Seth Martin, M.D., M.H.S.,;associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Advanced Lipid Disorders Center.
If people in your family have had heart attacks, needed stents or had bypass surgery earlier in life before age 55 in men and before 65 in women those are signals that theres something causing your family to be at higher risk for heart disease, he explains. It could be familial hypercholesterolemia.
Also Check: Can Keto Cause High Cholesterol
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.
Use Alcohol In Moderation
When used in moderation, the ethanol in alcoholic drinks increases HDL and reduces the risk of heart disease.
A study of 18 adult women found that drinking 24 grams of alcohol from white wine daily improved HDL by 5%, compared to drinking equal amounts of white grape juice .
Alcohol also improves reverse cholesterol transport, meaning cholesterol is removed from blood and vessel walls and taken back to the liver. This reduces the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease .
While moderate alcohol intake reduces heart disease risk, too much alcohol harms the liver and increases the risk of dependence. The recommended limit is two drinks daily for men and one for women .
12 drinks per day may improve HDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of clogged arteries. However, heavier alcohol use increases heart disease risk and harms the liver.
You May Like: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol
What Do I Need To Know Before Getting Screened
A cholesterol test is a simple blood test. Your doctor may tell you not to eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before the test. The results give you four measurements:1,3
- Total cholesterol.;Less than 200 mg/dL is considered normal.
- LDL cholesterol.;Less than 100 mg/dL is considered normal. LDL is sometimes called bad cholesterol, because it can build up and clog your arteries, eventually leading to heart disease or stroke.
- HDL cholesterol.;It is best to have more than 40 mg/dL. HDL is sometimes called good cholesterol, because it can help clear arteries of cholesterol buildup.
- Triglycerides.;This is a type of fat in the blood. Normal levels are typically below 150 mg/dL.
Medical History And Physical Exam
Your doctor will ask about your eating habits, physical activity, family history, medicines you are taking, and risk factors;for heart or blood vessel diseases.
During your physical exam, your doctor will check for signs of very high blood cholesterol, such as xanthomas, or signs of other health conditions that can cause high blood cholesterol.
Don’t Miss: Shrimp Cholesterol
Does Steroids Make Your Cholesterol High
Does steroids make your cholesterol high? Research shows that steroid treatment for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and connective-tissue disorders can cause elevations in total cholesterol, LDL-C, and serum TG , in some cases because of dosage.
Does cholesterol return to normal after steroids?;Lipid effects from anabolic steroid use are reversible. HDL-C and LDL-C were normalized 2.5 to 4 months after discontinuation of their usage.
Does prednisone make your cholesterol high?;Cholesterol and Lipid Levels
A persons cholesterol level may become elevated while on Prednisone. If your physician indicates a rise in your blood cholesterol, you may need to limit fat in your diet.
What medications affect cholesterol test?;Drugs such as birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, steroids, and blood pressure medication such as beta-blockers and diuretics can raise cholesterol levels and affect cholesterol test results.
Triglycerides A Different Type Of Lipid
Triglycerides are another type of lipid. Theyre different from cholesterol. While your body uses cholesterol to build cells and certain hormones, it uses triglycerides as a source of energy.
When you eat more calories than your body can use right away, it converts those calories into triglycerides. It stores triglycerides in your fat cells. It also uses lipoproteins to circulate triglycerides through your bloodstream.
If you regularly eat more calories than your body can use, your triglyceride levels can get high. This may raise your risk of several health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
Your doctor can use a simple blood test to measure your triglyceride level, as well as your cholesterol levels. Learn how to get your triglyceride level tested.
You May Like: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol
What Are The Treatments For High Cholesterol
Your healthcare provider may recommend treating high cholesterol with lifestyle changes alone or in combination with medications to actively lower your cholesterol level. Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate physical exercise, and quitting smoking.
However, you may also need treatment with medications. Your doctor may order further blood tests to analyze specific inflammatory biomarkers and determine your individual need for cholesterol-lowering medication.
Medications used to treat high cholesterol include:
- Bile acid resins or sequestrants, such as cholestyramine and colesevelam , which help your body eliminate or remove cholesterol from the blood
- Ezetimibe , which prevents the absorption of cholesterol from the foods you eat
- Fibrates or fibric acid derivatives, such as fenofibrate and gemfibrozil , which help reduce triglycerides and increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein in your blood
- Niacin or nicotinic acid , which helps your body increase HDL levels while decreasing the amount of low-density lipoprotein levels and triglycerides in your blood
- Statins, such as simvastatin and , which reduce the amount of cholesterol the liver produces
You can help control your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by following the treatment plan you and your healthcare provider design specifically for you
What Are Ldl And Hdl
LDL and HDL are two types of lipoproteins. They are a combination of fat and protein. The lipids need to be attached to the proteins so they can move through the blood. LDL and HDL have different purposes:
- LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
- HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body.
You May Like: Lobster And Cholesterol
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
Can You Cheat A Cholesterol Test
No one likes to get a failing grade on their cholesterol test, but even if you could cheat on your test by making last-minute changes you dont plan to sustain, you would only be cheating yourself. Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance in your body that travels through your bloodstream via lipoproteins.
Also Check: Is Tuna Good For High Cholesterol
Make The Changes Worth Making
If you have high blood cholesterol, making lifestyle changes is a great first step to lower your risk of heart disease. If those steps dont reduce your risk enough, your doctor may prescribe medications to help.
Remember: Making even modest changes now can help to prevent significant medical issues later. Do all you can to reduce your risk for the serious effects of heart attack and stroke.
Confirming Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels
A lipid panel usually measures total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. Your test may also show the level of non-HDL cholesterol, which includes LDL and all other types of bad cholesterol that raise your risk of atherosclerosisand complications.;
Your doctor may diagnose you with high blood cholesterol if your total or non-HDL cholesterol level is higher than what is healthy for you. Your doctor might also find that your level of good HDL cholesterol is too low.
Your doctor may ask that you fast before a lipid panel. This means you do not eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before your blood is drawn. Ask you whether you should take your usual medicines before the test and if there are any other special instructions.
Your doctor may order other tests to help decide whether medicines are needed to lower your risk of heart and blood vessel diseases. These may include a coronary calcium scan, and blood tests for levels of C-reactive protein and lipoprotein-a.
You May Like: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol
How To Lower Cholesterol: Low
Low-carbohydrate diets may help improve HDL cholesterol levels. The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found while both low-fat and low-carb dieters lost weight over the two-year study period, low-carb dieters also improved their HDL cholesterol levels. The problem with low-carb diets is that they may be difficult to adhere to. Consult your doctor about the best healthy eating plan to manage your cholesterol.
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.
Read Also: Are Potatoes Bad For Cholesterol
Complimentary Cme/moc From The Thi Women’s Center
Heart and vascular disease remain the leading contributor to morbidity and mortality among both women and men. While the decrease in mortality among women is well documented, the decline still lags behind that of men, with an alarming tendency towards an increased mortality rate among younger women.
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.
You May Like: Does Tuna Contain Cholesterol