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How Do You Know If Your Cholesterol Is High

Reduce Your Intake Of Saturated And Trans Fats

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Adopt and follow a healthy diet thats low in saturated and trans fats. A diet high in these fats can raise levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.

Saturated fat is usually solid at room temperature. Its found in animal products such as meat and dairy, but also in palm oil, coconut oil and full-cream milk. Read more about saturated fat-rich foods here.

Trans fats are found in store-bought baked goods, snack foods and deep-fried foods. There is strong evidence that trans fats increase levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, while decreasing levels of HDL cholesterol.

Some foods contain cholesterol . Foods that contain cholesterol include liver, pate, kidneys, prawns and egg yolks. These types of food are not usually eaten in large quantities, so its OK to include them in your diet in small amounts.

Foods that contain saturated fats have a greater effect on blood cholesterol levels than foods that contain dietary cholesterol.

Home Remedies To Lower Cholesterol Naturally

In some cases, you may be able to lower your cholesterol levels without taking medications. For example, it may be enough to eat a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking tobacco products.

Some people also claim that certain herbal and nutritional supplements may help lower cholesterol levels. For instance, claims have been made about:

However, the level of evidence supporting these claims varies. Also, the Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved any of these products for treating high cholesterol. More research is needed to learn if they can help treat this condition.

Always talk with your doctor before taking any herbal or nutritional supplements. In some cases, they might interact with other medications youre taking.

You cant control the genetic risk factors for high cholesterol. However, lifestyle factors can be managed.

To lower your risk of developing high cholesterol:

  • Eat a nutritious diet thats low in cholesterol and animal fats, and high in fiber.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • E.xercise regularly.
  • Avoid smoking.

Follow your doctors recommendations for routine cholesterol screening. If youre at risk of high cholesterol or coronary heart disease, they will likely encourage you to get your cholesterol levels tested on a regular basis.

Can You Treat High Cholesterol

With proper treatment and diet and lifestyle changes you can get your cholesterol back to a healthy level. On the other hand, if high cholesterol remains untreated you could develop coronary artery disease , peripheral arterial disease and/or suffer a heart attack, stroke or transient ischemic attack . There are many secondary issues that can arise from high cholesterol, such as PAD. 20% of people with PAD suffer a nonfatal heart attack within 5 years.

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How And When To Have Your Cholesterol Checked

Getting your cholesterol levels checked is an important part of staying healthy. High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States.

Knowing your cholesterol status can help you stay in control of your health. Learn about cholesterol screening and why it is important.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body needs to make hormones and digest fats. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but you can also get cholesterol from eating certain foods, such as egg yolks and fatty meats. Having high blood cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. High blood cholesterol doesnt have symptoms, which is why getting your cholesterol levels checked is so important.

Learn more about cholesterol screenings.

You should get your cholesterol checked at least every 5 years. If you have cardiovascular risk factors, talk with your health care team about getting tested more often.

Recognizing Signs And Symptoms

Fun with Risk Factors: High Cholesterol
  • 1Look out for yellow patches around the skin of your eyelids.XResearch source These are called “xanthelasma palpebrarum.” They may be associated with a certain type of high cholesterol called familial hypercholesterolemia .
  • These yellow patches which may or may not be raised off the skin.
  • They tend to be located above or below the eye, and often in both locations.
  • They are a sign of cholesterol deposition under the skin.
  • Note, however, that this only occurs in certain high cholesterol syndromes, and that the majority of cases of high cholesterol present with no signs or symptoms at all.
  • 2Look for yellowish deposits in your tendons.XResearch source These are called “xanthomata,” and they occur particularly in the tendons of the fingers. If they occur in the palm, knees, and/or elbows, they may be associated with Type III hyperlipidemia.
  • These often appear as bumps over the knuckles in your hands.
  • There are often many of them present, and in more than one area at once.
  • Again, this only occurs in certain high cholesterol syndromes, and the majority of cases of high cholesterol present with no signs or symptoms.
  • Therefore, even if you have no signs or symptoms, it is advisable to ask your doctor to screen your cholesterol levels at least every five years with a simple blood test .
  • Eating an unhealthy diet high in fat and sugar
  • Having a large waist circumference
  • Being overweight or obese
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    Why Do I Need A Cholesterol Test

    Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance. Your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs. But you take in more cholesterol from certain foods, such as those from animals. If you have too much cholesterol in your body, it can build up in the walls of your arteries and eventually harden. This process, called atherosclerosis, actually narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to travel through the vessels.

    Unfortunately, high cholesterol doesn’t cause symptoms. In later stages of atherosclerosis, though, you may suffer angina — severe chest pain from lack of blood flow to the heart. If an artery gets totally blocked, a heart attack results. A routine blood cholesterol test is a far better way of finding out what your cholesterol level is.

    Symptoms Of High Cholesterol

    Often, there are no specific symptoms of high cholesterol. You could have high cholesterol and not know it.

    If you have high cholesterol, your body may store the extra cholesterol in your arteries. These are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. A buildup of cholesterol in your arteries is known as plaque. Over time, plaque can become hard and make your arteries narrow. Large deposits of plaque can completely block an artery. Cholesterol plaques can also break apart, leading to formation of a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood.

    A blocked artery to the heart can cause a heart attack. A blocked artery to your brain can cause a stroke.

    Many people dont discover that they have high cholesterol until they suffer one of these life-threatening events. Some people find out through routine check-ups that include blood tests.

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    What Exactly Is Cholesterol

    Everyone has cholesterol, a yellowy-white wax-like lipid thats in every cell of your body. Cholesterol keeps your cells and organs working properly. It also plays a major role in hormone, vitamin, and digestive fluid production.

    Cholesterol comes from two sources 80 percent is naturally produced by your liver and intestines, and your diet accounts for the last 20 percent.

    High cholesterol is a creeper condition it usually doesnt have any symptoms. It can go undetected until you have blood work or a serious health event like a stroke or heart attack.

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    Good Vs Bad Cholesterol

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    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.

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    Why High Cholesterol Remains A Problem

    There are many things that can keep your numbers high. One is not owning up to cholesterol problems and making the necessary lifestyle changes. Another is not taking your meds as prescribed, or not working with your doctor to find other choices if side effects occur. Then there are things like eating out too much and not getting enough exercise.

    Cholesterol Buildup In Your Eyes

    When your body has too much cholesterol it can show up anywhere with arteries passing through. Your eyes are full of tiny blood vessels where high cholesterol can show up. You may notice a fatty skin deposit in your cornea or yellow fat deposits around your eyelids. Xanthomas are not reserved to your eyes, they may also appear on your elbows, knees or ankles, as well as other parts of your skin.

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    Yellow Rashes On The Eyelids

    These yellow rashes are similar to the yellow cholesterol bubbles on your body, but smaller and on this time on your eyelids. The condition is known as xanthelasma. Luckily, it doesnt have any negative effects on your eyesight. Laser and acid treatments are available to get rid of these rash bubbles, but the more effective and permanent solution is just to lower your cholesterol levels altogether.

    Please this with your friends and family.

    Getting A Cholesterol Test

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    A blood sample is taken that will be used to determine the amount of bad cholesterol , good cholesterol and other fatty substances in your blood.

    You may be asked not to eat for 10-12 hours before the cholesterol test, usually including when you’re asleep at night. This ensures that all food is completely digested and won’t affect the outcome of the test.

    Your GP or practice nurse can carry out the cholesterol test and will take a blood sample, either using a needle and a syringe or by pricking your finger.

    A newer type of test that measures non-high-density lipoprotein is now sometimes used because it’s thought to be a more accurate way of estimating cardiovascular disease risk than LDL.

    Non-HDL cholesterol is total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol. It’s also not necessary to fast before the test, so it is more convenient.

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    Treatment And Medication Options For High Cholesterol

    Although having high cholesterol numbers can contribute to the long-term risk of heart attack and stroke, you can lower your cholesterol through changes in your lifestyle habits, including adopting a heart-healthy diet, increasing your physical activity level, and quitting smoking. These long-term lifestyle changes can also prevent your cholesterol levels from changing in the first place.

    Learn More About Prevention of High Cholesterol

    Eating A Lot Of Fatty Foods And Lack Of Exercise

    Well admit, this sign seems pretty straightforward, but theres absolutely no denying that eating a lot of fatty foods greatly increases the cholesterol levels in your body. A lack of exercise allows cholesterol to build up in your body. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are also highly detrimental. In short, if youre living an unhealthy lifestyle, chances are youre also dealing with high cholesterol.

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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.

    Good Ways To Control Bad Cholesterol

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    Lifestyle changes and medication are the two key ways to keep your LDL cholesterol under control. Be sure to check with your doctor before you start a new routine. Itâs also a good idea to get advice from a registered dietitian.

    Some of the healthy habits you should adopt include reading food labels and choosing products lower in saturated fat. Eat lean poultry and fish as your major meat sources. Add lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains to your plate, too. Stay active. A moderate level of physical activity should be enough to help keep your numbers down.

    If your doctor still finds your LDL cholesterol is still too high, they might prescribe a statin drug. Sometimes other drugs can help keep your levels in check, too.

    Above all, itâs essential to recognize how cholesterol factors into heart disease and stroke. Develop new behavior patterns — and own them. As you make your changes, keep track of your levels. Continue to discuss your progress and management goals with your doctor.

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    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 .

    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.

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    Treatment For High Cholesterol

    Lifestyle changes are one of the first things your doctor will recommend for managing high cholesterol. All medications can cause side effects, including medications to lower your cholesterol, and many people can successfully lower their cholesterol without them. Your doctor will determine which treatment approach is best for you.

    Lifestyle changes that can help lower your cholesterol include:

    • Adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase inhibitors

    Replace Saturated Fats With Healthier Fats

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    Replacing foods that contain mainly saturated fats with foods that contain unsaturated fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will help reduce your cholesterol level.

    For example, instead of butter and cream in cooking, use olive oil, nut butters or avocado.

    Healthy unsaturated fats are found in:

    • nuts
    • olives
    • oily fish
    • avocado
    • fruits and vegetables

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    Causes Of High Cholesterol

    Eating too many foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats may increase your risk of developing high cholesterol. Living with obesity can also increase your risk. Other lifestyle factors that can contribute to high cholesterol include inactivity and smoking.

    Your genetics can also affect your chances of developing high cholesterol. Genes are passed down from parents to children. Certain genes instruct your body on how to process cholesterol and fats. If your parents have high cholesterol, you may be at a greater risk of having it too.

    In rare cases, high cholesterol is caused by familial hypercholesterolemia. This genetic disorder prevents your body from removing LDL. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute , most adults with this condition have total cholesterol levels above 300 milligrams per deciliter and LDL levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter.

    Other health conditions, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, may also increase your risk of developing high cholesterol and related complications.

    What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol

    Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.

    If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.

    Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.

    Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.

    Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.

    • Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
    • LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
    • HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
    • Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.

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