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 .
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.
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.
Read more about how high cholesterol is treated
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How To Diagnose High Cholesterol
To measure your cholesterol levels, your doctor will use a simple blood test. Its known as a lipid panel. They can use it to assess your levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
To conduct this test, your doctor or other healthcare professional will take a sample of your blood. They will send this sample to a lab for analysis. When your test results become available, they will let you know if your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are too high.
To prepare for this test, your doctor may ask you to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 12 hours beforehand. Learn more about testing your cholesterol levels.
You Experience Leg Pain While Exercising
If you experience a burning pain or feel like your legs are tired or heavy it may indicate poor blood flow to your legs, which could be related to high cholesterol. Pain may impact one or both legs, as well as any part of the leg from the calf to your buttocks. Most of the time the pain subsides with rest but then reoccurs when you do the same level of activity again, such as walking two blocks.
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Easy Guide To Understanding Food Labels When You Have High Cholesterol
Diet is an area that significantly impact your blood cholesterol. A nutritionally balanced diet while keeping minimal intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol is recommended for all. Generally, people eat enough of these and for some, even too much.
Consuming a diet that has too much saturated fat and trans fat increase your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol and some cancers.
Food labels tell you what is in the food and drinks you are consuming. Every packaged and processed product should have a food label to help you determine its nutrition content. The food labels can help you sieve through misleading claims, shop faster and make better food choices to lower your cholesterol levels. Today, some restaurants even have nutrition information available on their menus.
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.
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Choose Products Low In Saturated Fat Trans Fat And Cholesterol
When shopping for food, use the nutrition information panel to compare and choose products with lower fat, saturated fat and cholesterol content.
Saturated fat is a type of fat that raises your total and LDL cholesterol and risk of heart disease, so intake should be limited. The average adult should consume less than 20 grams of saturated fat per day.
Trans fat is more harmful and damaging to the arteries as it raises LDL cholesterol and lowers HDL cholesterol. Ideally, best to get 0 grams of this per day.
Keep in mind that manufacturers can list their products as 0 grams if it has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. This means that your food may contain trans-fat even if the food label says 0 gram. Therefore its important to check the ingredient list .
Cholesterol guidelines currently recommend having not more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day, and if you have heart disease, aim for less than 200 milligrams per day.
Is There A Specific Test For Fh
Usually, your LDL-cholesterol levels and family medical history are enough for a clinical diagnosis of FH. This consists of a lipid panel , as well as a series of questions your healthcare practitioner will ask you about your familys health .
An FH diagnosis can be fully confirmed by a genetic test. Consult a cardiologist, lipid specialist or genetic counselor if you suspect you have FH.
The main difference between Familial Hypercholesterolemia and lifestyle-induced high cholesterol is the familial aspect. In other words, FH is inherited high cholesterol it is not caused by eating too many burgers! This is why it is extremely important that you are aware of your familys medical history and you report it to your physician. Find an FH Specialist here.
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What Happens If You Have High Cholesterol
What does high cholesterol mean?
High cholesterol means there is too much cholesterol in your blood. This can clog up your arteries the large blood vessels that carry blood around your body. Over time, this can lead to serious problems.
How does cholesterol clog up your arteries?
Excess cholesterol can be laid down in the walls of your arteries. Fatty areas known as plaques can form, and these become harder with time, making the arteries stiffer and narrower. This process is called atherosclerosis.
When the arteries become narrower, its harder for blood to flow through them. This puts a strain on your heart because it has to work harder to pump blood around your body. Eventually, the heart can become weak and cant work as well as it should.
Blood clots can form over the fatty, hardened parts of the arteries. The blood clots can block the artery completely, cutting off the blood flow. Bits of the blood clots can break away and become lodged in an artery or vein in another part of the body, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Signs Symptoms And Complications
High bad LDL cholesterol usually does not cause symptoms, so most people do not know they have it until they are tested during a routine doctors visit. Very high levels may cause symptoms such as fatty bumps on your skin, called xanthomas, or grayish-white rings around the corneas in your eye, called corneal arcus. These mostly develop in people who have familial hypercholesterolemia.
Undiagnosed or untreated high blood cholesterol can lead to serious problems, such as heart attack and stroke.
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Yellow Growths On Your Eyelids
Do you notice painless yellow growths on your upper and lower eyelids? Their presence is called xanthelasma. Fret not because its something that wont negatively affect your vision. However, xanthelasma is a clear indicator that you have high blood cholesterol. Although those yellow-colored growths can be zapped with the use of acids and lasers, the only way to have them permanently removed is by having your cholesterol levels controlled.
Can High Cholesterol Be Prevented Or Avoided
Making healthy food choices and exercising are two ways to reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol.
Eat fewer foods with saturated fats . Choose healthier fats. This includes lean meats, avocados, nuts, and low-fat dairy items. Avoid foods that contain trans fat . Look for foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include salmon, herring, walnuts, and almonds. Some egg brands contain omega-3.
Exercise can be simple. Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Ride your bike to work. You could even participate in a team sport. Aim to get 30 minutes of activity every day.
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What Does High Cholesterol Do To The Body
Having high cholesterol can lead to stiffening and narrowing of the arteries. A buildup of plaque a combination of cholesterol, fats, your cells waste products, calcium, and fibrin , explains the American Heart Association can reduce or block blood flow through the arteries. Thats why cholesterol matters: Lack of sufficient blood flow to your brain or heart can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Cholesterol Myths And Facts
Cholesterol can be confusing! Learn answers to common questions about blood cholesterol.
What do your cholesterol numbers mean? Can the foods you eat change your cholesterol levels?
Learn the difference between cholesterol myth and fact. Then commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
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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.
/6who Has A Higher Risk For Leg Pain With High Cholesterol And Peripheral Artery Disease
Symptoms of high cholesterol can show up in different ways for every person, and it may also offer differential outcomes basis genetic, and non-genetic risks. “Smoking is one of the most pressing factors which raises the risk. Besides, we do see that patients who have underlying issues report such problems more commonly”, adds Dr Kapoor. The doctor also says that with a double danger of diabetes and high blood cholesterol, which is a common issue many face, insulin resistance makes it very easy for a person to develop peripheral issues and experience troubling leg pain.
Peripheral artery disease is also more common in people older than 50, are obese, and also at the risk of high blood pressure, and have a history of smoking.
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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.
What Are The Types Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol moves throughout the body carried by lipoproteins in the blood. These lipoproteins include:
- Low-density lipoprotein is one of the two main lipoproteins. LDL is often called “the bad cholesterol.”
- High-density lipoprotein is the other main lipoprotein. HDL is often called “the good cholesterol.”
- Very-low-density lipoproteins are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides.
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Getting A Cholesterol Test
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.
Natural Treatments For High Cholesterol
In addition to lifestyle changes and medication, some foods and supplements can help reduce cholesterol levels, research shows. Its important to note that no natural food or supplement has been proven more effective than most cholesterol medications. Talk with your doctor before adding any supplement or alternative treatment to your routine.
Natural products that can be effective in lowering cholesterol include:
- Flaxseed, which studies show may help lower cholesterol when consumed as whole flaxseed or flaxseed lignans. Flaxseed oil has not been shown to have a significant effect on cholesterol levels. Pregnant women should avoid flaxseed as it may cause hormonal changes.
- Garlic supplements, which one study found lowered overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 10% when taken for more than two months.
- Green tea, which may have moderate benefits for reducing overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. However, studies have not shown any effect of green tea on increasing HDL cholesterol.
- Oats, which have consistently been shown to help lower total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in people who start with very high cholesterol levels.
- Soy foods, which have been shown to have a small effect on lowering cholesterol levels.
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Ten Symptoms Of High Cholesterol You Shouldnt Ignore
09 December, 2020
Those who know they have a tendency to suffer symptoms from certain health problems are often concerned about it. Therefore, well focus on these below.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance present in the fats of the blood. Although many only know it for its harmful effects on health, in reality, its essential for the optimal functioning of our body.
Cholesterol is necessary for the production of bile, which is responsible for digesting fat. In addition, its also responsible for the production of some hormones and helpful for your cardiovascular health.
What Should My Cholesterol Levels Be
Blood cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.
As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:
- 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk
As a general guide, LDL levels should be:
- 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 2mmol/L or less for those at high risk
An ideal level of HDL is above 1mmol/L. A lower level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease.
Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL may also be calculated. This is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL level. Generally, this ratio should be below four, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol is only one risk factor. The level at which specific treatment is required will depend on whether other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, are also present.
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Everything You Need To Know About High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance our body needs for the formation of cells, certain hormones and vitamin D. Our body produces cholesterol and its also found in some foods. There are both good and bad types of cholesterol in our body. If we produce too much of the bad cholesterol, it can lead to many health problems, including heart attack or stroke.
Although bad for our bodies, high cholesterol usually causes no symptoms, unless at very high levels. Thats why its important to get your cholesterol levels checked regularly.
Knowing What To Look For In Medical Tests
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