What Causes Low Hdl Cholesterol Levels
While having low triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can have a positive effect on your heart health, having low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol may count against you. That’s because HDL is considered “good cholesterol.”
HDL plays an interesting role in that it actually removes LDL cholesterol from the walls of your arteries. This may protect your arteries from clogging up and causing conditions like a heart attack or stroke.
In fact, studies have shown that low HDL levels are linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This is especially true if other lipids, such as LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, in your blood are also high. Likewise, research suggests that to a certain extent, high HDL levels are linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
It’s important to understand that there is no direct causal relationship found between HDL levels and having a heart attack or strokehinting that other factors are at play, and a person’s HDL level is one piece of the puzzle.
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.
When To Seek Treatment
Deciding on whether you ought to be treated for high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels, whether that treatment ought to include drug therapy, and which drugs ought to be used is not always entirely straightforward. Still, if your cardiovascular risk is elevated, the right treatment aimed at your lipid levels can substantially reduce your chances of having a heart attack, or even of dying prematurely. So when it comes to treating cholesterol and triglycerides, it is important to get it right. You can read about current thinking on when and how treatment for blood lipids should be chosen.
Recommended Reading: Cholesterol In Pork Chops
Speak To A Registered Dietician Or A Certified Diabetes Educator
For starters, ask your primary care provider about an appointment with a registered dietician or a certified diabetes educator. Either one of these folks can help you to get a handle on your diabetes and your cholesterol, and help you to plan for heart healthy meals that are good to control your diabetes and get your cholesterol numbers in the right range. It doesnt have to be drab or boring either. You can eat a variety of whole foods. You just need to learn what is right for you, and what may work against your diabetes and your dyslipidemias.
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.
Don’t Miss: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
You cant tell if you have high cholesterol without having it checked. A simple blood test will reveal your cholesterol level.
Men 35 years of age and older and women 45 years of age and older should have their cholesterol checked. Men and women 20 years of age and older who have risk factors for heart disease should have their cholesterol checked. Teens may need to be checked if they are taking certain medicines or have a strong family history of high cholesterol. Ask your doctor how often you should have your cholesterol checked.
Risk factors for heart disease include:
- Cigarette smoking.
- Having an immediate family member who has had heart disease.
- Being overweight or obese.
Does Having Higher Cholesterol Levels Present A Risk Factor For Diabetes
Diabetes has actually been determined to be a coronary heart disease risk factor. So just like smoking and inactivity, diabetes predisposes you to CHD. To put this into perspective, the risk for a CHD in a diabetic patient with no previous CHD is the same as for those of people without diabetes, and no heart disease. Thats significant. Not only that, but people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from a coronary event, with risk of death especially greater in the first 28 days following a coronary event. Women with diabetes were even more likely to die following a coronary event. Research in this area has been replicated, and is reliable.
Don’t Miss: Are Oysters High In Cholesterol
Do High Tg Levels Affect Hdl And Ldl Cholesterol Levels
The image below shows how LDLs and HDLs transport TG. It is from the National Lipid Associations website, used with permission from Tom Dayspring .
Here, an enzyme called CETP facilitates the exchange of cholesterol in large HDL and large LDL with TG. What CETP does is it takes cholesterol out of large HDL and LDL particles and then transfers TG into these particles. In turn, hepatic lipase metabolizes TG-rich HDLs and LDLs, leading to smaller HDLs and LDLs.
In a nutshell, high TG levels affect HDL and LDL levels. And prediabetes leads to high TG levels.
Look at the image below showing what a lipid profile would look like in a patient with prediabetes.
Aside from prediabetes, this patient actually has another problemfamilial hypercholesterolemia . Neither condition was noticed before the patient came to us.
To make matters worse, the patient also has an elevated TG/HDL216/34 or 6.4! I recommend a goal of 1.5 or less.
How Does Beer Affect Cholesterol
When we refer to total cholesterol, it’s a combination of HDL and LDL cholesterol plus triglycerides. While a cold brew may raise your spirits, beer raises triglyceride levels. This is because beer contains carbohydrates and alcohol, two substances that raise triglycerides quickly.
In this manner, can alcohol raise your cholesterol?
Research shows that moderate alcohol consumption can raise your good cholesterol levels by increasing the speeds at which proteins are transported through the body. Drinking more than what is considered moderate, however, has an opposite effect, because it can raise both cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Additionally, what is the best drink to lower cholesterol? Drinks That Can Help You Lower High Cholesterol
- Tart cherry juice. PR Newswire notes a study published in Food & Function found tart cherry juice may help cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health in general.
- Cranberry juice.
Simply so, is Beer increase cholesterol?
It was found that, in some studies, people drinking at least one beer beverage a day saw an increase in HDL cholesterol levels by up to 11 percent. One study also showed that one beer daily could reduce oxidation of LDL. However, consumption of three or more beers daily actually promoted LDL oxidation.
Why does alcohol increase cholesterol?
You May Like Also
Recommended Reading: Is Tuna Fish Bad For 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 blood’s cholesterol level increases. This can cause pain in your chest or arm during stress or physical activity .
Are Test Results Accurate
HDL cholesterol testing is extremely common and frequently used to evaluate cardiovascular risk. Like any test, though, HDL cholesterol tests are not perfectly accurate. Certain factors that can influence accuracy of any single test include:
- Individual variability: There can be some differences in HDL cholesterol levels based on individual factors like stress or posture during the test. Minor variation can also occur between laboratories.
- Acute illness: Levels of cholesterol in the blood are affected by inflammation, so infections or other illnesses that produce inflammation may interfere with the accuracy of HDL cholesterol tests.
- Certain blood disorders: Some conditions that affect blood cells cause an increase in a type of protein, known as an M protein, in the blood. In people with these conditions, HDL cholesterol tests may show a lower level of HDL cholesterol than is actually present in their blood.
Point-of-care and at-home tests that use a fingerstick blood sample are nearly as accurate as laboratory testing, but there may be more variability in accuracy based on the brand and the quality of its test.
Read Also: Shrimp Has Cholesterol
High Cholesterol High Ldl High Hdl
In some situations a high cholesterol may be healthy, if HDL levels, triglycerides, and other are good. You can calculate your risk for developing heart disease here.
Patinets with high HDL levels and low levels of triglycerides may actually be at a lower risk for heart disease than people with normal cholesterol levels who have lower levels of good cholesterol and higher levels of bad cholesterol .
LDL = Total Cholesterol HDL .
Although this equation is fairly accurate and widely employed by a number of laboratories, there are certain factors that could cause your LDL cholesterol levels to be incorrect:
- Triglyceride levels over 400 mg/dL or eating just before having your cholesterol levels checked.
- This calculation also doesnt diffrentiate between LDL A or B .
Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between a low triglyceride/high HDL level and LDL pattern A .
On the other hand, a high triglyceride/low HDL level is strongly associated with LDL pattern B . In other words, high triglycerides are an independent risk factor for heart disease. Direct measurements of LDL can also be used in cases where triglycerides are very high.
What To Know About Triglycerides
In addition to cholesterol, you might hear about your triglycerides, another kind of fat found in the bloodstream. Women should pay particular attention to this. A high level of triglycerides seems to predict an even greater risk for heart disease in women compared with men, says Michos.
When you take in more calories than you need, your body converts the extra calories into triglycerides, which are then stored in fat cells. Triglycerides are used by the body for energy, but people with excess triglycerides have higher risk of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease. Drinking a lot of alcohol and eating foods containing simple carbohydrates , saturated fats and trans fats contributes to high triglycerides. High levels may also be caused by health conditions such as diabetes, an underactive thyroid, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome or kidney disease.
Triglycerides also circulate in the bloodstream on particles that may contribute to plaque formation. Many people with high triglycerides have other risk factors for atherosclerosis, including high LDL levels or low HDL levels, or abnormal blood sugar levels. Genetic studies have also shown some association between triglycerides and cardiovascular disease.
High Cholesterol: Prevention, Treatment and Research
You May Like: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
How High Is Too High
Most health professionals are taught that the higher the HDL cholesterol, the more protective it is for your heart health. However, some specialist doctors are beginning to question this.
Very high levels of HDL have been reported to speed up the process of atherosclerosis, where the arteries become clogged up with fat, suggesting that at very high levels HDL doesnt do its normal job of clearing fat from the arteries.
Current recommendations for healthy levels of HDL cholesterol
- 1.2mmol/L or above in women
- 1.1mmol/L or above in men
Our HEART UK experts say the protective effect of HDL cholesterol appears to reach its maximum at roughly 1.4mmol/L, and higher levels may not provide extra protection.
Over 2.3mmol/L, HDL may behave more like LDL cholesterol and raise the risk of disease, according to current research. This is especially important for women leading up to after the menopause.
What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels
A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:
- Diet: Saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in your diet. This will help lower your blood cholesterol level. Saturated and trans fat have the most impact on blood cholesterol.
- Weight: In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your triglycerides. Losing weight may help lower your triglyceride levels and raise your HDL.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the most effect on lowering triglycerides and raising HDL. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Age and sex: As we get older,cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, womens LDL levels tend to rise and HDL can drop.
- Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
Read Also: Is Mayo Bad For Cholesterol
More Connections Between High Cholesterol And Diabetes
Smaller, denser LDL-C molecules
LDL-C cholesterol levels in people with diabetes can underestimate the cardiac risk that is posed. Borderline high LDL-C levels, along with Type 2 diabetes pose a 2 to 3 times greater risk for CVD than for people without diabetes. The LDL-C particles are proportionally smaller and are denser in people with diabetes. These particles are more likely to invade the walls of arteries and cause a significant cardiovascular problem. This typically leads to more hardening of the arteries in people with diabetes due to the small and dense LDL-C particles.
There is also a relationship between the smaller, denser, LDL-C molecules and an increase in triglycerides. It is the insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity that is the metabolic syndrome of diabetes that causes elevated triglycerides. Insulin resistance in muscles converts carbohydrate energy into triglycerides that are generated in the liver. This tends to make VLDL-C, which means that the LDL is loaded down with triglycerides. It is in persons with greater than 100 mg/dl triglycerides that we see the smallest and densest VLDL-C particles forming. This in turn increases cardiovascular disease since these small particles of bad cholesterol are predominant in the bloodstream.
Is it correct to focus on LDL-C lowering therapy for those with diabetes?
Intensive therapy to lower LDL-C
Higher insulin levels raise LDL-C levels, lower HDL-C levels, and raise triglyceride levels
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease . It affects approximately one-quarter of the population. Its often seen among people who are overweight or have diabetes.
NAFLD covers a spectrum of conditions. Within NAFLD is the more serious non-alcoholic steatohepatitis . A diagnosis of NASH often leads to cirrhosis, liver failure, and .
Also Check: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
What Does Hdl Cholesterol Do
HDL clears from the body via the liver. HDL may therefore prevent the buildup of plaque, protect your arteries, and protect you from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. It is considered the good cholesterol, and higher levels are better. A good goal to aim for is higher than 55 mg/dL for women and 45 mg/dL for men. The higher your HDL cholesterol numbers, the lower your risk is for heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke.
Are There Any Diets For High Cholesterol And Diabetes
Yes, when you have high cholesterol you should follow a heart healthy diet. You should increase your good cholesterol intake, and decrease your bad cholesterol intake. Remember, the good cholesterol carries the bad cholesterol out of your body by way of the liver, so you will want to know how to increase those oils and foods that contain HDL-C, and decrease the foods that contain LDL-C.
Also Check: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
Cholesterol: The Good The Bad And The Lipoprotein
Simbo M. Chiadika, MD
Our bodies make and use cholesterol to aid in digestion, and to produce vitamin D and hormones. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in many of the foods we eat, such as egg yolks, fatty meats, dairy products, and saturated oils. Too much cholesterol can cause plaque to build up on the walls of your arteries which can narrow blood flow. This may eventually lead to coronary artery disease or other health complications. Simbo Chiadika, MD, a cardiologist with UT Physicians, explains why.
Symptoms Of High Cholesterol And Diabetes
There are no symptoms of high cholesterol, whether or not you have diabetes along with it. The only way that you can know that you have high cholesterol numbers, is to have your doctor perform a laboratory test once a year. The test is called a Cholesterol Panel, or a Lipid Panel, and it shows your total cholesterol number, along with values for your LDL-C, HDL-C, and Triglycerides. Some tests further break down cholesterol to VLDL , but some tests do not. Generally, keeping triglycerides down will control VLDL-C, as it is composed of fifty percent triglycerides.
You May Like: Can Dehydration Skew A Cholesterol Test