How Much Benefit Do I Get If My Cholesterol Level Is Reduced
If you have a high risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, or you already have a cardiovascular disease, lowering your LDL cholesterol level reduces your risk of developing future cardiovascular problems.
For details on exactly how much risk is reduced by lowering and treating risk factors, find out more about the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Clinical Knowledge Summary , ‘Cardiovascular risk assessment and management’ .
Heredity Can Play A Role
Some people inherit genes from their mother, father or even grandparents that cause them to have too much cholesterol. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia;. The severity of FH is related to the duration and degree of LDL cholesterol in the blood. FH is dangerous because it can cause premature atherosclerotic heart disease.
If you have a family history of FH or problems related to high cholesterol, get your levels checked.
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Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your liver produces naturally. Although cholesterol builds healthy cells, having too much LDL cholesterol – the “bad” type – can clog up your arteries and lead to a blockage. Blockages that develop when the arteries that carry blood to the legs become clogged by plaque such as cholesterol are collectively known as peripheral artery disease or PAD.
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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.
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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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.
Nutrition And Dietary Supplements
In addition to eating a healthy diet, low in saturated fat, with plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, some specific foods and supplements may help lower cholesterol.
Fiber: Several studies show that soluble fiber lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Fiber can also help you lose weight because it makes you feel full. Your doctor will encourage you to get more fiber in your diet. You may also take a fiber supplement. Men should get 30 to 38 g of fiber per day. Women should get 21 to 25 g per day.
Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber found in oat bran and other plants. It slightly reduces LDL cholesterol, which is why oat bran is touted as a cholesterol-lowering food.
Soy: Many studies have shown that eating soy protein , rather than animal meat, helps lower blood cholesterol levels, especially when you eat a diet low in saturated fat. One study found that as little as 20 g of soy protein per day is effective in reducing total cholesterol, and that 40 to 50 g shows faster effects . Another study found that soy can help reduce triglyceride levels. The AHA recommends that people with elevated total and LDL cholesterol add soy to their daily diet, and that soy is safe when consumed as part of your regular diet. But talk to your doctor before you take soy supplements. Soy isoflavones may have estrogen-like effects in the body, which might lead to an increased risk of breast and other cancers.
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Why Do High Cholesterol Symptoms Develop
What is lipid homeostasis? Human lipid homeostasis is a stable & balanced fat metabolism in the body.
To maintain healthy cholesterol range body needs to carry out more complex interactions. Any disturbance to this homeostasis leads to various high cholesterol symptoms.
Why cholesterol patients have loose stool?
STOMACH pain, diarrhea, and nausea are all symptoms of gallstones – hard particles formed of cholesterol that develop in the gallbladder also, fat metabolism problems due to digestion, absorption, and or stool consistency disturbance.
Why cholesterol patients have a lack of appetite?
Chronic poor appetite or lack of appetite medically referred to as anorexia. Any persisting lack of appetite should be evaluated. Causes of loss of appetite include pregnancy, metabolic problems, liver disease, hepatitis, hypothyroidism, kidney problem, heart failure, and antibiotic use.
Why cholesterol patients experience chest or stomach distension?
Intestinal inflammation and small bowel bacterial overgrowth may lead to excess intestinal gas. This excess gas leads to chest and stomach distension.
Why cholesterol patients experience pains ?
Intestinal inflammation and small bowel bacterial overgrowth may lead to excess intestinal gas. This gas has the characteristic of moving everywhere and cause pain where it resides; this causes aching pain.
Why high cholesterol causes tiredness or fatigue?
Why high cholesterol have symptoms of eyes?
Why high cholesterol have symptoms on the skin?;
When To Speak With A Doctor
There are few noticeable symptoms of high cholesterol. Emergency symptoms such as a stroke or heart attack may be the only indicator of damage from high cholesterol. This means that regular monitoring by a doctor is essential.
Most people should get their cholesterol checked with a blood test every 4 to 6 years. Your doctor may recommend more frequent screening if you live with any of the following:
- a history of heart conditions
- family history of high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
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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 amount 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 .
Effects Of High Cholesterol Levels
The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol and dietary fat. When we eat animal fats, the liver transports the fat, together with cholesterol in the form of lipoproteins, into our bloodstream.
Too much cholesterol circulating within LDL in our bloodstream leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
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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 Triglycerides And Why Do They Matter
Triglycerides are another form of blood fat similar to cholesterol.
Making healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way toward controlling your triglyceride levels.
Some people, though, have an inherited genetic condition called hypertriglyceridemia, which;causes high triglyceride levels.
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How Cholesterol Moves Around The Body
Cholesterol is a white, insoluble and waxy substance. It is carried around the body by two key transport systems in the blood, which include:
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is called the bad cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called the good cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.
When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider About Your Cholesterol Levels
In truth, your healthcare provider will probably talk to you about your numbers first. As always, contact your provider if you have any new or worsening pain or other uncomfortable feelings. Make sure you know what medications you take and what they are expected to do. Call the provider if you have a reaction to the medicine.
Before you go to the office, and after you have had a cholesterol test, it helps to have a list of questions prepared about your test results and any proposed treatment.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
When considering cholesterol numbers, its important to remember that you really have the ability to make those numbers go in your favor. What you choose to eat, how much you are able to move and how you deal with lifes ups and downs are things that you can influence.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/31/2020.
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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.
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.
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What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol
There are two main categories of cholesterol in the blood:
When this happens in the coronary arteries , it reduces your heart’s supply of oxygen-rich blood. This serious condition, called coronary artery disease, can cause heart attacks and even death.
Plaques can also form on the arteries that supply blood to your brain, abdomen, arms, and legs, leading to a higher risk of;stroke, intestinal damage, and peripheral arterial disease.
High-density lipoprotein :;HDL is the “good” kind of cholesterol, because it helps reduce LDL levels.
The role of HDL is to transport;LDL cholesterol to your liver, which removes it from your blood.
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 High Is Too High
When it comes to cholesterol, how high is too high? This depends on your risk of developing heart disease. When deciding what cholesterol levels are right for you and what the treatment plan should be, your doctor will consider a number of factors that affect your risk of developing heart disease, such as your age, your medical conditions, and whether you smoke.
If you are at a low risk of developing heart disease, your doctor will recommend starting treatment when your cholesterol levels are higher than 5;mmol/L .
If your risk of developing heart disease is particularly high, your doctor may recommend treatment at even lower cholesterol levels. See Are you at risk of high cholesterol? for more information.
Not sure about your cholesterol values? Talk to your doctor to see whether your cholesterol is within a healthy range. If your cholesterol level is high, ask your doctor if you should start treatment.
* To convert from Canadian units to American ones, multiply Canadian values by 38.7 to get American values. To convert the other way, divide the American units by 38.7 to get the Canadian values.
How To Lower Cholesterol: Know Your Fats
The American Heart Association recommends that just 25% to 35% of your daily calories come from fats such as those found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. For healthy people, saturated fat should comprise no more than 7% of your total calories. On a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, that’s about 140 calories worth of saturated fat. If you need to lower your LDL cholesterol, limit saturated fat to 5% to 6% of calories, or about 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet. Reduce trans fats to less than 1% of your total daily calories. This means avoiding fried foods and many junk foods.
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Cholesterol Control: Chicken Vs Beef
Chicken and beef are both staples of many diet, and they can be prepared and seasoned in thousands of different ways.
LDL cholesterol contributes to plaque that can clog and narrow your arteries, which can break off as clots. This narrowing and these clots can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Since your body produces all of the LDL cholesterol it needs, eating foods that are high in saturated fats, like fatty meats, can increase the amount of LDL cholesterol that your body makes.
But that in no way means fried chicken with the skin on is a better choice than a grilled sirloin steak at least if youre talking about heart health.