Numbness In The Body Parts
If you are constantly experiencing numbness in your body parts, then high cholesterol can be responsible for that. However, other causes can also be responsible for numbness and swelling.
When bad cholesterol appears high in your body, it affects blood circulation and prevents healthy nutrients from reaching the body. The lack of proper oxygen is also a cause of swelling and unusual numbness.
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.
How Can I Lower My Ldl Level
There are two main ways to lower your LDL cholesterol:
- Therapeutic lifestyle changes . TLC includes three parts:
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples of eating plans that can lower your cholesterol include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH eating plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you still should continue with the lifestyle changes.
Some people with familial hypercholesterolemia may receive a treatment called lipoprotein apheresis. This treatment uses a filtering machine to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood. Then the machine returns the rest of the blood back to the person.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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Why Cholesterol Is Not Bad
According to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the most prevalent health issues facing the world today are heart disease, cancer, stroke, AIDS, diabetes, pneumonia/influenza, chronic pulmonary diseases , and infant mortality. Neurological diseases such as the autism spectrum, ADD and ADHD, bipolar syndrome, and schizophrenia are just the latest in a long run of potentially life-threatening ailments that humans have been facing since the modernization of agriculture and food processing techniques advanced us into the 20th century.
Most modern diseases are brought about by chronic inflammation, not the kind that occurs when youre injured and the injury sight begins to swell, but the kind that is wreaking havoc at the cellular level in the bodies of most people every day. Low immune response due to lack of nutritional support does not allow the body to protect and heal itself.
What Causes High Cholesterol
Different things that can cause high cholesterol. Some of these causes you can change and some of them you can’t.
Risk factors you can change:
- Too much food high in saturated fats, like red meat, butter, cream, and other dairy products
- Too many foods with refined sugars, such as sweets, baked goods, white bread and fizzy drinks
- Too much alcohol
- Not being active enough each day
- Having too much body fat, especially around the middle
The good news is there’s lots of ways to manage these risks. Read about lowering your cholesterol.
Risk factors you can’t change:
- Family history
- Biological sex
- Other medical conditions such as kidney or liver disease, or hypothyroidism.
Some high cholesterol conditions that are passed down through families, including:
- familial hyperlipidaemia
- familial hypercholesterolaemia
- familial hypertriglyceridaemia .
If you have one of these conditions, you may not be able to reduce your levels using lifestyle changes alone. You may need to go on medication as well.
If you have a parent or sibling with one of these conditions, talk to your doctor about getting your cholesterol checked. These conditions usually start at a younger age and can affect people in their teens or twenties.
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Hdl: Is Higher Always Better
If HDL protects the heart, should it be as high as possible? The answer may depend on several factors.
Most people will find that their HDL cholesterol does not climb to levels that are considered too high. Though no upper limit has been established, HDL cholesterol does not naturally elevate to unhealthy high levels in people with normal cholesterol processing and metabolism.
In rare cases, however, HDL cholesterol can become too high.
An article in the journal Science discusses a rare genetic variant that may cause exceptionally high HDL levels. The genetic variant alters the way that HDL works in the body, and can increase the risk of heart disease.
The variant is found in a specific molecule known as SR-BI. The mutation in SR-BI causes increased levels of HDL and an increased risk of heart disease.
The people studied had levels of HDL greater than 95 milligrams per deciliter . These levels are abnormally high. The researchers found that some of the people in their study did have this rare genetic defect.
Another study found that people who recently had a heart attack and who have both high HDL and high levels of a substance called C-reactive protein were at higher risk of having another cardiac event. C-reactive protein is produced by the liver when inflammation occurs in the body.
Furthermore, cholesterol balance may be an important factor to consider, according to a review in Atherosclerosis.
Finding The Right Balance
The American Heart Association recommend all people ages 20 and older get a cholesterol test at least every 4 to 6 years.
On the other hand, the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommend screening for cholesterol disorders starting at the age of 20 years old if risk factors for heart disease are present.
It is not just adults who are being checked for high cholesterol today, however. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend all children between ages 9 and 11 get a cholesterol test. The AAP say this recommendation is due to increasing childhood obesity in the U.S.
Children with risk factors, such as family history of high cholesterol, should be tested between ages 2 and 10 years.
Cholesterol tests measure the amount of cholesterol in mg/dL. Most tests show HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol. The total cholesterol score is a persons HDL and LDL cholesterol levels and 20 percent of their triglyceride level added together.
The AHA no longer publishes specific cholesterol ranges and say that these numbers are not the final word on heart disease risk. Instead, cholesterol levels are just one of many factors to consider.
A desirable cholesterol range, the AHA say, may vary from one person to the next. What is desirable will depend on other elements like triglyceride level, other existing health conditions, lifestyle, and family history of heart disease.
|Total cholesterol level|
To achieve healthy cholesterol levels, experts recommend:
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Are Home Cholesterol Testing Kits Accurate
The answer is yes if the tests are labeled CDC-certified. This means that the contents have been approved by the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network, a group that works with test makers, laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure tests are accurate.
For home tests, you will still need to fast for 12 hours and to obtain blood for testing. Some kits come with packages for mailing to a lab for results. Other kits have a monitor so you can get the results at home. The cost of such home kits vary.
The Reverse Cholesterol Transport System
HDL serves as a chemical shuttle that transports excess cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver. This pathway is called the RCT system. In this system, plasma HDL takes up cholesterol from the peripheral tissues, such as fibroblasts and macrophages. This may occur by passive diffusion or may be mediated by the adenosine triphosphate binding cassette transporter 1. The latter interacts directly with free apo A-I, generating nascent, or so-called discoidal, HDL. Cholesterol undergoes esterification by lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase to produce cholesteryl ester, which results in the production of the mature spherical HDL. Cholesterol is also taken up from triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in a process mediated by a phospholipid transfer protein .
Cholesterol is then returned to the liver by multiple routes. In the first route, cholesterol esters may be transferred from HDL to the apo Bcontaining lipoproteins, such as verylow-density lipoprotein or intermediate-density lipoprotein , by CETP. These lipoproteins undergo metabolism and subsequent uptake by the liver, primarily by a process mediated by the B,E receptor. In the second route, HDL particles may be taken up directly by the liver. In the third, free cholesterol may be taken up directly by the liver. Finally, HDL cholesterol esters may be selectively taken up via the scavenger receptor SR-B1.
If the hepatic uptake of VLDL and IDL is impaired, their cholesterol may be delivered back to peripheral tissues.
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When Should I Get An Hdl Cholesterol Test
Whether an HDL cholesterol test is appropriate depends on your specific circumstances.
As a screening test, there are no universally agreed-upon recommendations regarding how often to measure cholesterol levels. In general, screening is started earlier for people with risk factors such as high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease at an earlier age. Ongoing cholesterol testing may occur more often in people with one or more of these risk factors.
People without an elevated risk for cardiovascular problems usually start screening at a later age and often have longer intervals between cholesterol tests.
Every individual should talk with their doctor about the most appropriate screening plan in their specific situation. An overview of common recommendations for cholesterol screening are listed in the table below:
|With or without risk factors||Annually|
Screening is frequently done with a lipid panel, especially for an initial test. However, some screening may be done with only a total cholesterol and HDL-C measurement.
Although principally used to detect cardiovascular issues, abnormalities in HDL cholesterol can occur with other health problems affecting the thyroid, pancreas, or liver. As a result, cholesterol testing may be involved in the diagnostic process for a range of medical conditions.
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.
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Natural Remedies And Lowering Cholesterol
Its very important to talk to your health professional before using any:
- natural remedies
- or complementary therapies.
Sometimes they can do more harm than good. They may interact with any medication that youre taking, which can be dangerous. They can also make your medication less effective. Your doctor needs to know everything that you are taking to ensure that the combination is safe.
If youve been prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication, make sure you take it as directed by your doctor. This is one of the most effective ways to keep your cholesterol levels down.
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.
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If Cholesterol Is Necessary Why Do We Have To Worry About How Much We Have
Having enough cholesterol to meet your needs is important. Having too much cholesterol can cause problems. If your cholesterol levels are high, the condition is called hypercholesterolemia. If your cholesterol levels are low, the condition is called hypocholesterolemia. It is not common to have cholesterol levels that are too low, but it can happen.
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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Cholesterol Chart For Adults
According to the 2018 guidelines on the management of blood cholesterol published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology , these are the acceptable, borderline, and high measurements for adults.
All values are in mg/dL and are based on fasting measurements.
Your doctor may recommend a plan of treatment for high cholesterol that includes lifestyle modifications and potentially medication. This will vary based on factors like other medications you may be taking, your age, sex, and general health.
Here are some medications more commonly prescribed for high cholesterol:
Medications can also be used to treat contributing factors to cholesterol like triglycerides. These may be used in addition to some of the medications above.
What Makes Ldl Cholesterol Too High
A range of medical and lifestyle factors cause high LDL, including:
- Diet: Diets high in saturated fats, salts, and cholesterol and low in healthy proteins and fiber can lead to high LDL.
- Lack of physical activity: Not getting enough exercise and being sedentary contributes to weight gain and can also push levels up. You may see higher LDL if you don’t get a minimum of 30 minutes a day of activity.
- Weight status: Being overweight or obese greatly increases the chances of developing high LDL. Even modest gains in weight can push levels to unhealthy ranges.
- Alcohol and tobacco: Smoking and drinking are both associated with high cholesterol, among many other detrimental effects on health.
- Genetics: High LDL can be inherited, a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia . The severity of FH ranges, but those with the homozygous formin which both parents are carriers of the faulty genemay have extremely high amounts of this type of cholesterol.
- Medications: Taking several classes of drugs can lead to spikes in LDL. These include those for heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, certain viruses, and seizures, among other conditions. Talk to your doctor about how these prescriptions may impact cholesterol.
- Health conditions: Diseases and conditions that cause high LDL include type 2 diabetes, pregnancy, chronic kidney disease, and hypothyroidism.
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What Can Affect My Ldl Level
Things that can affect your LDL level include
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise
- Weight. Being overweight tends to raise your LDL level, lower your HDL level, and increase your total cholesterol level
- Physical Activity. A lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain, which can raise your LDL level
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL from your arteries, if you have less HDL, that can contribute to you having a higher LDL level.
- Age and Sex. As women and men get older, their cholesterol levels rise. Before the age of menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After the age of menopause, women’s LDL levels tend to rise.
- Genetics. Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High cholesterol can run in families. For example, familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited form of high blood cholesterol.
- Medicines. Certain medicines, including steroids, some blood pressure medicines, and HIV/AIDS medicines, can raise your LDL level.
- Other medical conditions. Diseases such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS can cause a higher LDL level.
- Race. Certain races may have an increased risk of high blood cholesterol. For example, African Americans typically have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than whites.
Can You Have Too Much Good Cholesterol
A new study suggests that too much good cholesterol may be just as bad as too little. Dr. Sanaz Majd joins Nutrition Diva to sort out what this new research means for our heart health and risks
A couple of weeks ago, I had some basic blood work done for my routine physical. All the numbers looked pretty good, but my doctor and I were high-fiving each other about my HDL score, which was 88 mg/dL.
Just by way of a quick review, there are lots of different kinds of cholesterol in your blood, and HDL is the one we often refer to as the good cholesterol. We dont want it to be too low because having an HDL level below 40 mg/dL puts you at increased risk for heart disease. And thats why youll find several articles in the Nutrition Diva podcast with strategies for increasing your HDL
So, I was feeling pretty smug about having an HDL level that was almost twice that target. But then a couple of days later, a new study came out with some surprising findings.
Although low HDL levels are a risk factor for heart disease, this study found that very high HDL levels may not be cause for celebration. In this study, those with HDL levels higher than 60 also had an increased risk for heart attack or death due to heart disease.
My first call was to my friend and physician Dr. Sanaz Majd to ask her whether or not having high HDL levels is something we need to worry about.
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