What Causes High Hdl Cholesterol
There are a number of possible causes for high HDL cholesterol, and some of these can be reversed. If you have high HDL cholesterol, your doctor should consider whats causing it to decide on a course of action.
What you eat and drink
Eating a diet high in saturated fats and drinking too much alcohol can contribute to a higher level of HDL. If you and your doctor discuss making lifestyle changes, you will need to keep these going for an agreed time period, such as three months, before checking your HDL cholesterol levels again to see if the changes are working.
Some medicines could raise your HDL levels, including:
- the oral contraceptive pill
- oestrogen replacement therapy
- anti convulsants.
Your doctor should ask you questions about your family to understand if your high HDL could be inherited.
If members of your family, including your parents, grandparents and siblings, have lived for a long time, this is reassuring. If you have a family history of heart disease or strokes, your doctor may want to refer you to a lipid specialist.
Some people with Japanese ancestry have high HDL levels due to a lack of a protein called CETP. This is inherited in the genes.
Research has suggested that the changes in hormones that happen during the menopause can affect the way HDL works in the body, and HDL loses some of its protective effects in some women.
Infections and inflammation
Whats Considered High Cholesterol
High cholesterol generally means your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher. But providers use additional categories like borderline high and near optimal to break down your results. If your numbers are close to normal levels, they may be easier to manage through lifestyle and dietary changes.
High cholesterol levels by age chart
The chart below shows cholesterol levels that are higher than normal. All units are mg/dL.
Very high: 190 or higher
What Are Hdl And Ldl
HDL and LDL 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. HDL and LDL have different purposes:
- 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.
- 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.
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What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is made by the liver and obtained through the diet. It can be found in the fats in your blood. High cholesterol is when you have high amounts of cholesterol in the blood.
Cholesterol is essential in order for your body to continue building healthy cells, however having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. This is because it can lead to a build-up of fatty deposits in your blood vessels, which overtime can make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries and consequently to your heart.
Cook With Healthy Oils
Not all oils are created equal when it comes to your heart health. Olive oil and sunflower oil are mainly unsaturated fat, which can lower LDL cholesterol and at the same time increase HDL cholesterol. In a study published in February 2019 in Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers found that high-polyphenol olive oil increased HDL cholesterol concentration by almost 50 percent.
In a Harvard Health Letter, Walter C. Willett, MD, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, suggests using coconut oil sparingly because of the lack of research on how the oil may contribute to heart disease.
Groppo agrees. Coconut oil is best used on the skin, she says.
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Whats Your Cholesterol Level Anyway
A standard lipid blood test usually measures the concentration of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. The LDL-cholesterol level is typically estimated from these numbers using a well-established formula that has been more recently revised and improved by researchers at Johns Hopkins.
So what are your target numbers? According to Michos, an ideal LDL cholesterol level should be less than 70 mg/dl, and a womans HDL cholesterol level ideally should be close to 50 mg/dl. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl. As Michos notes, total cholesterol levels well below 200 mg/dl are best.
Myth: I Would Be Able To Feel It If I Had High Cholesterol
Fact: High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too latewhen you have a heart attack or stroke. Thats why its so important to get your cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.1,2 Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.
Occasionally, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels.
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What Causes Low Hdl Cholesterol
There are many reasons why some people have low HDL and others have high HDL. Genes appear to play the most important role by determining how much HDL cholesterol your body makes and the proportion of different subtypes.
Lifestyle choices also affect HDL levels. Smoking, carrying too many pounds, and lack of physical activity tend to lower HDL. So does a diet high in refined carbohydrates . Medications such as beta blockers, anabolic steroids, progestins, and benzodiazepines can also depress HDL.
Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein Deficiency
Cholesteryl ester transfer protein deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by a mutation of the CETP gene. Because CETP helps in the transfer of cholesterol from HDL to other lipoproteins, CETP deficiency affects low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and slows removal of HDL cholesterol from the blood. Affected people have no symptoms but have high HDL cholesterol in their blood. No treatment is necessary.
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Start A Regular Exercise Routine And Stick With It
Weve all heard it before. Regular exercise is important for maintaining heart health and can also increase HDL cholesterol levels. Physical activity such as running, walking, biking, and swimming, along with moderate weight training, are great choices to help boost those good cholesterol levels.
A June 2020 review in the American Journal of Physiology found that endurance training led to a significant rise in HDL. For both men and women, the review cited a number of studies that had subjects perform moderate to vigorous exercise a minimum of three days a week. This was also the case for body types ranging from overweight beginners to marathon runners.
Exercise is excellent because it may independently raise your HDL but also leads to weight loss, which may account for additional gains in your HDL, says Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPH, chair of cardiology at AdvantageCare Physicians in New York.
Treatment For High Cholesterol
Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.
- Move more. Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Increasing your physical activity from as little as 10 minutes a day to the Australian governments recommended 30 to 45 minutes a day, five or more days of the week, can help manage your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Quitting smoking reduces the risk of heart disease and can help reduce cholesterol levels. The most effective way to stop smoking is with a combination of stop-smoking medicines and support from a service like Quitline . Speaking to your GP is also a great first step.
- Drinking alcohol doesnt have any health benefits. Alcohol contributesunnecessary kilojoules and is of low nutritional value. Alcohol is not a necessary or recommended part of a heart-healthy eating pattern.If you do drink, to reduce your risk of alcohol-related harm, healthy women and men should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day.
- You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.
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Cholesterol As A Risk Factor
Most studies of young and middle-aged men have found high cholesterol to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease, seemingly a contradiction to the idea that high cholesterol is protective. Why is high cholesterol a risk factor in young and middle-aged men? A likely explanation is that men of that age are often in the midst of their professional career. High cholesterol may therefore reflect mental stress, a well-known cause of high cholesterol and also a risk factor for heart disease. Again, high cholesterol is not necessarily the direct cause but may only be a marker. High cholesterol in young and middle-aged men could, for instance, reflect the bodys need for more cholesterol because cholesterol is the building material of many stress hormones. Any possible protective effect of high cholesterol may therefore be counteracted by the negative influence of a stressful life on the vascular system.
Medications To Reduce Ldl
Many medications can help decrease high cholesterol or LDL levels, such as:
Doctors can prescribe lomitapide to treat familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic condition that can cause high cholesterol. This drug may cause liver damage, so people taking it may require frequent liver testing.
Bile acid sequestrant medication
Doctors may prescribe bile acid sequestrants to reduce cholesterol levels when statins are not a suitable treatment or are not effective enough.
Bile acid sequestrants can raise triglyceride levels, reduce the efficacy of some medications, and cause diarrhea.
. Some recommend taking this alongside a statin if a person is at high risk of health complications or if they have a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol.
Doctors may prescribe ezetimibe when a person has a genetic condition causing high cholesterol. Similarly, doctors can prescribe it when statins cause too many side effects or are not effective enough on their own.
It may be necessary to refrain from eating or drinking anything except plain water 912 hours before the test.
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Is High Hdl Risky
I never worried much about heart disease because my HDL cholesterol has always been high. Now I hear too much can be bad. How high is too high?
Andrew Weil, M.D. |February 1, 2018
HDL cholesterol is called good because in this form it travels away from the arteries and back to the liver for elimination from the body. Weve long believed that the higher your HDL, the lower your risk of heart disease. Indeed, studies have suggested that each increase of four milligrams per deciliter of blood of HDL results in a 10 percent decrease in the risk of adverse coronary events. Both HDL and LDL cholesterol levels are influenced by heredity, diet, weight, exercise, age, gender, alcohol consumption, and stress.
The latest news about HDL comes from a study conducted in Denmark and published in August 2017, which found for the first time that very high HDL is associated with increased risk of death from all causes, not just cardiovascular disease. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen tracked 116,508 men and women for an average of six years. During that period, 10,678 of these individuals died. The investigators reported that men with extremely high HDL levels ranging from 97 to 115 had a 36 percent increased risk of death. That risk doubled among those whose HDL exceeded 116. Women with HDL levels above 135 had a 68 percent increased risk. Extremely high HDL was rare: only 2.3 percent of the men had levels exceeding 97, AND 0.3 percent of the women had HDL above 135.
What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol
There are two types: high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein . As a general rule, HDL is considered good cholesterol, while LDL is considered bad. This is because HDL carries cholesterol to your liver, where it can be removed from your bloodstream before it builds up in your arteries. LDL, on the other hand, takes cholesterol directly to your arteries. This can result in atherosclerosis, a plaque buildup that can even cause heart attack and stroke.
Triglycerides make up the third component of cholesterol and act as unused calories that are stored as fat in the blood. Eating more calories than you burn can cause triglycerides to build up in the bloodstream, increasing your risk for heart attacks.
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How Often Should I Get My Cholesterol Checked
Your provider will tell you how often you need your cholesterol checked. It depends on your:
- Age: The older you get, the more often you need to have your numbers checked.
- Family history: If you have a close biological family member with a history of heart disease, you face a higher risk of heart problems, too. You may need cholesterol tests more often if your family member has high cholesterol or a history of heart attack or stroke.
- Risk factors for heart disease: If youve been diagnosed with heart disease or have risk factors, youll need cholesterol tests more often.
- Sex assigned at birth: People assigned male at birth need more frequent tests starting at a younger age compared with people assigned female at birth.
Children and teens age 19 and younger should get their first test between ages 9 and 11. Then, they should receive a test every five years. Your childs provider may recommend starting at a younger age based on family history.
Here are general guidelines for adults based on sex and age.
People assigned male at birth
About Your Cholesterol Result
A cholesterol test can measure:
- total cholesterol the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both “good” and “bad” cholesterol
- total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio the level of good cholesterol in your blood compared to your overall cholesterol level
- good cholesterol this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- bad cholesterol this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- triglycerides a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol
When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.
You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and your total cholesterol to HDL ratio. Ask your doctor or nurse.
Almonds & Almond Flour
Cake with only 10 grams of carbs have we died and gone to heaven?? When you substitute regular wheat flour for almond flour, true magic happens in the kitchen. Not only do you benefit from a serving of plant-based protein and get a delectably fluffy texture in your baked goods, but you’ll also experience the heart-healing power of nuts. Almonds have been found to increase low HDL cholesterol levels in coronary artery disease patients, according to a Journal of Nutrition study, as well as in healthy subjects. For a simple almond flour mug cake recipe click here, don’t miss Wholesome Yum’s recipe.
Tips For Managing Cholesterol
You can keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range and still eat cheese and other foods with cholesterol. That being said, some people find it difficult to self-regulate. You may want to take a more regimented approach. The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends following whats called the , which is often supervised by a doctor.
It is made up of three lifestyle components:
With diet, the main goal is to decrease the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol you consume daily. Along with this, youll want to add plant stanols and sterols, which fight cholesterol. Youll also want to increase your intake of soluble fiber. Some people have success by shifting their diet to Mediterranean, Paleo, or plant-based from more traditional forms of eating.
Physical activity and weight management can lower your numbers as well. Working out regularly helps with weight loss and can raise your good cholesterol levels. It also strengthens your heart and lungs. Reaching a healthy weight may lower your bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
Switching over to a different type of diet can help you reach your goal weight more quickly. In
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What Are The Conditions And Medications Related To High Hdl Cholesterol
High HDL cholesterol is linked to other conditions, including:
- Thyroid disorders
- Inflammatory diseases
- Alcohol consumption
Sometimes drugs that control cholesterol can also raise HDL levels. These are medications usually taken to lower LDL, triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels.
Types of drugs that have been linked to increased HDL levels include:
- Bile acid sequestrants, which reduce the absorption of fat from the foods you eat
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
- Omega-3 fatty acid supplements that lower blood triglycerides while also increasing HDL cholesterol
- Statins, which prevent the liver from making more cholesterol
Increasing HDL levels is often a positive side effect in people with low HDL levels, as in most cases, because it reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.