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What Are The Risks Of High Cholesterol

Recommended Diet To Control Cholesterol Level

13 Serious Side Effects of Low Cholesterol (Hypocholesterolemia) Dr. Berg on Cholesterol Control

We went through many case studies when looking for the best diet that controls cholesterol levels. In doing that, we came across the DASH diet and created a case studywhere this diet helped in controlling blood pressure which is one of the common causes of high cholesterol levels. Also, the diet is highly recommended by nutritionists and health coaches.

Take A Look At Your Lifestyle

You can make lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol numbers.

Your body naturally produces all the LDL cholesterol it needs. An unhealthy lifestyle makes your body produce more LDL cholesterol than it needs. This is the cause of high LDL cholesterol for most people.

Behaviors that can negatively affect your cholesterol levels include:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Being overweight or obese

How to prevent and treat high cholesterol.

How To Control Your Cholesterol Level

Consider the same diet recommended for lowering high blood pressure levels. In doing that, choose a diet based on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Lower the number of bad fats and consider foods with a good fat amount. Since smoking and being overweight is a major contributor, quit smoking and make regular exercise a habit for at least 30 minutes a day. Prevent excessive alcohol consumption and avoid situations that lead to depression and anxiety. Last, the DASH diet is proven as one of the most effective diets that help in lowering high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol levels.

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Diagnosis Of High Cholesterol

In most cases, your doctor will find your high cholesterol through routine screening. A lipid panel usually measures total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol.

Your doctor may order other tests to help decide whether medicines are needed to lower your risk of heart and blood vessel diseases. These may include a coronary calcium scan, which uses computed tomography to detect calcium deposits in the arteries of your heart, and blood tests for levels of C-reactive protein and lipoprotein-a.

The American Heart Association recommends routine cholesterol screening for all adults after age 20, but your doctor may order lipid tests more often based on your individual and family risk.

Your doctor will ask about your eating habits, physical activity, family history, medicines you are taking, and risk factors for heart or blood vessel diseases. During your physical exam, your doctor will check for signs of very high blood cholesterol, such as xanthomas, or signs of other health conditions that can cause high blood cholesterol.

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So How Do You Lower Your Cholesterol

What High Cholesterol Does to Your Body

This list of side effects may feel ominous, but the good news is that there are ways of controlling your cholesterol levels and decreasing your risk of these potential health complications.

According to Goodson, these are a few key things you can do to lower your cholesterol:

  • First, start exercising a few days a week, but be sure to talk to your doctor before you start.
  • Increase your intake of soluble fiber like oats and foods made with oat flour, nuts, and seeds, and fruits where you can eat the skin like apples, pears and berries.
  • Finally, try losing weight if you need, because weight loss can help lower cholesterol and improve overall health.

For more tips, read these next:

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Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol

Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:

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 .

Stay On Top Of Cholesterol With Everlywell

When youâre seeking to improve overall health, balancing levels of cholesterol can have a major impact. Preventing high cholesterol by maintaining healthy eating and lifestyle changes can reduce the overall likelihood of suffering any of the related effects.

If you already have a high level of cholesterol, lifestyle changes and treatment options can reduce the possible impact. But what if youâre not sure of your current levels of cholesterol, or whether it may be affecting your overall health?

Finding out is easy. With the EverlywellCholesterol & Lipids Test, you can find out and assess cholesterol levels from the comfort of your own home, giving you the tools you need to understand and take steps toward achieving better health.

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When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested

Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:

  • have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
  • have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
  • have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
  • are overweight

What Are High Cholesterol Medications

Dangers of High Cholesterol! Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment

Statins are a category of drugs that is used to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. These high cholesterol medications prevent heart diseases and stroke. Statins reduce the impact of heart attack strokes and death from heart disease by 25-35 percent. Statins also lower the chances of recurrent heart attacks or strokes.

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Diseases Linked To High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is dangerous because it increases your risk for many serious diseases. The waxy buildup of cholesterol in your blood can mix with other substances and develop into what’s called plaque. Plaque then starts to line your blood vessels, restricting the normal flow of blood through your body. That creates the foundation for chronic and possibly life-threatening conditions.

On the flip side, other health conditions can increase your risk of high cholesterol.

Here are seven conditions linked to high cholesterol that you should be aware of.

Cholesterol And The Lower Limbs

Aside from the heart and brain, too much cholesterol can also contribute to the buildup of plaque in other blood vessels, known as peripheral artery disease . The peripheral arteries are responsible for supplying blood from the heart to the lower limbs.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes that about 25 percent of people who suffer from PAD experience symptoms affecting the feet and legs, including :

  • Poor blood flow
  • Mobility issues

According to the NHLBI, having peripheral artery disease can be a sign that there is a buildup of plaque in other areas, including the heart and brain.

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Cholesterol And The Heart

Living with high cholesterol can significantly influence heart health. One of the greatest risks is coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , this condition occurs due to a buildup of plaque within the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the heart .

Plaque is composed of the various substances within the blood, including fats, calcium, cell waste, andâyou guessed itâcholesterol. According to the American Heart Association , this resulting buildup is called atherosclerosis, in which the plaque becomes hardened and narrows the blood vessels .

If there is a high level of plaque buildup within the arteries, it can cause chest pain due to a lack of blood flow to the heart. If the plaque forms a clot and blocks the blood flow completely, it can cause a heart attack, resulting in damage to the heart muscle or even death.

Women And High Cholesterol

The Effects of Cholesterol on the Body

Women make up to 60% of all stroke deaths, according to the American Heart Association. “It’s necessary to have guidelines specifically for women,” says neurologist Dolora Wisco, MD. “If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol, or if you’re taking oral contraceptive pills and smoking, those are major risk factors that you need to pay attention to if you are female.”

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Some Will Also Need A Cholesterol

Statins are the go-to medication for lowering LDL cholesterol. Studies show they can also:

  • Protect against the stiffening or hardening of the arteries
  • Help prevent heart attacks and strokes
  • Help save lives

Non-statin therapies should be discussed and considered when:

  • A statin by itself doesnt sufficiently lower your LDL cholesterol or risk of a heart attack or stroke based on your and your clinician’s goals or expectations.
  • If you cant take a statin for some reason , despite you and your clinician taking measures to get you on the right statin or manage side effects.

Heart healthy life habits + cholesterol-lowering medications = best chance of preventing a heart attack or stroke for people who also need medication

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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How To Monitor Cholesterol Level

As theres no symptom for this severe condition, its important that you monitor your cholesterol level. In doing that, consult your doctor and take an annual screening test . Also, if you smoke, are overweight, or have diabetes disease, consider multiple check-ups a year. Thats how youre going to monitor your cholesterol level. Besides, keep a good diet, exercise, and medication if necessary.

New Guidelines For Ldl Levels And Addressing Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Cholesterol Numbers – Mayo Clinic

New guidelines for assessing your heart disease give you and your doctor powerful tools for estimating your cardiovascular disease risk and lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. Working with your health care team, you can create a plan with a customized combination of lifestyle changes, medications and continued monitoring.

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Physical Signs Of High Cholesterol You Should Know About

Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is developed naturally in the body. It performs several vital functions like rebuilding walls surrounding the bodys cells and converting basic materials into certain hormones.

You only need a small amount of cholesterol and almost all of them are produced by your body. Most of the cholesterol in your body is produced in your liver. The rest of them come from your diet. This kind of dietary cholesterol is present in foods such as eggs, meat, and dairy products.

If you have too much cholesterol in your bloodstream, you have high cholesterol. High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. For this reason, knowing the cholesterol levels in your blood is quite important to prevent any future heart disease and blockages of blood vessels.

There are two main types of cholesterol you should be aware of:

In other words, high levels of LDL cholesterol can cause more plaque accumulation and increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke and other diseases. On the other hand, high levels of HDL cholesterol can actually help prevent heart attacks and strokes. HDL gains its good name by removing LDL cholesterol from the arteries and tissues and bringing it back to the liver where the excessive LDL cholesterol is broken down.

Risk Factors for High LDL Cholesterol

Physical Signs of High Cholesterol Levels

1. Sore Hands and Feet
2. Frequent Tingling

How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed

A cholesterol blood test gives important information about the amount and types of fats in the bloodstream. Types of fats include cholesterol and triglycerides.

Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in your body. Triglycerides are produced by your body and also come from the food you eat. When you eat, your body converts unused calories into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells and are released for energy in between meals.

If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, this may lead to high levels of triglycerides. If the levels of triglycerides in your blood are too high, they can affect your blood cholesterol levels.

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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.

Heredity Can Play A Role

The Truth About High Cholesterol â Central Georgia Heart Center

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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What Medical Problems Affect My Cholesterol Levels

Medical problems and cholesterol have a two-way relationship. High cholesterol can cause medical problems like atherosclerosis. But some medical conditions can also put you at a higher risk of having high cholesterol. Here are some conditions that may affect your cholesterol levels.

Chronic kidney disease

People with chronic kidney disease face a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease. Thats because CKD causes plaque to build up more quickly in their arteries. People with early-stage CKD are more likely to die from heart disease than kidney disease.

CKD causes you to have more triglycerides in your blood. It also causes you to have more very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. VLDLs are particles that carry triglycerides. Meanwhile, CKD lowers your good cholesterol levels and prevents your HDLs from working as they should. CKD also changes the structure of your bad cholesterol particles so they cause more harm.

HIV

People with HIV are nearly twice as likely as people without HIV to have a heart attack or stroke. Researchers used to think this higher risk came from HIV medications . They believed those medications raised a persons cholesterol. But newer research shows the culprit is actually a persons immune system.

Even if your HIV is under control, your immune system may still be activated. This puts your body in a state of chronic inflammation. This inflammation triggers plaque buildup and atherosclerosis.

Thyroid disease

Lupus

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Common Myths About Cholesterol

Most people think all cholesterol is bad for health, but as we discussed earlier, LDL is bad while HDL is good for a healthy body. Another common myth that you hear from people is that I would feel if I had a cholesterol problem. In reality, theres no symptom, and you know it when you get a stroke or heart attack. In addition, some people think that eating too much food can raise the cholesterol level but eating healthy food can never boost the cholesterol level, no matter how much you eat. However, regular exercise is necessary besides eating healthy foods.

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How Is High Cholesterol Linked To Diabetes

LDL cholesterol negatively influences the health of diabetes patients. This is because individuals who have diabetes have high cholesterol as LDL cholesterol sticks to the blood vessels and arteries walls.

Then, glucose further attaches itself to the lipoproteins. This formation makes the glucose particles stay in the system for a long duration, finally forming plaque.

Cholesterol And Peripheral Vascular Disease

High Cholesterol – Do I Need To Take Medication?

In addition to your heart and your brain, cholesterol plaque can cause symptoms in your legs and other areas outside of your heart and brain . Legs and feet are most common. You might notice cramps in your calves when you walk that get better with rest. This is like angina — it works the same way — but in your legs instead of your heart.

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Is High Cholesterol Dangerous

High cholesterol is just one of several risk factors for coronary heart disease. A health-care professional will consider a persons overall risk when assessing their cholesterol levels and discussing treatment options.

Risk factors are conditions that increase a persons risk for developing heart disease. Some risk factors can be changed and others cannot. In general, the more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance of developing coronary heart disease. Some risk factors can be controlled however, some cannot be controlled.

Risk factors that cannot be controlled include:

  • Family history of early heart disease

Risk factors that can be controlled include:

  • High blood cholesterol

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How High Cholesterol Medication Is Used

The treatment of high cholesterol is a two-pronged approach focused on lowering bad LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol.

Your healthcare provider will typically recommend treatment with high cholesterol medications, aimed at lowering your total cholesterol and, more specifically, your LDL levels. An elevated total cholesterol level is usually defined as a level above 200 milligrams per deciliter , or an LDL level above 130 mg/dL, but these cutoffs may vary based on your risk for coronary artery disease. In general, lower is better when it comes to LDL cholesterol.

Statin medications are often the first medications used for high cholesterol. Therapy with statins is divided into low-, medium-, and high-intensity levels. The higher the intensity level, the greater the targeted reduction in LDL levels.

Depending on the severity of your high cholesterol levels, other cholesterol-lowering medication may also be prescribed.

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