How Can I Lower My Cholesterol
If the 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. If you take 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
/6signs Of The High Cholesterol In Legs
Unhealthy lifestyle habits open a wide door to multiple health concerns. One of them is high cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance that is produced by the liver for the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D and balancing hormones. Being insoluble in water, cholesterol is transported to different parts of the body through a particle called lipoprotein, which has a specific protein on its surface. Only when cholesterol combines with the high fat and low protein content lipoprotein to form Low-density lipoproteins then it be harmful to the body. This problem arises when your diet is rich in unhealthy fatty foods and on top of that, you live a sedentary life. The LDL starts building in the arteries, blocking and narrowing them, which over time can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Which Of The Signs Should You Rely On The Most
Prevention is absolutely the best medication! It would be the best that you dont put yourself in a situation in which youll have to bother going to the doctor and bite your nails with anxiousness until you get the results of a blood test. This is possible if you follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and stress yourself less. However, the imminent evolution of human race is accompanied by a change in our lifestyles that makes it impossible to always exclude the three factors from our everyday routine. Therefore, taking lipid profile tests every 4-6 years will alleviate the damage to the lowest minimum possible and prevent any further ailments that are even more bothersome than a simple, pre-emptive blood test. Finally, educate yourself about early signs of most deadly cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, coronary heart disease, heart attack and peripheral arterial disease so that you can react within the first few hours and avoid death.
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/6how Dangerous Can It Be
Experiencing leg pain without other specific cases could be bad, but in cases as such, when cholesterol is the deep rooted cause, leg pain for people who develop PAD can often be a sign of early heart trouble and cardiac ailments, since it signals that there may be more clogged arteries in and around the body, which could be a precursor for heart trouble.
The very issue that leg pain is often never linked as a sign of high cholesterol or cardiac issues is what puts people at a higher risk of encountering complications, severe trouble and getting a heart attack or a stroke as the pain progresses. Says Dr Sridhar, While such pain symptoms could be easily mistaken, pain in the leg which develops while walking and gets relived while at rest is taken, is the sign of a blockage in the leg called claudication pain..
If the pain is not treated or diagnosed in time, it could also cause later complications, since Peripheral Artery Disorder is a silent disease which doesn’t cause other symptoms. Any concerning sign of leg pain could , and should be treated as a ‘wake-up call’ to prevent heart disease risk.
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
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Are There Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on April 10, 2021. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance commonly found in animal-based foods like eggs, milk, and meat. It may not be much in its physical form, but cholesterol is an important health marker, playing a key role in some basic bodily functions.
Your body needs cholesterol to build cells, synthesize some vitamins, and produce certain hormones. Itâs also used in the production of bile.
However, too much cholesterol can increase your risk of serious health issues. If youâre interested in learning about what causes high cholesterol, weâve written about that in detail. For now, keep reading to learn more about high cholesterol, what symptoms to look out for, and whether taking a cholesterol test may be a good idea.
Unexpected Signs You Have High Cholesterol
Your eyes, legs toenails and skin may indicate signs of high cholesterol. If you dont treat high cholesterol it leads to plaque build up in your artery walls, known as atherosclerosis, and limits blood flow. If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol your body has so much bad cholesterol that it doesnt even know what to do with it.
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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.
How To Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help lower it. For instance, they may recommend changes to your diet, exercise habits, or other aspects of your daily routine. If you smoke tobacco products, they will likely advise you to quit.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications or other treatments to help lower your cholesterol levels. In some cases, they may refer you to a specialist for more care. See how long it may take for your cholesterol treatment to work.
To help you achieve and maintain healthy cholesterol levels, your doctor may recommend changes to your diet.
For example, they may advise you to:
- limit your intake of foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats
- choose lean sources of protein, such as chicken, fish, and legumes
- eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- opt for baked, broiled, steamed, grilled, and roasted foods instead of fried foods
- avoid fast food and junk food
Foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, or trans fats include:
- red meat, organ meats, egg yolks, and high-fat dairy products
- processed foods made with cocoa butter, palm oil, or coconut oil
- deep fried foods, such as potato chips, onion rings, and fried chicken
- certain baked goods, such as some cookies and muffins
For example, the following products contain high levels of cholesterol:
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What Is Dangerously High Cholesterol
You may be diagnosed with borderline-high or high cholesterol if your blood test results show:
- Total cholesterol higher than 200 milligrams per deciliter
- LDL cholesterol higher than 100 mg/dL
- Triglycerides over 150 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol lower than 40 mg/dL
But what do these numbers really mean for your health?
While having high cholesterol isnt something youll notice day to day, it does mean youre at risk for or may already have heart disease, the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States.
Want to know more? Here are answers to 11 frequently asked questions about high cholesterol.
High Cholesterol In The United States
- In 20152016, more than 12% of adults age 20 and older had total cholesterol higher than 240 mg/dL, and more than 18% had high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels less than 40 mg/dL.1
- Slightly more than half of the U.S. adults who could benefit from cholesterol medicine are currently taking it.2
- 93 million U.S. adults age 20 or older have total cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dL. Nearly 29 million adult Americans have total cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dL.3
- 7% of U.S. children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 have high total cholesterol.3
- High cholesterol has no symptoms, so many people dont know that their cholesterol is too high. A simple blood test can check cholesterol levels.
- Having high blood cholesterol raises the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death, and for stroke, the fifth leading cause of death.
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What Is A Healthy Cholesterol Level
A cholesterol test measures a few different components: your total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, a type of fat our bodies use for energy.
But when it comes to what numbers are optimal for you, context is key. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that there are average values doctors consider to be a healthy cholesterol level. But if a person has risk factors for high cholesterol, those figures might be way too high.
In general, adults aim for the following targets:
Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dl
LDL cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dl
HDL cholesterol: 50 mg/dl or higher for women 40 mg/dl or higher for men
Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dl
Still, cholesterol goals are dependent on someone’s health situation. For example, Dr. Yang says that for people in a high-risk categorylike those with heart disease or diabetesthe target LDL cholesterol level should be below 70 mg/dl.
“That’s a firm recommendation in the U.S. guidelines,” he explains. “But the European guidelines are even more aggressive.”
In its 2019 guidelines, the European Society of Cardiology set its LDL cholesterol target for high-risk patients at less than 55 mg/dl.
“In general, most cardiologists believe that lowering the LDL as much as possible confers a greater benefit,” Dr. Yang says. “But it’s based on your personal risk.”
It’s also based on your sex and age. Children, for instance, have a total cholesterol goal of 170 mg/dl and an HDL goal of 45 mg/dl.
Final Thoughts Of Signs And Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
These signs and symptoms of high cholesterol in the body should give you a good indication of your health. To detect early signs of hypercholesterolemia, its best to take a blood exam and have the results interpreted by a medical professional. As we discussed in this article, apart from lack of exercise, other contributing factors of high cholesterol LDL are high cholesterol genes inherited from your parents or high cholesterol causing foods you have been consuming.
If you have high cholesterol, lifestyle changes and possibly some maintenance medication should be enough to turn your life around. Otherwise, you face severe risks like heart failure and stroke. And if your liver is healthy, high cholesterol HDL is not bad for you because your liver can take care of it.
Thank you for reading, and best of luck to you. And those are signs and symptoms of high cholesterol.
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When Should High Cholesterol Be Treated With Medication
If youve had a heart attack, stroke, or have diabetes or been diagnosed with inherited high cholesterol, youll need to take one or more cholesterol-lowering medications, in addition to being careful with your diet and staying active. Statins can have a tremendous impact for lowering LDL cholesterol, says Khandwalla. Statins decrease your risk of illness and dying if youre in one of these high-risk groups.
In addition to statins, which should always be used first, other cholesterol-lowering drugs include fibrates, niacin, PCSK9 inhibitors, bile-acid sequestrants, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors, according to the CDC.
If you found out your cholesterol was high after a routine checkup, discuss your test results with your doctor. Your doctor will calculate your individual risk of heart attack or stroke to decide if you should be on a statin.
In some cases, the doctor may recommend giving a healthy diet and active lifestyle a try first. However, if your cholesterol levels remain high, you may need a heart scan to look for plaque buildup in your arteries, and your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to lower your heart-disease and stroke risk.
What Causes High Cholesterol If I Eat Healthy Can It Be Genetic
If you eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise but still have high cholesterol, your DNA may be a bigger factor than your lifestyle. About 1 in 250 people in the United States live with familial hypercholesterolemia , a life-threatening inherited disorder that causes high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of people who have it dont know it, according to the FH Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in Pasadena, California. Screening for high cholesterol is the only way to identify people who have FH. Because of this, all children should have a cholesterol screening once between ages 9 and 11, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If your LDL is above 100, its already considered high. If its higher than 190, you may have FH, according to leading heart groups, such as the AHA, the American College of Cardiology, and the National Lipid Association. If a parent has FH, their child has a chance of having it, too. Finding out if you have FH and getting treated if you do is vital, because having FH means your risk of heart disease is 20 times higher than that of people who dont have inherited high cholesterol, according to the FH Foundation.
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Five Signs Of High Cholesterol In Your Legs
When arteries become blocked by cholesterol, it often represents the first warning signs.
When this blockage takes place in the arteries outside of the heart, it is called peripheral Artery Disease .
According to Cardiovascular Institute of the South , this most commonly occurs in the legs.
“Although there may be no physical signs at all, there are some symptoms that have been noted to occur with PAD,” explains CIS.
While patients with high cholesterol should be vigilant in their arterial care at all times, “particular signs should be addressed at the earliest opportunity”, says the health body.
- Painful cramping in the legs
- Numbness or weakness in the legs
- Slow hair growth on the legs
- Coldness in the lower leg or foot on one side
- Weak pulse in the legs.
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What Are The Risk Factors For High Cholesterol
A number of factors are thought to increase your chances of developing high cholesterol. Common risk factors include:
- Not or quitting smoking
- Reducing the amount of saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol that you eat
- Treating high cholesterol levels with medications as recommended by your healthcare provider
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What Does High Cholesterol Do To The Body
Having high cholesterol can lead to stiffening and narrowing of the arteries. A buildup of plaque a combination of cholesterol, fats, your cells waste products, calcium, and fibrin , explains the American Heart Association can reduce or block blood flow through the arteries. Thats why cholesterol matters: Lack of sufficient blood flow to your brain or heart can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
What Can Happen If Your Arteries Become Clogged Up
If your arteries become clogged up with blood fats, your blood can’t flow around your body easily. This can lead to a number of diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
These diseases are known together as cardiovascular disease cardio refers to the heart, and vascular refers to the blood vessels.
Coronary heart disease
This is where the arteries have become clogged up and stiff with atherosclerosis. The blood cant flow around the body and back to the heart easily, and blood clots can form. This can lead to chest pain, heart failure, heart attacks and strokes.
This is a dull, heavy or tight pain in the chest which can spread to the left arm, neck, jaw or back. It happens when the arteries leading to the heart have become narrowed and the heart doesnt get enough oxygen. The pain can be brought on by exercise or activity, as the heart needs more oxygen during physical activity.
A heart attack
This is a medical emergency. It happens when an artery leading to the heart becomes completely blocked, often by a blood clot, cutting off the blood supply. Part of the heart muscle quickly dies, but if its treated very early the blockage can be removed.If you think you or someone you are with is having a heart attack, call 999 straight away. The signs of a heart attack include:
- a crushing pain in the chest
- feeling weak or faint
Find out about coronavirus if you have heart disease
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