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What Causes A Low Cholesterol Level

Study Suggests Lower Ldl Cholesterol Is Better

Problems With Low Cholesterol Levels | Dr.Berg on Cholesterol Control (Part-3)

A recent meta-analysis published in JAMA Cardiology suggests that it is both safe and effective to lower LDL below 70 mg/dL. The authors reviewed a large database of CVD patients with LDL levels averaging 70 mg/dL or less at the start of the studies. On average, there was a 20% drop in CVD risk seen for every 39 mg/dL drop in LDL cholesterol. In other words, a drop in LDL from 70 mg/dL down to 31 mg/dL was associated with 20% fewer CVD events such as heart attack or stroke.

The benefit was consistent regardless of the medications used to lower cholesterol. The JAMA Cardiology meta-analysis looked at studies in which LDL was lowered with a statin drug, which works by lowering LDL production in the liver, or with a different type of medication, including ezetimibe , which interferes with absorption of LDL from the intestine, or PCSK9 inhibitors, newer injectable medicines that increase uptake of LDL from the bloodstream into the liver. The drop in CVD risk was in line with previous studies of patients who started with LDL levels around 130 mg/dL, and saw a drop in CVD events of about 22% for every 39 mg/dL drop in LDL.

In this study, there was no increased risk of adverse outcomes , even when LDL was lowered to as low as 20 mg/dL. Although statin medications themselves have been linked to side effects, especially at high doses, it appears that extremely low LDL concentrations are not responsible for side effects.

How Can A High Ldl Level Raise My Risk Of Coronary Artery Disease And Other Diseases

If you have a high LDL level, this means that you have too much LDL cholesterol in your blood. This extra LDL, along with other substances, forms plaque. The plaque builds up in your arteries this is a condition called atherosclerosis.

Coronary artery disease happens when the plaque buildup is in the arteries of your heart. It causes the arteries to become hardened and narrowed, which slows down or blocks the blood flow to your heart. Since your blood carries oxygen to your heart, this means that your heart may not be able to get enough oxygen. This can cause angina , or if the blood flow is completely blocked, a heart attack.

How Do I Know What My Ldl Level Is

A blood test can measure your cholesterol levels, including LDL. When and how often you should get this test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:

For people who are age 19 or younger:

  • The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
  • Children should have the test again every 5 years
  • Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke

For people who are age 20 or older:

  • Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
  • Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years

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Prevention And Prognosis Of Low Cholesterol

Low cholesterol prevention isnt something that most people think about because it is usually high cholesterol that makes the headlines. The best way to keep cholesterol levels in balance is to get regular check-ups. Maintaining a heart-healthy diet and living an active life can also go a long way in keeping your cholesterol levels in check. It is also helpful to be aware of any family history connected to cholesterol problems and pay close attention to symptoms of anxiety, particularly if they make you feel really aggressive or violent.

If you or someone in your family shows signs of low cholesterol, you might be concerned about low cholesterol prognosis. It is true that low cholesterol has been associated with some serious health complications, such as intracerebral hemorrhage, but this typically happens in older adults. Women with low cholesterol also run the risk of having low birth weight or even premature babies. Sadly, low cholesterol has also been deemed a risk factor for suicide.

If you are ever diagnosed with low cholesterol, dont be afraid to talk to your doctor about your concerns. It is important to remain open and report all of your symptoms, including any feelings of anxiety or depression, so thatyour health care provider can guide you to the best possible treatment.

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Eat A Variety Of Healthy Proteins

Low Density Lipoprotein Definition

The best choices of protein are fish and seafood, legumes , nuts and seeds. You can eat smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry but limit red meat to 1-3 times a week.

Flavour foods with herbs and spices rather than salt, and avoid processed foods as these contain a lot of salt too. Salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

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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.

What Are Normal Levels Of Cholesterol

Normal levels of cholesterol are different depending on your age and sex. These guidelines show desirable total, non-HDL,LDL and HDL levels by age and sex.

Table 1: Target cholesterol levels by age and sex

Age and sex

cholesterol

cholesterol

People aged 19 years and younger Men aged 20 years and olderWomen aged 20 years and older

The table above spells out the numbers for normal cholesterol levels. The table below shows you cholesterol levels that are higher than normal. High cholesterol numbers vary by age group and sex, and may be different for those who have heart disease. These guidelines represent high cholesterol numbers for those who do not have heart disease.

Table 2: High total, non-HDL and LDL cholesterol levels by age and sex

Age and sex
People aged 19 years and younger

Borderline: 170-199 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL

Borderline: 120-144 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 145 mg/dL

Borderline: 110-129 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 130 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL

Near optimal or above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL

Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

Very high: Greater than 189 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL

Near optimal or above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL

Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

Very high: Greater than 189 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol levels

If you do not have heart disease or blood vessel disease, and you are not at high risk for developing heart disease, the optimal number is less than 100 mg/dL.

Triglycerides

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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.

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.

How To Lower Cholesterol: Low

Vitamin D And Cholesterol (Low HDL)

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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The American Heart Association Recommends

All adults age 20 or older should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. If certain factors put you at high risk, or if you already have heart disease, your doctor may ask you to check it more often. Work with your doctor to determine your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke and create a plan to reduce your risk.

What Complications Are Possible If You Dont Treat High Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood

The main reason to treat high cholesterol is to prevent or treat coronary heart disease , also called coronary artery disease or CAD. CHD happens when heart is not able to get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well and kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. CHD usually refers to the large arteries, but there is also a condition called coronary microvascular disease that affects the small vessels and causes damage.

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Low Hdl Cholesterol Causes Why Is My Good Cholesterol So Low

Cholesterol is a waxy type of fatty substance that is found in the body. The abundance of what is found in our bodies is produced by the liver, with a small percentage being derived from the foods that we eat. The term cholesterol often comes with a negative implication however, the substance is critically important to many processes that occur within the body. There is not just one type of cholesterol. Bad cholesterol is the type that is responsible for clogging arteries and leading to heart disease when levels are high. However, there is another kind that is much less ominous, and that is HDL cholesterol. The HDL phraseology used to describe this type refers to high density lipoprotein, and while both are essential to many physiological processes, HDL cholesterol has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. Unlike the bad type of cholesterol, where higher levels can be problematic, having low HDL cholesterol can cause problems of its own.

Cholesterol And Healthy Eating

How To Increase Hdl Cholesterol

What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.

The Heart Foundation recommends:

  • Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
  • A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
  • Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
  • Healthy fat choices nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
  • Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.

Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.

Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ vegetables.

Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.

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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

What Causes Low Cholesterol Health Risks Symptoms And Treatment Of Hypocholesterolemia

Written byBel Marra HealthPublished onJanuary 11, 2018

Low cholesterol or hypocholesterolemia is something we dont hear a lot about.Cholesterol, of course, is that fatty substance that can clog arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke when levels are high however, low cholesterol can also be a health hazard.

When cholesterol levels are high, it can interfere with blood flow, causing a heart attack or stroke. If cholesterol levels are low, then other conditions such as cancer and depression can become a problem.

Understanding cholesterol and how it can impact the human body is important if you want to protect your health. For instance, cholesterol is a substance that the body actually needs. It plays a vital role in making certain hormones and making some of the substances that we need to digest food, but LDL is bad cholesterol, as it clogs our arteries. While lowering bad cholesterol is a good idea, having hypocholesterolemia can be concerning. Keep in mind that HDL is good cholesterol. It helps remove LDL from the body.

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Causes Of Very Low Ldl Levels

Extremely low levels dont just come about due to cholesterol lowering drugs. There can be other causes as well. There are four major causes why your LDL levels can fall too low.

1. Iatrogenic, meaning due to cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins

2. Reduced production of LDL due to

  • Liver disease
  • Malabsorption such as celiac disease, where there is poor absorption from the gastrointestinal tract
  • Malnutrition, inadequate intake of nutrition.

3. Increased clearance of LDL due to

Hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland causes cholesterol levels to drop to abnormally low levels.

4. Inherited: Low LDL Syndrome

  • In Abetalipoproteinemia virtually no LDL cholesterol is present
  • In familial hypobetalipoproteinemia the LDL cholesterol levels are extremely low.

These are rare genetic diseases that cause cholesterol readings to fall to dangerously low levels.

How Is The Total Cholesterol Or Blood Cholesterol Test Done

How to Increase Low HDL Cholesterol

A blood test is a routine test. A phlebotomist is the person whose job it is to draw blood. Blood is usually drawn from the vein in your arm. You will sit down and the phlebotomist will wrap a rubber band around your upper arm so that the vein in your elbow sticks out. Then they will use a needle to puncture the vein and remove blood. The blood is sent to the lab to be examined.

Youve probably been at health fairs where testing is offered. In that case, the person performing the test takes a drop of blood from your finger. The finger stick test uses a small blade to poke a hole in the tip of your finger to get the blood.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Low Ldl Cholesterol Syndromes

The phenotypic expression of homozygous abetalipoproteinemia is essentially the same as that for homozygous familial hypobetalipoproteinemia . Chylomicrons , very low-density lipoprotein , and low-density lipoprotein are essentially absent. Severe fat malabsorption and all of the sequelae of that condition are present during infancy and beyond. ABL, if left untreated, can result in early mortality.

A study by Sankatsing and colleagues of patients with FHBL evaluated the arterial wall stiffness and carotid intima-media thickness , measured by B-mode ultrasonography, as noninvasive, surrogate markers for cardiovascular disease , and the presence and severity of hepatic steatosis, as assessed by abdominal ultrasonography. The hepatic transaminase levels were found to be only modestly elevated, although the prevalence and severity of steatosis were significantly higher in individuals with FHBL than they were in controls. Furthermore, despite similar IMT measurements, arterial stiffness was significantly lower in patients with FHBL than it was in controls, suggesting cardiovascular protection.

Heterozygotes with the mutation that leads to either ABL or FHBL are generally asymptomatic. However, because FHBL is a codominant condition , carriers have half the normal levels of beta lipoproteins. Cholesterol levels range from 40-180 mg/dL. Some carriers may present with signs and symptoms of neurologic involvement.

  • Gastroenterologic symptoms

  • Steatorrhea and diarrhea are present.

  • 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.

    References

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    How Can I Lower My Cholesterol

    There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:

    • Heart-healthy lifestyle changes, which include:
      • Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples 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 .
      • Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
      • Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
    • 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 medicines 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 should continue with the lifestyle changes.

    NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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