Other Reasons For A Spike In Cholesterol
If youre dieting and seeing results alongside an increase in cholesterol, take a survey of other possible contributions. Chances are, opting to lose weight is often accompanied by general lifestyle changes. However, as everyone is different, it is possible to maintain weight loss with;other factors that can raise cholesterol.
Smoking cigarettes: Cigarettes contain a chemical called acrolein, which can stop the transportation of cholesterol to the liver.
Alcohol: Too much alcohol can increase triglyceride levels.
Diabetes: Having diabetes tends to lower the cholesterol that works for your body, and raise the kind that works against it.
High blood pressure : High blood pressure and high cholesterol can influence one another. People with blockages in the arteries and abnormally high pressure are at severe risk for heart disease.
Family history: Family history, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, or arterial disease contribute to a higher risk of high cholesterol.
Age, sex, and race: Specific genetic factors increase the risk of high cholesterol. It increases as you age. It is more common in younger men, and older women following menopause. Certain ethnicities experience high cholesterol more than others.
Hypercholesterolemia: A rare condition that may cause an individual to have high cholesterol despite practicing healthy habits.
Why Does Cholesterol Go Up With Age
Cholesterol is not a big issue as long as it doesnt accumulate on the walls of your blood vessels . In its healthy levels, it can help the body to run some crucial functions such as helpful to produce healthy cells. But when it comes too much or raises higher than normal, this can be very harmful for your cardiovascular system. And as you age, your risk to have high cholesterol increases. But how does it occur? And what else you need to know to keep it off on its healthy level as you get older?
Age is only one of risk factors!
LDL, HDL, and triglycerides all of them are the major parameters you need to concern when it comes to help improve the health of your heart.
Heredity and age are uncontrollable risk factors. There is no any option you can do to change both risk factors.
But fortunately, there are still lots of options that can be powerful enough to help control and keep your cholesterol off.
HDL what actually is it and how to reach its best healthy level?
HDL stands for high density lipoprotein, and it is also much familiar known as good cholesterol. This nickname is reasonable since HDL can help control the amount of cholesterol in the blood. For more detailed information on how HDL helps lower your LDL, visit this section!
As you age, your chance of getting more episode of lower HDL increases. And decreased HDL in the blood means increased LDL this can be bad for your blood flow.
How about with LDL?
Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
- narrowing of the arteries ;
- transient ischaemic attack ; often known as a;”mini stroke”
- peripheral arterial disease
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;.
You May Like: Does Shrimp Have Good Cholesterol
Drop The Ketosis And Eat More Fiber
There is a common misunderstanding that a low-carb diet has to be ketogenic.
That is, that carbs should be low enough for the body to start producing ketones out of fatty acids.
This type of diet appears to be the most effective for people with epilepsy. Many people also claim to get the best results, mental and physical, when theyre in ketosis.
However more modest carb restriction can still be considered low-carb.
Although there is no clear definition, anything up to 100-150 grams per day can be classified as a low-carb diet.
It is possible that some individuals see cholesterol increases when theyre in ketosis, but improve when they eat just enough carbs to avoid going into ketosis.
You can try eating 1-2 pieces of fruit per day maybe a potato or sweet potato with dinner, or small servings of healthier starches like rice and oats.
Depending on your metabolic health and personal preferences, you could also just adopt a higher-carb version of paleo instead.
This can also be a very healthy diet, as demonstrated by long-living populations like the Kitavans and Okinawans, who ate a lot of carbs.
Although ketosis can have many incredible benefits, it is definitely not for everyone.
Exercising, getting better sleep and minimizing stress levels can also help.
Other Causes Of High Cholesterol
People are often surprised to find out they have high cholesterol or triglycerides in their blood.High levels of blood fats; which include cholesterol and triglycerides; can have many causes. These include your lifestyle,;genes, age, gender and ethnic background;and these can all add up. Here you can take a look at some of the lesser-known causes, which include other health problems and certain medicines. Doctors might call these ‘secondary causes’ of high cholesterol.
Don’t Miss: Are Egg Beaters Low In Cholesterol
Can You Lower Your Cholesterol Just By Changing Your Diet
Statins are used to lower cholesterol but how much can be achieved with changes to diet alone, asks Michael Mosley.
Over the many years that I’ve been making science documentaries I’ve covered a huge range of subjects, but there is one that is of particular personal interest. My family tree is riddled with heart disease and I know that, unchecked, my cholesterol scores tend to soar.
I am not alone – 60% of people in Britain have cholesterol levels that are too high and increasingly we are recommended to go on statins. Yet statins have side effects and many people are reluctant to go on a lifetime of pills.
So, for the current series of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, we wanted to see if you could lower your cholesterol just as effectively by changing your diet.
We asked Dr Scott Harding from Kings College London to help us set up and run a small study. With his help we recruited 42 volunteers, all of whom had concerns about their cholesterol and were keen to see what they could do without taking medication.
We started by taking blood samples to look at their current levels of total cholesterol.
Cholesterol is complicated stuff. Most of it is made in the liver and then sent to the cells that need it, bound to a lipoprotein called LDL .
LDL is often called “bad cholesterol” because high levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. HDL is known as “good cholesterol” because it carries cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver.
Ldl Cholesterol: ‘bad’ Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is the type that tends to deposit on the walls of the arteries. White blood cells combine with the LDL cholesterol, forming artery-narrowing plaque, which restricts blood flow. The optimal level of LDL cholesterol for most people is 100 mg/dL or lower. If you have heart disease, you may need to strive for LDL levels of 70 mg/dL or lower.
Recommended Reading: Are Egg Beaters Low In Cholesterol
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 Lower Cholesterol Naturally
In some cases, you may be able to lower your cholesterol levels without taking medications. For example, it may be enough to eat a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking tobacco products.
Some people also claim that certain herbal and nutritional supplements may help lower cholesterol levels. For instance, such claims have been made about:
- ground flax seed
However, the level of evidence supporting these claims varies. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved any of these products for treating high cholesterol. More research is needed to learn if they can help treat this condition.
Always talk to your doctor before taking any herbal or nutritional supplements. In some cases, they might interact with other medications youre taking. Learn more about natural remedies for high cholesterol.
Genetic risk factors for high cholesterol cant be controlled. However, lifestyle factors can be managed.
To lower your risk of developing high cholesterol:
- Eat a nutritious diet thats low in cholesterol and animal fats, and high in fiber.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Exercise regularly.
- Dont smoke.
You should also follow your doctors recommendations for routine cholesterol screening. If youre at risk of high cholesterol or coronary heart disease, they will likely encourage you to get your cholesterol levels tested on a regular basis. Find out how to get your cholesterol levels checked.
Read Also: Is Banana Good For Cholesterol
Ruling Out Secondary Causes Of High Cholesterol And Triglycerides
If your doctor rules out the other causes of raised cholesterol and triglycerides listed above, then the next step is to look for other possible explanations. These include inherited causes. Tell-tale signs of inherited high cholesterol or triglyceride include:
- close family members with high cholesterol or high triglyceride
- early heart disease in close family members
- an inherited blood fat condition in close family members.
There are over 100 genes that can affect how our bodies handle blood fats. Sometimes just one small change in a gene is enough to raise cholesterol or triglycerides to very high levels. Sometime inheriting a number of genes that each have a small effect can add up to cause problems.;
Inherited conditions that cause high cholesterol and triglycerides
Familial Hypercholesterolaemia raised cholesterol caused by a single gene
Familial Chylomicronaemia triglyceride levels can be extremely high, caused by a single gene
Familial Combined Hyperlipidaemia this causes raised cholesterol and triglycerides
Type 3 Hyperlipidaemia this also causes raised cholesterol and triglycerides
Polygenic Hypercholesterolaemia raised cholesterol caused by a number of genes
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
You cant tell if you have high cholesterol without having it checked. A simple blood test will reveal your cholesterol level.
Men 35 years of age and older and women 45 years of age and older should have their cholesterol checked. Men and women 20 years of age and older who have;risk factors for heart disease;should have their cholesterol checked. Teens may need to be checked if they are taking certain medicines or have a strong family history of high cholesterol. Ask your doctor how often you should have your cholesterol checked.
Risk factors for heart disease include:
- Cigarette smoking.
- Having an immediate family member who has had heart disease.
- Being overweight or obese.
Also Check: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
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.
What Is High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is when there’s too much bad cholesterol and/or not enough good cholesterol in your blood.
This picture shows what it;looks like if you have low cholesterol, normal cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels.;
Sometimes health professionals talk about the terms dyslipidaemia and hyperlipidaemia. Both are clinical terms that mean your levels of cholesterol are outside the normal range.
Symptoms of high cholesterol
You won’t know if you have high cholesterol because it doesn’t usually have symptoms. The only way to know is to have a blood test.
Why does high cholesterol matter?
When your cholesterol is too high it can build up as plaque in your arteries. If the plaque gets too big, or breaks off, it can cause a heart attack and stroke. This risk also increases when your triglycerides are too high.
Your doctor will use the results of your blood test and your other heart attack risk factors to decide whether you need medication to lower your cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Don’t Miss: Can Stress Raise Ldl Cholesterol Levels
Factors Other Than Food Can Raise Cholesterol Levels
If you dont eat much of those foods above, its;probably;not food causing your high cholesterol levels.
There are many other factors that can affect cholesterol production drastically. To make things worse, most of them increase LDL the most.
Heres a list of the most common non-food causes of high cholesterol:
- Genetic factors ;Inherited conditions like familial hypercholesterolemia can lead to very high LDL levels.
- Obesity ;Excess fat can almost double the amount of cholesterol you produce.
- Diabetes ;Strongly associated with high LDL levels.
- Liver or kidney disease ;Certain diseases are intertwined with high cholesterol. Although in many cases the high cholesterol is the one affecting the disease.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome ;People with this syndrome often have;low HDL cholesterol.
- Pregnancy ;Many hormone levels change, and that often leads to higher cholesterol production than usual. It also often causes pregnancy insomnia.
- Underactive thyroid gland ;Another issue linked to increased cholesterol.
- Drugs ;Certain drugs like steroids and progestins can increase LDL and lower HDL.
As you can see there are;many;factors other than diet that can affect cholesterol levels.
How To Lower Your Elevated Ldl Cholesterol
Cholesterol is naturally produced by your body and is essential to its function throughout your everyday life. However, excessively high levels of cholesterolin particular, LDL cholesterol are bad and can lead to serious health problems such as clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke.
What is LDL Cholesterol?
LDL stands for Low-Density Lipoproteins. This type of cholesterol is produced by the liver and is instrumental in the creation of cell walls, hormones, and digestive juices. However, when your LDL level is high, it can start to form a plaque-like substance on the walls of your cardiovascular system, blocking the natural flow of blood and leaving you at severe risk for heart attack and stroke. Put simply, LDL is the bad kind of cholesterol. But fear not there are several ways in which you can lower your LDL cholesterol and encourage the development of High-Density Lipoproteins , which actually function to limit the level of LDL cholesterol in your system.
Consider; Screening for Familial Hypercholesterolemia ?
Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic disorder that causes dangerously high levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol from birth. If you have a family history of heart disease and very high cholesterol, you may have FH. FH can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, or lipid panel. Learn more here.
Check out more Diet & Lifestyle Tips for a healthier life.
About the Author
Also Check: Can Keto Cause High Cholesterol
Here’s What The Numbers Mean And Strategies To Lower Your Cholesterol If It’s Too High
For some women who’ve had normal cholesterol readings all their lives, that changes at menopause. “Going through menopause often results in lipid and cholesterol changes for the worse,” says Dr. Samia Mora, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a specialist in cardiovascular medicine the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Drops in the female hormone, estrogen, are associated with a rise in total cholesterol levels due to higher amounts of low-density lipoprotein , the “bad” cholesterol, and another blood lipid known as triglyceride. Over time this can raise heart risks, which is a reason for concern, as cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in postmenopausal women, says Dr. Mora.
“So, it’s especially important to track the numbers in perimenopause and the early years after menopause, as LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol tend to increase,” she says.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
When To Get Tested
Screening: as part of a regular health exam with a lipid profile when no risk factors for heart disease are present; adults should be tested once every four to six years; children, teens, and young adults should be tested once between the ages of 9 and 11 and then again between the ages of 17 and 21.
Monitoring: may be done more frequently and at regular intervals when risk factors for heart disease are present, when prior results showed high risk levels, and/or when undergoing treatment for unhealthy lipid levels
Also Check: Is Tuna Good For Cholesterol
Why Are High Triglycerides Bad
High triglycerides tend to show up along with other problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. So itâs hard to know for sure which problems are caused by high triglycerides alone.
For instance, some people have a genetic condition that seems to cause high triglyceride levels. But they donât have an increased risk of heart disease. Still, there is some evidence that high triglycerides, on their own, increase the risk of disease. Other studies show that high triglycerides may only play a minor role when other heart disease risks are taken into account.
With ongoing studies, scientists hope to find out whether drugs that lower triglycerides also reduce the risks of heart disease.
Overall, it’s important to remember that improving diet and lifestyle will lower triglycerides and lower the overall risk of heart and blood vessel problems.