Negative Impact Of High Cholesterol
Studying cholesterol in older adults is trickier than it sounds, Martin says. Many people who have high cholesterol die from complications of heart disease before reaching an advanced age. Those who live into their 70s or 80s despite high cholesterol might have other factors that increased their longevity. That bias could skew the research results.
If someone has made it to that age and hasnt had problems from their cholesterol, they may have gotten lucky with genes or other protective factors, he says. But that doesnt mean high cholesterol is harmless or that their luck wont run out.
In addition, high cholesterol is one of many factors that work together to contribute to cardiovascular disease, along with elements such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and inactivity. Cholesterol might not always be the single most important factor, Martin says, but its a piece of the puzzle that patients and doctors should not ignore.
What To Do If A Low
Low-carb and ketogenic diets are incredibly healthy.
They have clear, potentially life-saving benefits for some of the worlds most serious diseases.
This includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, epilepsy and numerous others.
The most common heart disease risk factors tend to improve greatly, for most people .
According to these improvements, low-carb dietsshould reduce the risk of heart disease.
But even if these risk factors improve on average, there can be individuals within those averages that experience improvements, and others who see negative effects.
There appears to be a small subset of people who experience increased cholesterol levels on a low-carb diet, especially a ketogenic diet or a very high fat version of paleo.
This includes increases in Total and LDL cholesterol as well as increases in advanced markers like LDL particle number.
Of course, most of these risk factors were established in the context of a high-carb, high-calorie Western diet and we dont know if they have the same effects on a healthy low-carb diet that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress.
However it is better to be safe than sorry and I think that these individuals should take some measures to get their levels down, especially those who have a family history of heart disease.
When To Seek Medical Advice
A high triglyceride level often does not produce any symptoms, so this condition is usually diagnosed during routine blood tests including a lipid panel.
If the patient does not have any medical conditions or bad lifestyle choices, then the doctor usually orders a lipid panel to be done every few years to assess the triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
If the triglyceride levels are detected above the normal range in the lipid panel, then the doctor will usually recommend lifestyle changes, such as exercise and diet as the first line of treatment for hypertriglyceridemia. If diet and exercise are not effective in lowering the high triglycerides, then medications, such as fibrates or statins are prescribed.
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How Are High Triglycerides Treated
The best ways to lower triglycerides include losing weight, eating fewer calories, and exercising regularly . Diet changes that may help include avoiding fats and sugar and refined foods . Also avoid alcohol and limit fats found in meats high in saturated fat, egg yolks, and whole milk products. Trans fats, found in fried foods and commercial baked products, are unhealthy. Eat healthy monounsaturated fatsolive, peanut, and canola oils. Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of red meat.
If diet changes and exercise dont work, medicines such as nicotinic acid , fibrates , and omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides. Niacin side effects limit its use. Cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins can also lower triglycerides, but their effect is limited.
Its also important to control diabetes since a high sugar level will also increase triglycerides.
Normal Cholesterol High Triglycerides
Even though your latest physical may have shown that your cholesterol levels are normal, you may still be at risk for heart disease if your triglycerides level is high.
A 20-year study conducted by the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine found that a pattern of elevated levels of triglycerides, the main form of fats circulating in the bloodstream, even when cholesterol levels are normal, can mean a two- to three-fold increase of deaths by cardiovascular disease.
Blood triglycerides come from two main sources: the food you eat-especially sugar, animal products and saturated fats-and from your liver. Although its not exactly clear how, high triglyceride levels can result in hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls , which can raise your risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
- Normal triglyceride levels are less than 150 milligrams per deciliter
- Borderline high is 150-199 mg/dl high is 200-499 mg/dl
- Very high 500 mg/dl. A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dl or above is considered a risk for metabolic syndrome-a constellation of conditions resulting from too much fat around the waist-which in addition to raising your risk for heart disease, it can also increase your risk for diabetes.
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Low Triglycerides But High Ldl
Triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins are both found in your bloodstream. Along with high-density lipoproteins, these particles make up your cholesterol profile. According to the American Heart Association, high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary diseases. Optimally, triglyceride levels should be below 150 mg/dl, and LDL should be below 100 mg/dl.
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Medications May Be Needed For High Triglyceride Levels
Sometimes, healthy eating and regular exercise cant lower high triglyceride levels. This may be the case, for example, if you have familial hypertriglyceridemia or if you already have heart disease. Your doctor may prescribe medication such as fibrates or nicotinic acids. Drugs to help lower high blood cholesterol may also be prescribed, if necessary.Suggestions for managing high triglyceride levels with medication include:
- Always take prescription medications exactly as instructed.
- See your doctor if you are having side effects from the medication. Known medication side effects may include indigestion, diarrhoea, fever or muscle problems.
- Dont assume that medications will somehow overcome the hazards of an unhealthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise and maintaining an appropriate weight for your height are the most important management strategies for high triglycerides.
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What Causes High Cholesterol
Many factors can increase your chances of having heart problems or a stroke if you have high cholesterol.
- an unhealthy diet in particular, eating high levels of saturated fat
- smoking a chemical called acrolin, found in cigarettes, stops HDL transporting cholesterol from fatty deposits to the liver, leading to narrowing of the arteries
- having diabetes or high blood pressure
- having a family history of stroke or heart disease
There’s also an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia. This can cause high cholesterol even in someone who eats healthily.
Read more about the causes of high cholesterol
Lowering Your Triglyceride Levels
Making some simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping bring down your triglyceride levels, including:
- Losing weight. Dropping just five to ten pounds can help lower your triglycerides.
- Avoiding sugary and refined foods. Stay away from simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and foods made with white flour.
- Eliminating trans and saturated fats. Trans fats are found in fried foods and commercial baked products like cookies and crackers and saturated fats are found in meats. Instead, choose healthier monounsaturated fats found in plants, such as olive, peanut and canola oils, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel.
- Limiting alcohol consumption. Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and effects triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
- Maintaining regular exercise. Regular exercise can increase HDL cholesterol levels and lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
If making some lifestyle adjustments isnt enough to control your triglyceride levels, a medication may be necessary. Talk with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you to ensure a healthy heart.
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Who Should 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
- are over the age of 40 people over 40 should have their estimate of CVD risk reviewed regularly
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease for example, if your father or brother developed heart disease or had a heart attack or stroke before the age of 55, or if your mother or sister had these conditions before the age of 65
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition, such as familial hypercholesterolaemia
- are overweight or obese
- have high blood pressure or diabetes
- have another medical condition, such as kidney disease, an underactive thyroid, or an inflamed pancreas these conditions can cause increased levels of cholesterol or triglycerides
High Cholesterol High Hdl Low Triglycerides
LDL = Total Cholesterol HDL triglycerides/5.
This doesnt explain the difference between LDL A or B .
Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between a low triglyceride/high HDL level and LDL pattern A .
On the other hand, a high triglyceride/low HDL level is strongly associated with LDL pattern B . Thus high triglycerides are an independent risk factor for heart disease.
From this you can calculate that in your situation a high LDL is mostly Type A , confirmed by a high HDL and low triglyrerides and that therefore there a very low risk of heart disease.
Having high cholesterol may still be healthy if good cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and other markers of cardiovascular health are good. You can calculate this here. People with high good cholesterol levels and low levels of triglycerides may actually be at a lower risk for heart disease than people with normal cholesterol levels who have lower levels of good cholesterol and higher levels of bad cholesterol.
Hope this helps,
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How To Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol Naturally
Your genes, diet, and lifestyle all affect your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Some people naturally produce more triglycerides and cholesterol than others. This is based on their genetics and family history. Still, these levels are just part of your overall lipid levels, and lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to keep your numbers within a healthy range.
When To Seek Treatment
Deciding on whether you ought to be treated for high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels, whether that treatment ought to include drug therapy, and which drugs ought to be used is not always entirely straightforward. Still, if your cardiovascular risk is elevated, the right treatment aimed at your lipid levels can substantially reduce your chances of having a heart attack, or even of dying prematurely. So when it comes to treating cholesterol and triglycerides, it is important to get it right. You can read about current thinking on when and how treatment for blood lipids should be chosen.
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Start Taking A Statin Medication
For most people who have moderate to high risk for heart attacks and strokes, the best thing that we can do to both impact their cholesterol levels and impact their overall risk for stroke and heart attack is start a statin medication, said Dr. Kirley. A statin medication changes the way cholesterol is metabolized in your body so that you ultimately have lower levels of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, particularly that LDL cholesterol that we worry about.
We often hear a lot of fear around taking statin medications, she said. Perhaps the biggest misconceptions I see are that these medications are not safe or that they cause other diseases.
Statin medications are among the most studied medications that we use in medicine. They have a wonderful safety profile and great evidence for effectiveness, Dr. Kirley added.
What Are Risk Factors For High Triglycerides
Factors that may raise triglyceride levels include:
- Excessive alcohol use.
- American Academy of Family Physicians. High Cholesterol. Accessed 11/182/2021.
- American Heart Association. Cholesterol. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Getting Your Cholesterol Checked. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Hormone Health Network. Triglycerides. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- MedlinePlus. Triglycerides Test. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Merck Manual Consumer Version. Overview of Cholesterol and Lipid Fats. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. High Blood Triglycerides. Accessed 11/18/2021.
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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 Doctors Wish Patients Knew About High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a common health condition in the United States. In fact, nearly 94 million adults over the age of 20 have what could be considered borderline high cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet because this condition often presents without symptoms, many are not aware they have high cholesterol until they visit their doctor.
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How To Prepare For The Test
You should not eat for 8 to 12 hours before the test.
Alcohol and some medicines can interfere with blood test results.
- Make sure your health care provider knows what medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
- Your provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before you have this test.
- DO NOT stop or change your medicines without talking to your provider first.
Note On Existing Studies
More research is needed to fully understand whether very high HDL levels increase the risk of death.
The authors of a 2019 study suggest that genetic mutations linked to very high HDL levels, impaired HDL function at high levels, and potential bias in research due to flaws in study design may contribute to the potential link found in some studies.
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Diets High In Calories Carbs And Fats
Triglyceride levels increase with a positive energy-intake balance . In other words, when you eat more than your body needs, the surplus is transformed into fat, including triglycerides. Its easier to overeat when your diet is high in calories and contains lots of carbs and saturated fats .
Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets are among the most common causes of high triglycerides. But wait we said that high-fat diets are bad, so doesnt that mean a low-fat diet should be beneficial? Not quite .
Saturated, unhealthy fats are bad. But your body needs healthy fats such as those found in olive oil and fish oil to keep your triglyceride levels normal and to maintain your overall health. If you dont get enough dietary fats, your body will revert to transforming the sugars you consume into fats .
This goes against the popular but unfounded belief that your body wont store fat as long as you dont eat fats. In truth, high-carbohydrate diets can be much worse than high-fat diets for your triglyceride levels. Many scientists advocate that high-carb, low-fat diets likely also contributed to the obesity epidemic in America over the past few decades .
Getting A Cholesterol Test
A blood sample is taken that will be used to determine the amount of bad cholesterol , good cholesterol and other fatty substances in your blood.
You may be asked not to eat for 10-12 hours before the cholesterol test, usually including when you’re asleep at night. This ensures that all food is completely digested and won’t affect the outcome of the test.
Your GP or practice nurse can carry out the cholesterol test and will take a blood sample, either using a needle and a syringe or by pricking your finger.
A newer type of test that measures non-high-density lipoprotein is now sometimes used because it’s thought to be a more accurate way of estimating cardiovascular disease risk than LDL.
Non-HDL cholesterol is total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol. It’s also not necessary to fast before the test, so it is more convenient.
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Stress And Cholesterol Link
There is compelling evidence that your level of stress can cause an increase in bad cholesterol indirectly. For example, one study found that stress is positively linked to having less healthy dietary habits, a higher body weight, and a less healthy diet, all of which are known risk factors for high cholesterol. This was found to be especially true in men.
Another study that focused on over 90,000 people found that those who self-reported being more stressed at work had a greater chance of being diagnosed with high cholesterol. This may be because the body releases a hormone called cortisol in response to stress. High levels of cortisol from long-term stress may be the mechanism behind how stress can increase cholesterol. Adrenaline may also be released, and these hormones can trigger a fight or flight response to deal with the stress. This response will then trigger triglycerides, which can boost bad cholesterol.
Regardless of the physical reasons why stress can impact cholesterol, multiple studies show a positive correlation between high stress and high cholesterol. While there are other factors that can contribute to high cholesterol, it seems that stress can be one, too.