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What is High Cholesterol? – Description, Symptoms, Factors, and More

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What is High Cholesterol?

High Cholesterol is an ailment that happens when blood cholesterol levels are high enough to origin health problems, including heart illness and stroke. Sometimes known as hyperlipemia, It is painless and causes no symptoms until a person develops severe heart disease.

Signs and Symptoms of High Cholesterol

It usually does not origin any symptoms until it causes a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. These heart disease events only occur when it levels cause fatty plaques to build up in the arteries. This, in short, leads to narrowing of the streets and changes in the composition of the routes, which is also known as heart disease.

Causes and Risk Factors for High Cholesterol

According to the CDC, hereditary and lifestyle factors contribute to its levels, including the following.

Inheritance

Having a family past of high cholesterol or heart disease also means you are more likely to have it

Although relatively rare, some people also have a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, which causes excessively high LDL levels at a young age and, if left untreated, can lead to early coronary heart disease and heart attacks. The CDC estimates that one million Americans, or a third of one per cent of the US population, have familial hypercholesterolemia.

Age

Everyone’s due to age-related metabolic changes, including how the liver removes LDL cholesterol from the blood.

Gender

Women over 55 or who have gone through menopause tend to have lower LDL cholesterol levels than men. HDL cholesterol levels tend to be higher in men than in women.

Diet

It saturated fat, and trans fat raise it levels. Most animal products, whole dairy products, and some solid oils at room temperature are high in saturated fat. In recent years, the AHA has explicitly stopped recommending dietary Cholesterol after finding it did not have a significant correlation with heart disease risk.

Reducing the amount of saturated and trans body fat in your diet is considered the best dietary change for lowering Cholesterol.

Physical Activity Level

 High Cholesterol

According to the AHA, little or no physical activity in daily life can lower HDL cholesterol levels, making it harder for the body to get rid of LDL cholesterol in the arteries.

Moderate to vigorous exercise can raise HDL cholesterol levels and reduce the size of LDL cholesterol particles, making them less harmful.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is known to damage blood vessels and lower HDL cholesterol, which at normal levels protects against heart disease, especially in women.

There is no conclusive evidence that smoking raises LDL cholesterol levels, but it does create an arterial environment that promotes the accumulation of fatty plaques.

Obesity

Obesity, distinct from a body mass index (BMI) over 30, is associated with higher triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. While people who are overweight or obese on the BMI scale are at higher risk for it, people with a lower BMI may also be at risk for it.

Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, another chronic disease sensitive to lifestyle, body weight, and metabolism, is also associated with lower HDL cholesterol and higher LDL cholesterol. According to one study, the reasons for this relationship are only partially understood. But changes in insulin metabolism and general inflammation may be contributing factors.

People with type 1 diabetes are also more likely to have a lipid profile that contributes to heart disease, even if their levels are generally normal.

How is Hypercholesterolemia Diagnosed?

Since it usually has no cyphers or symptoms. The only way to know if you have it is by taking a simple blood test called a lipid profile or lipid profile. This blood test may require you to fast (not eat or drink) for 8 to 12 hours before your blood draw.

From this blood sample, your doctor can measure your LDL, HDL , and triglycerides. Which at high levels can combine with low or high HDL levels, increasing your risk of heart disease. The lipid panel can also tell you your total level based on all three.

According to the CDC, the desirable levels of each component for adults are as follows:

  • LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg per deciliter (mg/dL)
  • HDL level is greater than or equal to 60 mg/dL.
  • Triglycerides below 150 mg/dL
  • Total  less than 200 mg/dl

However, according to Peter Schulman, MD, senior cardiologist and professor of medicine at UConn Health in Farmington, Conn., more and more cardiologists are focusing less on specific numbers and more on overall heart disease risk. Your age and general health can help you determine if you should talk to your doctor about lowering your  level if it’s not in your target range.

Treatment Options and Medications for High Cholesterol

Although it can contribute to the long-term risk of heart attack and stroke. You can lower your Cholesterol by making lifestyle changes, such as eating a heart-healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and stopping smoking. These long-term lifestyle changes can also prevent it levels from changing in the first place.

Medicines to Treat High Cholesterol

  • PCSK9 Inhibitors
  • Selective Absorption Inhibitors
  • Bile Acid Sequestrants
  • Fibrates
  • Niacin
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements

Prevention of High Cholesterol

Regardless of your family history of cardiovascular disease. You can prevent it by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking. Maintaining an average weight and limiting alcohol consumption can also help.

Regular monitoring of levels can also help prevent too high or too low. As a general rule, healthy adults should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. But your doctor may want you to have it checked more often. Depending on your age, general health, and other risk factors. There are different ways to prevent it.

  • Eat Healthy Food
  • Practice Regular Physical Activity
  • Give Up Smoking
  • Maintain a Normal Weight
  • Limit Your Alcohol Intake

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