What happens when you have high cholesterol for a long time?
What are the Symptoms of high cholesterol?
How to reduce cholesterol naturally?
To get the answer to all these questions, read our article.
High cholesterol interferes with blood flow, damages arteries, and triggers the onset of cardiac diseases and other ailments.
Often the Symptoms of high cholesterol are not obvious; thus, many individuals with High cholesterol are not aware of it until the condition worsens. However, this condition can be managed with Healthy eating habits and good lifestyle changes.
What Is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in our blood and is needed to build Healthy cells, Vitamin D, and certain hormones. Our Liver naturally produces it, but we also get cholesterol from our food, such as red meat and eggs.
When the Cholesterol level in the blood rises, it leads to the development of fatty deposits in the blood vessels and can damage arteries. However, to understand high cholesterol, it is essential to know the types of cholesterol.
Types of Cholesterol
There are mainly two types of cholesterol:
Low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol – The high level of low-density lipoprotein promotes the build-up of plaque that narrows the arteries and interrupts the blood flow.
If your blood contains too much bad cholesterol, you are diagnosed with high cholesterol. Sometimes these deposits break and lead to the formation of a clot that causes stroke or heart attack.
High-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol: Good cholesterol removes bad cholesterol from the bloodstream and prevents the build-up of cholesterol plague in the arteries, thus prevents heart diseases.
Level Of Blood Cholesterol And Risk Of Heart Diseases
If the total cholesterol level is less than 200, it is best but also depends on the levels of LDL and HDL. The level of LDL cholesterol less than 130 is considered best, but it also depends on the risk of cardiac diseases. If the level of HDL is 60 or higher, it reduces the risk of heart diseases.
Triglyceride is also a type of fat that is found in the blood. When the calorie intake is more than the output, the extra calories turn into triglycerides. If the level of triglycerides is less than 150 mg/dl, it is best.
Cholesterol level chart
LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels
Less than 100 mg/dL – optimal
100-129 mg/dL – near optimal
130-159 mg/dL – borderline high
160-189 mg/dL – high
190 mg/dL and above – very high
Less than 200 mg/dL – desirable
200-239 mg/dL – borderline high
240 mg/dL and above – high
60 mg/dL and higher – protective against heart disease
Less than 40mg/dl – Major risk for heart diseases
What Causes High Cholesterol?
Eating foods high in saturated fats, trans fat, or High in cholesterol increases the risk of developing high cholesterol. Obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle also contribute to High cholesterol.
In addition, genetics play a role. If you have a family history of High cholesterol, you are at an increased risk of developing it.
In sporadic cases, High cholesterol is caused due to a genetic disorder termed familial hypercholesterolemia that prevents your body from removing low-density lipoprotein.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
The symptoms of high cholesterol may not be specific, and the person may not know that they have high cholesterol. It is a silent condition. Many people may not discover that they have High cholesterol until they suffer from a life-threatening event such as a Heart attack or Stroke. This is why a routine check-up, including a blood test, is recommended to detect high cholesterol.
Why Do You Need To Get A Cholesterol Test
If you are 20 years or above, ask your Health care provider if you should get routine cholesterol screening. Your doctor may advise you to get a Cholesterol test as a part of a routine examination, especially if you have a family history of High cholesterol or cardiac diseases. Other risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Obesity or excess weight
- Sedentary lifestyle for lack of physical activity
- Diet high in saturated fats
- Type 2 diabetes
When To Get Cholesterol Screening Done?
First, cholesterol screening should be done between the age of 9 to 11, and then cholesterol screening should be repeated every five years after that.
For females aged 55 to 65 and men aged 45 to 65, cholesterol screening should be done every 1-2 years. Those above 65 years of age should receive cholesterol screening annually.
How To Manage High Cholesterol?
Without treatment and proper management, high cholesterol leads to stroke and heart attack. But by changing our lifestyle, we can lower the level of triglycerides and LDL and raise the level of HDL.
To decide the Treatment plan and management of high cholesterol, the physician uses generalized measurements to categorize the Cholesterol level into three categories: desirable borderline and high cholesterol.
These measurements are general. Before deciding your treatment plan, your health care provider considered other personal factors too.
Lifestyle Changes To Manage High Cholesterol
Eat heart-healthy food – Limiting the intake of High cholesterol foods such as trans-fats and saturated fats. Instead of red meat, eat lean sources of protein such as fish, legumes, and chicken. Include High fibre foods such as vegetables, whole grains, and fruits in your diet. Limit the intake of right sugary at pre-packed food options.
- Quit smoking
- Exercise for 45 minutes 5 days a week to boost The level of good cholesterol.
- Limit the intake of alcohol
- Try to achieve a moderate weight
As Symptoms of high cholesterol are not specific, practice a Healthy lifestyle and eat healthy. Changes in your diet and lifestyle dramatically lowers high cholesterol and reduce the risk of stroke and heart diseases. However, in some cases, medications may be prescribed.
Thus, if you are above 20 years of age and have High cholesterol then work with your doctor to adjust the Cholesterol levels.