You must have heard so much about cholesterol. But,What is cholesterol and what you should know about it ? Is it harmful or friendly ? What important steps you need to take if it’s level goes to high ? So many questions and it’s answers will be discussed in detail.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol refers to a fat-like waxy substance found in all cells of the body. Cholesterol is needed to make vitamin D, hormones and some other substances that help to digest food. Moreover, cholesterol is also found in some foods you eat. Cholesterol travels in small packages through blood stream which are made up of protein on the outside and fat on the inside. There are basically two types of cholesterol- high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). These both types of lipoproteins are important for a healthy body. HDL cholesterol is also known as good cholesterol as t carries cholesterol from different body parts back to your liver. LDL cholesterol is also known as bad cholesterol because it leads to a buildup of cholesterol in arteries.
There is only a single way to detect high cholesterol which is a blood test. This is because high cholesterol has no symptoms.
Cholesterol is carried through the blood which is basically attached to proteins. The combination of cholesterol and proteins is called lipoprotein. There are two types of cholesterol-
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – it plays an important role to pick up an excess of cholesterol and takes it to the liver.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – LDL cholesterol transports particles throughout the body. It builds up in the walls of arteries and makes them hard and narrow.
Unhealthy diet, obesity, and inactivity are the factors contribute to low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol. There are some factors which are also not in your control. For example- your genetic makeup causes your liver to produce too much cholesterol or make keep cells from removing bad cholesterol from your blood.
Risk factors that increase the risk of high cholesterol
- Obesity– an individual having a BMI or 30 or greater puts him at a risk of high cholesterol.
- Poor diet– eating foods that contain a high amount of saturated fat such as baked cookies, crackers, and animal products may increase your cholesterol level.
- Large waist circumference– your risk will raise if you are a woman with a waist circumference of 89 centimeters or if you are a man with a waist circumference of 102 centimeters.
- Smoking– smoking may lead to damage in your blood vessels. It also increases the chances of lower HDL.
- Lack of exercise– exercise helps to boost HDL cholesterol in your body. Thatswhy, it is important to do exercise regularly.
Complications Involved In Cholesterol
High cholesterol may lead to atherosclerosis which reduces the blood flow through arteries and causes complications such as-
- Stroke– a stroke occurs when the blood flow is blocked by a blood clot in the part of a brain.
- Chest pain– if the arteries are affected then you may have chest pain and other symptoms of artery disease.
- Heart attack- similar to a stroke, if the blood flow is blocked in the part of your heart then you may have a heart attack.
Treatment Of Cholesterol
The specific medications or combinations of medications may be prescribed by your doctor depending on your current health, age and possible side effects. Common medication include-
Bile-acid-binding resins– bile acid is a substance needed for digestion. The medications colesevelam (Welchol) and cholestyramine (Prevalite) prompt your liver to use an excess of cholesterol to make more bile acids.
Injectable medications- types of drugs may help the liver to absorb more LDL cholesterol. Alirocumab (praluent) can be used by the people who have a genetic condition.
Cholesterol absorption inhibitors– the drugs such as ezetimibe (Zetia) help to limit the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
Here is a video by Dr Eric Berg who describes about what you should know about Cholesterol. It’s a must watch video to know all about it.
#copyright: Dr Eric Berg
- #Note: Consult a doctor in case you are unable to manage the health issues on your own.
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