By Dr Asmaa
Definition: Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the body and found in animal-based foods.
Our body needs cholesterol:
- To make cell walls
- To make vitamin D and some hormones
- To make bile, this help our body to digest fat
Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. There are different types of cholesterol, based on what the lipoprotein carries. They are:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, transports cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL, or "good" cholesterol, picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.
A lipid profile also typically measures triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. Having a high triglyceride level can also increase your risk of heart disease.
Signs and Symptoms: High blood cholesterol is a condition in which you have too much cholesterol in your blood. By itself, the condition usually has no signs or symptoms. Thus, many people do not know that their cholesterol levels are too much. Which why regular screening are important.
- Family history
- Diets high in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
- Diabetes mellitus
- Chronic kidney disease
- Physical inactivity
- Steroid use
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking lowers HDL levels and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease
Development of atherosclerosis
High cholesterol can cause a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries (atherosclerosis). These deposits (plaques) can reduce blood flow through your arteries, which can cause complications, such as:
- Chest pain. If the arteries that supply your heart with blood (coronary arteries) are affected, you might have chest pain (angina) and other symptoms of coronary artery disease.
- Heart attack. If plaques tear or rupture, a blood clot can form at the plaque-rupture site — blocking the flow of blood or breaking free and plugging an artery downstream. If blood flow to part of your heart stops, you will have a heart attack.
- Stroke. Similar to a heart attack, a stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow to part of your brain.
Treatment and Remedies:
The primary treatment for high cholesterol:
- Healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Weight loss if needed
If you are facing any of the symptoms please contact your G.P doctor for screening. Doctor may prescribe pills if lifestyle changes alone are not enough to lower cholesterol level.
High – Cholesterol Prevention:
The best way to prevent high cholesterol is the same way to treat high cholesterol – leading a healthy lifestyle by:
- Regular physical activity for 30 minutes a day of at least 150 minutes per week.
- A smoke-free lifestyle is also an important method to prevent high cholesterol.
- Losing weight, Eliminating Trans fats, No alcohol, Eating foods that are low in saturated fats such as:
- Eating whole grains
- Manage stress