High cholesterol is a very prevalent problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, almost 94 million U.S. individuals aged 20 and above have borderline high cholesterol. However, because this ailment frequently manifests without obvious symptoms, you may be unaware of your condition until you contact your doctor. If you’ve ever wondered what causes high cholesterol, what to do if you’ve been diagnosed with it, and if there are ways to reverse it.
What exactly is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is classified as a lipid. It’s a waxy, fat-like material produced naturally by your liver. It is required for the synthesis of cell membranes, hormones, and vitamin D. Because cholesterol does not dissolve in water, it cannot flow through your bloodstream on its own. Lipoproteins are produced by the liver to aid in the transport of cholesterol.
High cholesterol causes
Consuming too many high-cholesterol, saturated-fat, and trans-fat meals may raise your chance of getting high cholesterol. Obesity might also raise your chances. Inactivity and smoking are two more lifestyle variables that might lead to elevated cholesterol. Your genes can also influence your risk of acquiring high cholesterol. Parents pass on their genes to their children. Certain genes regulate how your body processes cholesterol and lipids. If your parents have high cholesterol, you are more likely to have it as well.
LDL cholesterol, sometimes known as “bad cholesterol,”
LDL cholesterol is frequently referred to as “bad cholesterol.” It transports cholesterol to the arteries. If your LDL cholesterol levels are too high, it might accumulate on the walls of your arteries. This accumulation is sometimes referred to as cholesterol plaque. This plaque has the potential to restrict your arteries, reduce blood flow, and increase your risk of blood clots. A heart attack or stroke can occur if a blood clot plugs an artery in your heart or brain.
HDL cholesterol, sometimes known as “good cholesterol,”
HDL cholesterol is often known as “good cholesterol.” It aids in the return of LDL cholesterol to the liver for removal from the body. This helps to keep cholesterol plaque from accumulating in your arteries. Healthy HDL cholesterol levels can help minimise your risk of blood clots, heart disease, and stroke.
Checking your cholesterol levels
The American Heart Association Trusted Source suggests getting your cholesterol levels examined at least once every 4 to 6 years if you’re 20 or older. If you have a family history of high cholesterol or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your doctor may advise you to have your cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis. A lipid panel can be used by your doctor to determine your total cholesterol level, as well as your LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. The total cholesterol level refers to the entire quantity of cholesterol in your blood. It contains both LDL and HDL cholesterol.
To lower your risk of complications from high cholesterol, practice healthy lifestyle habits and follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan.Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco products may help you achieve and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It could also help lower your risk of complications from high cholesterol.