The majority of adults worldwide have high cholesterol levels. It is a condition that, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke. The fact that abnormal cholesterol levels in our body can go unidentified until it’s too late adds to the danger.
As a result, understanding high Cholesterol, its root cause, symptoms, and how quickly can you reduce your cholesterol levels becomes even more critical. So let’s start then!
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a pale yellow, fat-like substance found in every cell of our body. Cholesterol is used by the body to produce hormones, vitamin D, and substances that aid digestion.
“Until a person develops severe heart disease, high Cholesterol is painless and causes no symptoms. Cholesterol is a silent enemy. One should be well informed about cholesterol stroke risk factors.” Dr. Batra
Types of Cholesterol: The Good and The Bad
There are three types of Cholesterol:–
HDL is an acronym for high-density lipoprotein. It’s known as “good” cholesterol because it transports cholesterol from other parts of your body to your liver. The liver later expels the collected Cholesterol.
LDL is an acronym for low-density lipoprotein. It is referred to as “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level causes plaque buildup in the arteries.
VLDL is an acronym for very-low-density lipoprotein. It is also considered “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to plaque formation in your arteries. However, VLDL and LDL are not the same; the percentages of Cholesterol, protein, and triglycerides differ. LDL is higher in Cholesterol than HDL.
What is Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are lipids (waxy fats) that provide energy to your body. Triglycerides are produced naturally from the foods we eat. High triglycerides and high cholesterol increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and pancreatitis.
What is a Good Cholesterol Level?
Your risk of heart disease will determine the ideal cholesterol level for you.
- Total cholesterol less than 200 is ideal, but this is dependent on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels or LDL less than 130 is ideal, but this varies according to your risk of heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels or HDL 60 or higher lower your risk of developing heart disease.
- Triglycerides should be less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).
High Cholesterol Symptoms
Often, there are no specific symptoms or indicators of high Cholesterol in the body. As a result, getting a routine checkup is always a good idea. In any case, we would suggest that you don’t ignore the following signs:
- High Blood Pressure
- Chest pain
- Pain while walking
High Cholesterol Causes
Many factors influence whether your cholesterol levels are high or low, including:
- Age (cholesterol levels increase with age)
- Food habits
- Poor lifestyle (alcohol and smoking)
- Gender (men have higher cholesterol)
- Level of physical activity
An inactive lifestyle and being overweight are two other factors that can raise your cholesterol levels. High Cholesterol is sometimes an inherited genetic condition known as familial hypercholesterolemia. This condition increases your chances of developing heart disease at a young age.
Diabetes, hypothyroidism, liver disease, and kidney disease can all cause an increase in cholesterol levels.
How is Cholesterol Connected with Heart Disease?
The most common cause of a heart attack is high Cholesterol. High Cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to form in your blood vessels. These deposits eventually grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. These deposits can form a clot, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed?
Typically, there are no signs or symptoms of high Cholesterol. The only way to find out if you have high Cholesterol is to have it checked. To measure your cholesterol levels, your doctor can perform a simple blood test called a “lipid profile.”
The lipoprotein profile assesses the following factors: LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called “bad” cholesterol), HDL (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called “good” Cholesterol)
Can Stress Cause High Cholesterol?
The short answer is yes. Long periods of stress can increase your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. However, you can take steps to reduce your stress and protect your heart.
Risk Ractors of High Cholesterol
You can experience a spike in unhealthy cholesterol levels due to various factors. These include:
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
Living with High Cholesterol
High Cholesterol increases your chances of developing heart disease by doubling your risk. But that doesn’t mean you can’t live a long and healthy life. You can control your cholesterol levels and avoid heart problems by changing your lifestyle and getting regular checkups.
How Can You Reduce Cholesterol Quickly?
Whether you want to lower your LDL or keep it from rising, a few tips can help you stay within a healthy range.
Weight Loss and Diet
Being overweight or obese puts you at risk for developing high LDL levels and contributing to heart disease and other chronic medical conditions. According to research, even losing a small amount of weight may help lower your LDL levels.
Although research has shown that losing weight helps lower LDL, it has also been shown that eating the right foods can help your heart health.
Foods high in soluble fiber, phytosterols, and healthy fats like olive oil have been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol.
Exercise is not only beneficial for weight loss, but it may also help lower your cholesterol levels, particularly your LDL cholesterol. According to studies, aerobic exercises like running, cycling, jogging, and swimming appear to benefit Cholesterol the most by lowering LDL and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Other types of exercise, such as yoga, walking, and weight-bearing exercises, have been shown to reduce LDL levels slightly.
Smoking raises LDL, or “bad,” Cholesterol in the blood while decreasing HDL, or “healthy” Cholesterol.
Quitting smoking not only significantly impacts HDL or “good” cholesterol levels but can also slightly lower LDL levels. According to research, your cholesterol levels will drop when you stop smoking. LDL levels continue to fall month after month after quitting, even partially reversing the effects of smoking on Cholesterol after only 90 days.
Best Diet for High Cholesterol
It is always advisable to seek the advice of a professional. Cholesterol levels can rise for a variety of reasons. As a result, your doctor is much better equipped to assess your cholesterol levels and plan your diet.
Here are some tips you can follow for the best diet for high Cholesterol:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Select lean protein sources like chicken or fish.
- Avoid eating processed foods and saturated fats.
- Drink plenty of water and stay away from sugary drinks.
Everything must be in perfect balance for the body to remain healthy and fit for an extended period. This is especially true when it comes to cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, our understanding of what causes high cholesterol levels is still evolving. That is why it is critical to see a doctor regularly.
Adults aged 30 and up are at a higher risk of high cholesterol-related heart disease and stroke. It’s always a good idea to see a doctor if you’re frequently tired or have unexplained pain.
Finding the best health experts near you is now a simple click away with Kayawell. Follow this link to schedule an appointment online. Consulting the best doctor near you don’t get more convenient and affordable than this.