A Fat-Like Substance Found In All Animal Cell Membranes High Cholesterol Levels: Prevention and Treatment

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High Cholesterol Levels: Prevention and Treatment

High cholesterol is becoming a growing threat to many people. This is because many changes have taken place in our daily lifestyle that have led to a semi-sedentary life. Exercise, which is an important factor in preventing high cholesterol, is being practiced by fewer individuals. All these events had caused an increase in the incidence of hypercholesterolemia.

Hypercholesterolemia refers to a blood cholesterol measurement > 200 mg/dl. The normal level of total cholesterol is 150-199 mg/dl. Cholesterol is not a harmful substance. It is harmful only when its level is higher than normal. Cholesterol has the following functions in the human body:

1. Enters the structure of many important hormones of the body such as sex hormones.

2. It is important for the production of bile acids, which digest fats.

3. It is an important component of the cell membrane of every cell.

4. Cholesterol is part of the myelin sheath that covers nerves. This sheath insulates the axon, which helps transmit nerve impulses efficiently.

Now let’s talk about hypercholesterolemia.

The problem of high cholesterol lies in the increased risk of arteriosclerosis and heart disease.

What causes hypercholesterolemia?

It may be primary due to:

1. Heiress

2. Obesity

3. Dieting

Or it may occur secondarily due to:

1. Diabetes mellitus (if poorly controlled)

2. Hypothyroidism

3. Kidney damage

4. Medicines such as oral contraceptive pills and steroids

Hypercholesterolemia is asymptomatic and can only be detected by a blood test.

Is there good and bad cholesterol?

Yes it is. HDL cholesterol is good because it removes excess cholesterol from the blood vessels and carries it to the liver where it is broken down. Thus, the high level of HDL reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

VLDL, LDL and IDL are called bad cholesterol because they can be deposited on the walls of blood vessels and form a plaque that can block arteries.

What can we do to prevent high cholesterol?

A balanced diet low in fat and maintaining a healthy body weight are the best ways to prevent high cholesterol. Saturated (animal) fats, including egg yolks and whole milk dairy products, raise LDL. Polyunsaturated fats – such as olive, canola or peanut oil – and fiber can lower cholesterol levels. In addition to daily exercise for 30 minutes will increase the level of HDL and decrease LDL and triglycerides.

What is the treatment of hypercholesterolemia?

Lines of management include lifestyle and dietary changes (as explained above). The drugs used are:

1. Statins (most common)

2. Bile acid sequestering resins

3. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors

4. Fibrates

5. Niacin

Important values:

Total cholesterol (normal): 150-199 mg/dl

Total cholesterol (high limit): 200-239 mg/dl

Total cholesterol (elevated) > 240 mg/dl

HDL (normal) > 40 mg/dl

HDL (depressed borderline): 35-39 mg/dl

HDL (depressed) < 35 mg/dl

LDL (normal)<130 mg/dl

LDL (high limit): 131-159 mg/dl

LDL (elevated) > 160 mg/dl

Triglycerides (normal) < 160 mg/dl

Ultimately, a fasting lipoprotein profile is recommended every five years.

I hope this article was helpful and that it included enough information to get the best awareness for you.

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