One of the primary risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke that can be controlled is high cholesterol. Hyperlipidemia, also known as lipid disorder, is the medical term for high blood cholesterol. The risk of developing coronary heart disease increases with higher levels of blood cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is a crucial building block for many substances in the body, such as the cell membrane of every cell, digestive juices from the gall bladder, and sex hormones. While some cholesterol is essential for bodily functions, the liver can easily produce the required amount. However, problems arise when cholesterol levels exceed the necessary amount.
LDL, or Low-Density Lipoprotein, is the bad cholesterol that tends to obstruct the arteries. HDL, or High-Density Lipoprotein, on the other hand, is the good cholesterol that acts as a cleaning agent, clearing the bad cholesterol from the arteries.
Similar to high blood pressure, high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) is not a disease, but a condition that can result in serious consequences.
High cholesterol can be caused by underlying diseases such as diabetes, certain forms of thyroid, liver and kidney disorders. In addition, it is commonly attributed to a combination of genetics and dietary factors. Even individuals with favorable genes for cholesterol metabolism can experience elevated cholesterol levels due to a sedentary lifestyle, significant weight gain, and a diet high in fat.
In most cases, high cholesterol does not present any symptoms, which is why it is recommended to have your cholesterol levels checked regularly by a healthcare provider. For individuals who do not have heart disease or high cholesterol, it is recommended to get their levels checked every two years.
The treatment for high blood cholesterol usually involves a combination of lifestyle modifications and medications. The primary goal of the treatment is to decrease the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol sufficiently to reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and other related health issues.
Amar Jain Hospital, a leading hospital in India, has a team of experienced cardiologists who specialize in the treatment of high cholesterol through medications and consultations.
Eating whole-grain cereals like oatmeal and oat bran, fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, and prunes, and legumes like kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans are recommended for a healthy diet.
After receiving treatment for high cholesterol, patients are advised to take certain steps to maintain their health. These include incorporating daily physical activities like walking, running, or swimming into their routine, as well as maintaining a healthy weight to help lower cholesterol. Additionally, medications like statins may be prescribed to help manage cholesterol levels.