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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cholesterol

CHOLESTEROL



Definition


  • Cholesterol is a waxy substance that's found in the fats (lipids) in your blood. While your body needs cholesterol to continue building healthy cells, having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.
  • When you have high cholesterol, you may develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Your heart may not get as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs, which increases the risk of a heart attack. Decreased blood flow to your brain can cause a stroke.
  • High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) can be inherited, but is often preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can go a long way toward reducing high cholesterol.


Signs and Symptoms

  • High cholesterol has no symptoms. A blood test is the only way to detect high cholesterol.


Causes

  • Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins. 
  • 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.
  • Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). VLDL cholesterol makes LDL cholesterol larger in size, causing your blood vessels to narrow. If you're taking cholesterol-lowering medication but have a high VLDL level, you may need additional medication to lower your triglycerides.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL, or "good," cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.


Risk Factors

  • Smoking. Cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, making them likely to accumulate fatty deposits. Smoking may also lower your level of HDL, or "good," cholesterol.
  • Obesity: at risk of high cholesterol.
  • Poor diet. Foods that are high in cholesterol, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, will increase your total cholesterol. 
  • Lack of exercise. Exercise helps boost your body's HDL "good" cholesterol while lowering your LDL "bad" cholesterol. Not getting enough exercise puts you at risk of high cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure. Increased pressure on your artery walls damages your arteries, which can speed the accumulation of fatty deposits.
  • Diabetes. High blood sugar contributes to higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. High blood sugar also damages the lining of your arteries.
  • Family history of heart disease. If a parent developed heart disease before age 55, high cholesterol levels place you at a greater than average risk of developing heart disease.


Complication










Test and Diagnosis

  • A blood test to check cholesterol levels. 
  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides — a type of fat in the blood


Treatment & Medications

  • Lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating a healthy diet are the first line of defense against high cholesterol.
  • Statins.
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors. 
  • Combination cholesterol absorption inhibitor and statin. 


Prevention

The same heart-healthy lifestyle changes that can lower your cholesterol can help prevent you from having high cholesterol in the first place. To help prevent high cholesterol, you can:
Lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight
Quit smoking
Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet that includes many fruits, vegetables and whole grains
Exercise on most days of the week for at least 30 minutes
Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all







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