What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of lipid. It’s a waxy, fat-like substance that your liver produces naturally. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D.
You probably have heard about cholesterol, but you might not be sure exactly what it is. Cholesterol is a waxy type of fat, or lipid, which moves throughout your body in your blood. Lipids are substances that do not dissolve in water, so they do not come apart in blood. Your body makes cholesterol, but you can also get it from foods. Cholesterol is only found in foods that come from animals. Your body needs to rebuild its cells and to make certain hormones. It's carried throughout your body in your bloodstream. Your body only requires a small amount of cholesterol. When there's too much cholesterol in your bloodstream, you have high cholesterol. This is a very common condition. Cholesterol levels generally rise with age. Unfortunately, high cholesterol can significantly increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Most of your body's cholesterol (about 80%) is made in your liver. The rest comes from your diet. Dietary cholesterol is found in foods from animal sources, such as eggs, meats, and dairy products. There are two important types of cholesterol you should know about: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called “bad cholesterol.” It carries cholesterol to your arteries. If your levels of LDL cholesterol are too high, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. The buildup is also known as cholesterol plaque. This plaque can narrow your arteries, limit your blood flow, and raise your risk of blood clots. If a blood clot blocks an artery in your heart or brain, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source, over one-third of American adults have elevated levels of LDL cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is sometimes called “good cholesterol.” It helps return LDL cholesterol to your liver to be removed from your body. This helps prevent cholesterol plaque from building up in your arteries. When you have healthy levels of HDL cholesterol, it can help lower your risk of blood clots, heart disease, and stroke. Very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides: Our blood also contains a type of fat called triglycerides. This is stored in the body's fat cells. Being very overweight, eating a lot of fatty and sugary foods or drinking too much alcohol can make you more likely to have a high triglyceride level. Triglycerides can also contribute to the narrowing of the artery walls, increasing your risk. You may see it on your cholesterol reading results, and your doctor will be able to tell you if it's too high. You can have a normal level of HDL and non-HDL cholesterol but still have a high triglyceride level.
Why is high cholesterol bad for you?
Non-HDL take cholesterol from the liver to the cells around your body. Too much bad cholesterol (non-HDL) can be harmful because it sticks to the inside walls of your arteries. This can lead to fatty material (atheroma) building up – this process is known as atherosclerosis. It makes it harder for blood to flow through, which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
If your total cholesterol is high, it can mean that you have a lot of bad (non-HDL) cholesterol in your blood. A high level of good (HDL) cholesterol can help keep that bad cholesterol in check and remove it from your body.
Having enough cholesterol to meet your needs is important. Having too much cholesterol can cause problems. If your cholesterol levels are high, the condition is called hypercholesterolemia. If your cholesterol levels are low, the condition is called hypocholesterolemia. It is not common to have cholesterol levels that are too low, but it can happen.
Keep a close tab on your cholesterol levels. Get it checked Now !
If you’re age 20 years or older, the American Heart Association recommends getting your cholesterol levels checked at least once every four to six years. If you have a history of high cholesterol or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your doctor may encourage you get your cholesterol levels tested more often.
Your doctor can use a lipid panel to measure your total cholesterol level, as well your LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Your total cholesterol level is the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood. It includes LDL and HDL cholesterol.
If your levels of total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol are too high, your doctor will diagnose you with high cholesterol. High cholesterol is especially dangerous when your LDL levels are too high and your HDL levels are too low. You can BOOK a Herbalistic session with Anthia Wint of Finest Herbal Mobile shop to know your Cholesterol level.
How is the total cholesterol, or blood cholesterol, test done? What you need before the test ?
A blood test is a routine test. A phlebotomist is the person whose job it is to draw blood. Blood is usually drawn from the vein in your arm. You will sit down and the phlebotomist will wrap a rubber band around your upper arm so that the vein in your elbow sticks out. Then they will use a needle to puncture the vein and remove blood. The blood is sent to the lab to be examined. You’ve probably been at health fairs where testing is offered. In that case, the person performing the test takes a drop of blood from your finger. The finger stick test uses a small blade to poke a hole in the tip of your finger to get the blood.
In most cases, you’ll need to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you tell the person drawing your blood how long it has been since you ate or drank anything that wasn’t water.
There are some cases when a cholesterol test is done without fasting. This is true for tests done at health screenings and may be true for people younger than 20 or for people who are unable to fast.
Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of lipid levels in the blood, while other associations stand by the belief that fasting gives a better idea of a person’s heart disease risk. You should be clear on whether or not you need to fast, and for how long, before you go for the blood test.
Symptoms of High cholesterol
In most cases, high cholesterol is a “silent” problem. It typically doesn’t cause any symptoms. Many people don’t even realize they have high cholesterol until they develop serious complications, such as a heart attack or stroke.
That’s why routine cholesterol screening is important. If you’re age 20 years or older, ask your doctor if you should have routine cholesterol screening. Learn how this screening could potentially save your life. You can BOOK an Herbalistic session with Anitha Wint of Finest Herbal Mobile Shop now.
Causes of high cholesterol
Eating too many foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats may increase your risk of developing high cholesterol. Other lifestyle factors can also contribute to high cholesterol. These factors include inactivity and smoking.
Your genetics can also affect your chances of developing high cholesterol. Genes are passed down from parents to children. Certain genes instruct your body on how to process cholesterol and fats. If your parents have high cholesterol, you’re at higher risk of having it too.
In rare cases, high cholesterol is caused by familial hypercholesterolemia. This genetic disorder prevents your body from removing LDL. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, most adults with this condition have total cholesterol levels above 300 mg/dL and LDL levels above 200 mg/dL.
Other health conditions, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, may also increase your risk of developing high cholesterol and related complications.
Risk Factors of High cholesterol
Your risk of heart and circulatory disease is increased if you have high cholesterol as well as other risk factors, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Being physically inactive
- Being overweight
- Having diabetes
- Family history of premature coronary heart disease (before 55 for men and before 65 for women)
- Being of South Asian origin
The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk of developing a heart or circulatory disease such as a heart attack, stroke or vascular dementia.
How can I lower my cholesterol levels?
- Eat a healthy balanced diet, low in saturated fat
- Get active
- Quit smoking
- Find out more about living a healthy lifestyle and simple swaps you can make to help reduce your cholesterol. You also BOOK a Herbalistic therapy session with Anthia Wint of Finest Herbal Mobile Shop. You can also discovery the mistery efficacy of Nature Herbs from Her book.
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