Facts about Cholesterol


Facts about Cholesterol

It is a known fact that high cholesterol is dangerous in multiple ways and can also be fatal. This increases the risk of different cardiovascular diseases. This includes stroke, coronary heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. This high cholesterol has also been the cause of high blood pressure and diabetes. It is important to manage the cholesterol levels with the help of a doctor and also follow some natural tips which work in the positive.

Definition and Facts about Cholesterol:

Cholesterol is a substance which is like fat. This is waxy. Cholesterol does help in the functioning of the human body as this is used like a building block for different structures. The human body needs a specific amount of cholesterol and anything in excess is deposited along the artery walls. This tends to decrease the flow of blood to the different parts of the body and is definitely harmful.

This high cholesterol is one of major risk factors for ASCVD (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease) including stroke, peripheral artery disease and heart attack.

What is High Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is used by the human body to produce Vitamin D, hormones and the bile acids for the digestion of fats. The requirement of the body to meet these needs is very small amount. Any excess cholesterol in the blood stream is deposited along the walls of the arteries. This is on the carotid arteries of the brain, the arteries supplying the required blood to the intestines and the legs and the coronary arteries leading to the heart.

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This is known as plaque and is responsible for blocking and narrowing the arteries.

The Many Causes of High Cholesterol:

There are multiple factors which can cause high cholesterol. This includes life-style, diet, hereditary, some underlying illnesses which affect the liver, thyroid and the kidney.

*Weight: Excessive weight is one of the factors which increase the bad (LDL) cholesterol. Losing this excessive weight can increase the HDL (Good) cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol.

*Heredity: The metabolization of the bad (LDL) is influenced by the genes.

*Age and Sex: Before women go through menopause, they have lower levels of the total cholesterol as compared to the men of the same age. With age, the total cholesterol levels tend to rise in women and also men. After the age of 50 women have cholesterol levels which are higher than those in men of the similar age.

*Exercise/Physical activity: Triglycerides can be lowered with regular exercise and any other physical activity.

*Mental Stress: Stress is one cause of the cholesterol levels increasing. This is due to the fact that most people change their healthy habits when in stress.

*Alcohol: Drinking moderately, like 1 or 2 drinks in day can increase the HDL (Good) cholesterol but does not bring down the bad cholesterol. Consuming alcohol in excess tends to damage the heart muscles and also the liver. This leads to high blood pressure and an increase in the levels of triglycerides.

Diseases linked to High Cholesterol:

Some of the diseases which are linked to cholesterol are listed below.

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  1. Diabetes and Cholesterol:

With diabetes, the balance between the levels of the HDL (good) and LDL (Bad) cholesterol tends to get disturbed. Those suffering from diabetes have particles of LDL sticking to the arteries and causing damage to the walls of the arteries. The glucose attaches to the lipoproteins. LDL which is coated with sugar tends to remain for a longer period of time in the blood stream. This can cause plaque. Those suffering from diabetes also have high triglycerides and low levels of HDL. Both these are responsible for heart disease.

  1. Coronary Heart Disease and Cholesterol:

The coronary heart disease is a major risk of high cholesterol. This is because the high levels of cholesterol tend to cause a build-up in the walls of the arteries. This leads to the hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. The arteries get narrow ad the blood flow is restricted to the heart muscles. This reduction in flow of blood causes angina (chest pain) or a heart attack if there is complete blockage of a blood vessel.

  1. Stroke and Cholesterol:

The atherosclerosis can also cause the narrowing or complete blockage of the arteries leading to the brain. You get a stroke if the artery going to the brain is blocked.

  1. High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol:

High cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension) are definitely linked. With the arteries narrowing and hardening due to deposits of calcium and plaque the heart has to work harder for the pumping of the blood. The blood pressure tends to rise due to this. There is a possibility of heart disease due to this high blood pressure.

  1. Peripheral Vascular Disease and High Cholesterol:
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Peripheral vascular disease is when the blood vessels out of the heart are affected. The fatty deposits which build up along the walls of the arteries tend to affect the circulation of the blood. This is normally on the arteries that lead to the feet and the legs.

Small and Important Tips for Lowering Cholesterol:

Following some of the tip listed below can help you bring down the levels of cholesterol.

*Ensure you keep away from Tans fats to bring down the cholesterol levels.

*Regular exercise needs to be included in your daily routine. You need to look for an exercise which you enjoy and be strict about doing this for a fixed span of time every day.

*Include some type of soluble fiber in your diet. This can be prunes, apples, oats, anything as long as this has a high content of soluble fiber.

*Nuts are known to bring down the levels of LDL and just a few on a daily basis can suffice.

*Learn to relax and keep away from any stress. You need to make sure you keep at least one hour in a day exclusively for yourself. You can read a book, listen to music or just lie down and relax.

Managing cholesterol in the early stages can save you from the different risks and diseases associated with high cholesterol.

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