Despite what most people think, cholesterol per se is not the enemy, but high levels of it. This article will talk about what doctors are calling hypercholesterolemia, which is having high cholesterol in layman’s terms. Since it’s a serious issue, it is a good idea for you to get acquainted with some of the most important matters about it.
Don’t forget to share this article on your various social media sites afterwards to get everyone you care about introduced to hypercholesterolemia, too, in particular those who are at high risk of heart disease due to family history or unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
There’s Good and Bad Cholesterol
According to health authorities, there are two main types of cholesterol. Let’s get to know them quickly before we finally talk about hypercholesterolemia itself:
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL cholesterol
This is what’s known as bad cholesterol. It’s referred to it as such because it can cause your arteries to become clogged. You don’t want that to happen as it can cause increased risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol of HDL cholesterol
This is the good kind of cholesterol because of the fact that it actually protects the arteries from being clogged. It works by taking bad cholesterol in the bloodstream to the liver so that it may be removed from the body.
Cholesterol is Actually Needed
The truth is your body requires cholesterol in order for it to function optimally. Some of the most important roles carried out by cholesterol include synthesis of hormones, production of vitamin D and maintenance of the walls that surround your cells.
In fact, your body produces its own cholesterol. That’s how important cholesterol really is. It is exactly for this reason why you only need to get small amounts of cholesterol from the diet. Otherwise, the total amount of cholesterol in your body can quickly add up, which is not a good thing.
High Cholesterol is Bad for You
Just like what’s mentioned earlier, what makes cholesterol bad is when there are excessive amounts of it in the bloodstream. That’s because it is something that can cause the clogging of the arteries. When that happens, your chance of suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease can increase considerably. Such can also put you at risk of having a heart attack and stroke, both of which can be deadly.
According to doctors, it’s a good idea for adults who are over 20 years of age to keep their total cholesterol below 200 milligrams per deciliter. In order to determine your total cholesterol level, you will need to undergo a blood test called lipid profile or lipid panel.
Taking a Look at Familial Hypercholesterolemia
Did you know that having high cholesterol can run in families? Such is called familial hypercholesterolemia. It can cause the individual to have very high total cholesterol, which is more than 300 milligrams per deciliter. It is said that 1 in every 500 people has familial hypercholesterolemia.
Usually, having high cholesterol does not produce any sign or symptom. However, someone who is suffering from familial hypercholesterolemia may develop what’s called xanthomas, which are nodules that are filled with cholesterol. They can appear on areas where there are tendons, such as the Achilles tendon where your legs and feet meet. An individual who has familial hypercholesterolemia may also have cholesterol deposits on the eyelids, and they’re referred to as xanthelasmas.
Treatment and Prevention
In order to fend off hypercholesterolemia, a diet that’s low in cholesterol is recommended. It’s also the initial treatment recommended for those who are diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia. Losing weight and reducing stress are other solutions.
If the person does not respond favorably to dietary and lifestyle changes, a doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs.