Cholesterol is a waxy molecule that can be found both in the blood and in the cells of the body. The majority of the cholesterol in your body is produced by your liver. The remainder comes from the foods that you consume. Lipoproteins are the carriers of cholesterol as it moves through the bloodstream in your body.
High cholesterol is a condition characterized by an excess of lipids in the blood (fats). Other names for this condition is hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia.
Your body need the right amount of lipids in order for it to function properly. When there is an abundance of lipids in the body, it is unable to utilize them to their full potential. When combined with the other components of your blood, the additional lipids will eventually cause plaque to form in your arteries. Plaque is simply a collection of fatty deposits. There are cases in which a person’s high cholesterol level is symptomless and does not manifest itself in any way until they have advanced stages of heart disease.
In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death, while stroke is the fifth highest cause, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There are two different types of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): The type of cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is considered to be unhealthy. Plaques, which are fatty and waxy deposits, can form when LDL cholesterol builds up in your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL, which is also called high-density lipoprotein, is the “good” or “healthy” type of cholesterol. It gets rid of the extra cholesterol in your arteries and sends it to your liver, where it is broken down and gotten rid of.
What causes high cholesterol?
High cholesterol can be caused by a number of factors, including the following:
- consuming a diet heavy in trans and saturated fats
- pursuing a sedentary way of life
- smoking cigarettes (or exposure to tobacco smoke)
- being obese or overweight
Your risk of having high cholesterol might also be increased by having a family member with the condition. This genetic disorder, known as familial hypercholesterolemia, alters how your body handles cholesterol.
Health Effects of High Cholesterol
If high cholesterol is not managed, plaque may develop in your arteries. Over time, this plaque may tighten your arteries. The medical term for this is atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a potentially fatal illness. It might lessen blood flow via your arteries. Additionally, it raises your risk of developing life-threatening blood clots.
There are numerous potentially fatal effects of atherosclerosis, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Chronic renal disease
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Carotid artery disease
- Angina (chest discomfort)
How To Lower Cholesterol Levels?
The changes below can improve your cholesterol level.
- Don’t take much alcohol
- Stop smoking
- Avoid trans fats
- Maintain a healthy-for-you weight
- Focus more on monounsaturated fats
- Exercise always
- Eat soluble fiber
Listen to what your physician has to say about getting your cholesterol checked regularly. It is likely that they would urge you to get your cholesterol levels examined on a regular basis if you have a history of coronary heart disease or are at risk of developing high cholesterol.
High cholesterol is a form of death that goes unnoticed. It’s possible to have an unhealthy level of lipids in your blood without even realizing it for years. And the negative impact high cholesterol can have on your body can be quite hazardous to your health. As a result, you should make it a priority to ensure that you do everything in your power to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in your body.