What is ‘Cholesterol’?
Cholesterol is a fat waxy like lipid substance that is naturally produced by the liver. It is important in producing Vitamin D, certain hormones and the cell membranes formation. Since it does not dissolve in water, it cannot travel in blood on its own. It is the work of lipoproteins produced by the liver to transport the same. These lipoproteins are made from proteins and fats. There are two types of proteins flowing through your bloodstream- high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and Low-Density lipoproteins (LDL).
When the level of LDLs increases in blood, it is known as High cholesterol. When it comes to knowing the quantity of the same in your blood, it is important to know your numbers. It is important to do so as if left untreated, it can lead to several health problems including strokes and heart diseases.
What are the Symptoms of High Cholesterol?
There are no typical symptoms of high cholesterol. It is mainly considered to be a ‘silent’ killer. Many people do not even realize that they have it until they suffer from some serious complication such as a stroke or a heart attack. In order to know the same, it is important to get a routine checkup of cholesterol levels on a regular basis.
What is ‘Good Cholesterol’ and ‘Bad Cholesterol’?
Among the two types of lipoproteins, LDLs are known as ‘Bad Cholesterol’ and HDLs are known as ‘Good Cholesterol’. Let us understand the reason behind the same.
LDL- Low-Density Lipoprotein is the lipid that carries the cholesterol to the arteries. An increase in its level can cause a buildup of the same on the artery walls in the form of cholesterol plaque. This plaque can then narrow the arteries, thus limiting the blood flow and raising the risk of blood clots in a person. If these blood clots block a coronary or brain artery, it can even cause stroke or heart attack in a person. This is the reason why LDLs are popularly known as ‘bad cholesterol’.
HDL– Also called as High Density Lipoproteins, HDLs helps in returning the LDLs back to the liver so as to remove them from the body. This helps in preventing any buildup of cholesterol plaque on the artery walls. A healthy level of HDL in the bloodstream can lower the risk of heart disease, strokes and clots to a large extent. This makes it the ‘Good Cholesterol’.
What are the Common Risk Factors of High Cholesterol?
The common risk factors that make you more gullible to developing high cholesterol are as follows:
- Unhealthy eating habits and diet
- No exercise
- A history of high cholesterol in family
- Kidney disease, hypothyroidism or diabetes
Do remember, people from all genders, ages and ethnicities stand at risk of developing high cholesterol in their bodies.
Outlook for High cholesterol
If a person does not get the right cholesterol treatment, he or she can face serious health issues including death. Right treatment with the best heart hospitals can help in effective management of the condition and avoiding the associated complications. In order to lower your chances of developing the same, it is best to practice a healthy lifestyle and follow the recommended treatment plan suggested by experienced cardiologist.