|Guide to High Cholesterol and How It Affects Your Body|
Posted by maiko muki
Cardiovascular or Heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality in the world. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 81 million American adults suffer from cardiovascular disease. Though there are many risk factors involved, one of the most major and prevalent risk factors is having high cholesterol. This is why the importance of lowering cholesterol in your body cannot be stressed. But first, let's talk about high cholesterol and how it affects your body.
What exactly is high cholesterolall Also known as hypercholesterolemia, it is basically the occurrence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. There are many kinds of cholesterol, and these include the high density lipoproteins (HDL), also called "good cholesterol" and the low density lipoproteins (LDL), also called "bad cholesterol." HDL helps eliminate LDL or bad cholesterol from the blood, so a high amount of HDL decreases your risk for developing heart disease.
High levels of LDL, on the other hand, are associated with the formation of plaque, a thick deposit that forms in your arteries. This plaque eventually leads to atherosclerosis, the hardening of your arteries, which in turn results in the occurrence of heart disease. Eventually, this can also lead to the occurrence of angina, also known as chest pain, due to the blockage of oxygenated blood to the heart. If your artery becomes completely blocked and prevents the flow of oxygenated blood to part of your heart, this results in a myocardial infarction or a heart attack. More than 8 million Americans suffer from a heart attack each year, of which about 22% die from it.
Causes of High Cholesterol
There are many things that can cause high cholesterol, and a bad or unhealthy diet is one of them. Eating a lot of food that contains high amounts of saturated fat can really make your cholesterol levels soar. Another cause of high cholesterol is being overweight and lack of exercise, as this leads to lower HDL levels and higher triglycerides, a type of fat that is stored in the body. Genes also play a factor, as the occurrence of high cholesterol can run in the family. Other determinations are age and gender, because as you grow older, the cholesterol level in your blood increases. Also, though women typically have a lower cholesterol level compared to men of similar age, after menopause occurs, their LDL levels tend to rise.
Lower Cholesterol Information
Having lower cholesterol is really important to prevent cardiovascular disease and keep healthy. High cholesterol can be prevented with the right lifestyle changes. Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and maintaining a good weight are just a few things that one can do to prevent high cholesterol. Also, it is important to have regular health checkups and blood work done to determine your blood cholesterol level. If your total cholesterol reaches more than 200 mg/dl, the doctor may prescribe medications to lower it.
It is really important to control your blood cholesterol level while you're still healthy. Once problems occur, it is harder to control, and your risk for developing heart disease increases. It is good to be aware of things that you can do now, so that you can maintain lower cholesterol and have a healthier body overall.