Hyperlipidemia: An Overview

Hyperlipidemia: An Overview

The public calls it high cholesterol; the medicos call it hyperlipidemia, but the problem persists anyway. Hyperlipidemia spans several disorders. These disorders can lead to the deposition of extra fats in a person’s blood. We can control some but not all factors that lead to hyperlipidemia.

Hey hey, don’t be that scared! Hyperlipidemia is treatable, but the battle is a pretty tough one. First, putting a restraining order on your eating habits is what you will have to do if you suffer from hyperlipidemia. Oh, and you will need to exercise daily as well. If things get a little out of hand, you will have to be at the mercy of drugs and doctors for a decent period. Are you sure you are up for all of that pain? 

You need to understand clearly that the goal is to minimize the unhealthy cholesterol levels in your body and blood. Adopting this approach will diminish the risk of heart diseases, heart attacks, strokes, and many other cardiac issues.

Causes of Hyperlipidemia

By nature, cholesterol is waxy. One of the significant types of fat made by our body, cholesterol, is found in plenty of natural foods and diets. Some of the foods that have cholesterol and saturated fats are as follows:

  • Cheese and cheese products
  • Egg yolk
  • Fried and creamy fried foods
  • Foods that have been processed
  • Ice creams
  • Cakes and other creamy foods

Here is a question for you, how often do you stretch? We can tell you this right now that not exercising enough can lead to you easily gaining a few extra kilos in no time. Of course, it will also raise your cholesterol levels in the process. As our age ticks over, the cholesterol levels increase if you are not keeping them in check.

Do you know that hyperlipidemia runs in families? Not every single time, but we cannot rule out the chances of this happening either. Folks who inherit hyperlipidemia are prone to experiencing high cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, this means that they have a much higher chance of experiencing a heart attack. The attack can happen at a very young age!

What Are the Symptoms & Risks Linked With Hyperlipidemia?

Most people suffering from hyperlipidemia don’t even know they are suffering from the condition. It is undoubtedly not something that you can feel tangibly. However, you are very much likely to undergo its effects at one point or another in life. Cholesterol plus other fats can quickly build up inside the blood vessels. It can make your blood vessels narrower, making it more difficult for blood to get through. No wonder the blood pressure shoots up in such situations as well.

The cholesterol buildup can lead to blood clot formation as well. If blood clots of this nature break off from their source, they can travel to the heart as well. The event can lead to a heart attack. But if it travels to the brain, it can lead to a stroke.

Diagnosis Hyperlipidemia

It would help if you got your lipid levels checked regularly. Diagnostic tests called the lipoprotein panel can show the levels of the following specific elements in your blood:

LDL cholesterol:

It is the bad cholesterol that slowly accumulates in your arteries.

HDL cholesterol:

It is good cholesterol that lowers your risk for heart diseases.

Triglycerides

These are just another type of fat in your bloodstream.

Total cholesterol:

A combinative number that reflects the other three numbers! It is well above the normal range of> 200 mg/dL.

It is a must for adults who are 20 or older to have their cholesterol checked, at least after every five years. For diagnostic tests, fasting for at least ten hours is important.

At a checkup, your doctor is likely to ask you multiple questions of personal nature. These questions are likely to be orchestrated around age, smoking status, and family history of the condition.

Lifestyle Changes That You Can Make!

Some of the major life changes that you can make to counter hyperlipidemia are as follows:

  • Eat foods that are low in trans fats plus saturated fats
  • Eat more fiber-rich foods. These foods include oatmeal, apples, lentils, bananas, pears, and prunes.
  • How often do you eat fish? Eat it at least twice a week if possible.
  • Ditch sugar.
  • Fried and processed meat products are well off the charts.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption. Anything more than a single drink per day is not very healthy.

Try to exercise a little more than you usually do. It is best to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. We are talking about just a brisk walk here! How about a new sport? We are highly recommending ping pong; it just keeps you super slim and smart!

Medications and Treatment

Sometimes, diet and lifestyle changes are enough to control cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, some people need medical interventions and treatment to maintain their cholesterol levels.

  • Some drugs prevent the liver from making cholesterol. These drugs, called statins, and are a popular choice to lower a particular amount of cholesterol in the blood.
  • A relatively newer drug is very good at blocking consumed cholesterol taken into your body by your intestine. The drug is called a cholesterol absorption inhibitor, and it works in combination with statins. An example of such a drug is the drug ezetimibe (Zetia).
  • Nicotinic acid can also significantly impact how your liver makes fats. The liver lowers your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raising the HDL cholesterol levels in the process. Similarly, Fibrates are another drug option that can be considered. These lower triglycerides may boost HDL but aren’t very good at bringing down LDL levels.

Resins are another type of medication that can trick your body into utilizing cholesterol. These bind to bile, which is involved acid indigestion. The binding renders bile unable to do its job. Now the genius bit here is that your liver must make more bile. But for that to happen, it needs cholesterol. This scenario leaves lesser than average cholesterol in your bloodstream.

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