A yearly visit to the doctor usually involves laboratory workups on your blood. It tells a story of how your body is faring from year to year. From platelet counts to immunity responses, the blood offers a lot of critical information that keeps you healthy. One aspect of the blood panel involves cholesterol numbers. Learn how to deal with high cholesterol if your blood reports back an out-of-range value.
Cholesterol is a lipid or fat that moves throughout the body via the bloodstream. It's actually a useful molecule when it comes to cellular structures and hormonal control. The human body creates cholesterol in the liver, which is subsequently released to the rest of the body.
There are two main types of cholesterol, including HDL and LDL. High-density lipoprotein is beneficial to the body because it acts as a carrier. It brings cholesterol to and from the liver for elimination. Low-density lipoprotein tends to build up in the blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease.
Every person's goal should be to increase the HDL levels and fight off LDL accumulation. A blood test tells you which cholesterol type is either healthy or unhealthy.
If you're diagnosed with high cholesterol, environmental causes are usually to blame. Eating pizza, cheeseburgers and high-fat foods was easier when you were younger. As you age, poor diet choices tend to influence cholesterol levels. It's harder to fight off an increase in LDL cholesterol.
An issue arises when there's too much cholesterol entering the body through fatty meats and other foods. The body's natural supply and consumed cholesterol can build up in the blood. The lipids have nowhere to go but to form into hardened pieces within the arteries.
Luckily, environmental causes are reversible to a certain extent. Simply identify those problem areas to lead a healthier lifestyle than before.
As science moves forward, more information about cholesterol and its link to heredity are arising. Certain people might have a genetic marker for high cholesterol. This condition is referred to as familial hypercholesterolemia.
In basic terms, this condition forces the body to make too much cholesterol on a daily basis. Any extra cholesterol is taken in as nourishment is possibly stored as plaque within the blood vessels. People who have family members with high cholesterol at young ages can possibly have this condition.
Regardless of how healthy a life you try to lead, taking medications for high cholesterol may be the only solution. The genetic marker cannot be altered at this stage of medicine.
It's important to understand that high cholesterol doesn't have real symptoms of its presence. This condition is similar to high blood pressure, which has no symptoms as well.
For this reason, every adult should have their cholesterol numbers checked on a regular basis. Associated symptoms of this condition can arise if you don't visit the doctor.
Chest pains, difficulty breathing and other symptoms reflect potential heart disease that might include high cholesterol. You don't want to wait for these symptoms to arise, however. They're moderate to severe issues that demand immediate attention. When caught early on, high cholesterol can be managed with little impact on your health.
Lowering Bad Cholesterol
From the moment that a doctor diagnoses you with high cholesterol, it's time to take action. Discuss the type of condition that's involved with your case. In most cases, environmental impacts are causal factors.
Be proactive about changing your lifestyle. As a person ages, weight gain and other health issues might persist. Altering even one aspect of life may be enough to help with the cholesterol numbers. A dramatic change to your routine won't necessarily work because sticking with it may be too difficult. It's the consistent changes in life that make a difference.
Try these lifestyle changes so that any positive impact on your cholesterol numbers is verifiable through blood panels at your next appointment.
A great place to start is to lose weight. Obesity and high cholesterol are linked from a scientific perspective. Excess weight often leads to higher values of LDL or bad cholesterol. The HDL value is also impacted.
As people age, gaining weight tends to occur. The body's metabolism slows with age. Unlike children with recess every day, adults don't move around as much as they did in their younger years. All of these factors lead to weight gain and high cholesterol.
Take a look at your daily eating habits and activity levels. Altering both of these factors can make significant impacts on your cholesterol numbers.
Some of the simplest solutions rely on fat control in your diet. Seek out foods without a high volume of saturated fats. Try to eliminate trans fats, found in crackers and cookies, altogether.
Use "good" fats that reside in olive oil and similar products. Add more raw vegetables and fruits to the diet. Oatmeal is a fiber-rich food that can also fight off high cholesterol.
These diet changes should also be matched with an appropriate calorie count that's based on your personal needs. Healthy food that satisfies your hunger will help you reduce those cholesterol numbers while losing weight without much effort.
Quit Smoking and Drinking
Everyone has vices in life, but some habits are worse than others when it comes to high cholesterol. Smoking or vaping can lower your HDL values, which is the cholesterol type that helps with lipid elimination. Quitting smoking or vaping is one of the best ways to lower cholesterol.
Drinking alcohol in small amounts has been associated with an improved cardiovascular system. However, this habit isn't always a controlled one. Drinking in excessive amounts will contribute to higher cholesterol levels and strain on the heart. Ideally, eliminate all alcohol from the diet if its consumption cannot be controlled. A single drink for women and two drinks for men are the approved volumes for healthy, daily alcoholic drinking.
Consistent exercise is the key to dealing with high cholesterol. Consider 30 minutes of activity each day. It doesn't have to be a strenuous activity either. Walking for around 30 minutes is a great way to exercise the body and fight off unhealthy cholesterol numbers.
Most experts agree that exercising one day a week and remaining sedentary for the remaining days isn't helpful. Your cholesterol numbers may not change with this habit. The body needs regular movement to keep the cholesterol in control.
Mix up the activities with walks, biking and fun games. A different activity each day will keep the actions interesting.
The last resort for dealing with high cholesterol is taking medication. Statins are typical medications prescribed for cholesterol issues. They essentially diminish the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. By reducing the cholesterol volumes in the blood, there are fewer chances for the plaque buildup to occur. Heart disease is now a controllable condition to a certain extent.
Your doctor will need to select a particular statin for your cholesterol levels. There are various medications available as prescriptions. Take a look at the side effects as you narrow down a selection. Every medication will have both beneficial and negative drawbacks that depend on your body's chemistry.
Regular visits to the doctor and sincere changes in lifestyle can improve those cholesterol numbers. Be proactive about staying healthy on a daily basis. There will always be setbacks in life, but you can prioritize your health to avoid most problems.