Hypercholesterolemia is a condition of really high blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance manufactured by the liver and found naturally in the body. Cholesterol has a number of functions and is often converted to hormones. The body produces sufficient amounts of cholesterol and you only need a very small portion of cholesterol from the outside in order to keep you healthy and fit. This additional cholesterol source comes from dietary cholesterol in form of meat, dairy products, eggs (egg yolk particularly), meat, fish and poultry. These food items are really high in saturated fats and Trans fats. So consuming these items in excess can trigger the body or more specifically the liver to produce an overabundance of cholesterol. This can in most cases lead to hypercholesterolemia.
Aside from hormones cholesterol is also needed by the body for the functioning of cell membranes and production of substances which is in turn required for fat digestion. A surging cholesterol level can heighten the chances of a coronary artery disease. The excess cholesterol levels in the bloodstream lead to the formation of fat deposits in the coronary artery walls. The rising cholesterol levels narrow and at the same time harden the walls of the artery. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.
With the passage of time the arteries can get blocked thereby cutting off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This contributes to the risk of heart attack, stroke and angina. Other conditions where the fat deposits get stored in the tissues and tendons of the body are known as familial hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemia occurs due to unhealthy eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle with almost next to zero physical activities.
Hypercholesterolemia shows very little symptoms and only way it can be detected is by getting a blood cholesterol level check done. This is referred to as a lipid profile. This comprises of an overall test of the LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A cholesterol level that is 200 mg/dl is considered to be high. People who are diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia will be initially recommended by the doctor to make necessary changes to their diet and also advised to take part in physical activity on an everyday basis. It is advised that the saturated fat consumption for men should be about 30 grams everyday in case of men and for about 20 grams everyday in case of women.
If the cholesterol level continues to hover near the high range then the patient will be prescribed a set of medications. These include bile-acid binding resins, statins, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
The liver makes use of cholesterol in order to produce bile acids is required for the process of digestion. Therefore, the bile acid-binding resins bind to the bile acids. These leads the liver get access to excess cholesterol so that it can still manufacture the acid. This has a lowering effect of the blood cholesterol levels. Statins act as a barrier to a substance that is needed by the liver in order for cholesterol synthesis. In the small intestine the cholesterol is absorbed from food sources within the bloodstream. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors help to lower the cholesterol level in the bloodstream.
All those suffering from high cholesterol levels are eligible to hypercholesterolemia treatment.
People who are allergic to any of the ingredients contained within the medications mentioned above are not eligible to go for this treatment. Also women and people, who are aged 65 years and older, stand at a greater risk of developing certain adverse effects from taking statins. Also, people who suffer from kidney or liver disorder are more vulnerable to suffer from side effects of statins.
Patients taking statins are most likely to experience side effects such as muscle pain, muscle damage, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, liver damage, type 2 diabetes and neurological side effects. Bile acid binding resins can cause side effects such as flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Patients who have been prescribed to take cholesterol absorption inhibitors are likely to experience side effects such as fatigue, muscle soreness and stomach pain.
The post-treatment guidelines for hypercholesterolemia includes lifestyle changes that should comprise of a diet that is low in saturated fat, managing their weight in case the patient is overweight or obese and taking the medications prescribed by the doctor on time. Also, regular exercise is highly recommended in order to keep cholesterol levels on the low side.
On an average it takes about three weeks to lower cholesterol in adults and about two weeks in children. If someone is put on the Pritikin Program of diet it will take about three weeks reduce the cholesterol levels.
A monthly course of statins would cost you about Rupees 250 in India. A strip of 10mg of Ezedoc tablets which fall under the category of cholesterol absorption inhibitors would cost around 110 rupees.
The results of the treatment can be permanent in so far as the post-treatment guidelines which include lifestyle changes, exercising regularly and taking the medications on time, are strictly adhered to.
The alternative of a medical treatment for Hypercholesterolemia would be adopting some natural remedies such as making dietary changes that include foods rich in soluble fibres such as fruits, vegetables; olive oil; omega 3-fats; herbs; garlic. By eating the right foods and avoiding food that are high in saturated fats one can easily maintain their cholesterol levels.type diabetes
Rs. 100- Rs. 500
Cholesterol is a building block of animals. We have only one type of cholesterol, just as we have one type of water. Animals can walk, swim or fly because their cells have cholesterol. Plants have cellulose instead of cholesterol. It makes them immobile. Everything of every animal, including hair, nails, bone, blood, eggs, meat, skin, wing, milk, etc. always contains cholesterol; and everything obtained from plants is always ‘zero cholesterol’.
Most of our cholesterol is manufactured by our cells. We can get some from food. Our livers can easily excrete excess in bile. Food cholesterol does not raise the blood levels just as buying shirts does not lead to wearing two together.
Cholesterol does not dissolve in water, so it is called a lipid or fat. Triglyceride is another important lipid. Oil, ghee and meat-fat are mostly triglycerides. Body uses them as fuel. Triglycerides from food enter blood directly as chylomicrons. Other foods go first to liver, and are converted to triglycerides for circulation.
Since lipids are insoluble in blood, they are transported with proteins as ‘lipo-proteins’. We have LDL, HDL, and chylomicrons. All lipoproteins contain a mixture of various proteins, fats, and other insoluble substances.
LDL and HDL are made in the liver. Fresh LDL and HDL keep entering the blood, and old lipoproteins are continuously removed. Lipoproteins trap all insoluble dirt, including broken cells and bacterial toxins, and keep our blood vessels clean and healthy. LDL and HDL work together, like mop and bucket. The liver has Kuppfer cells for safely disposing of the toxins they collect and bring.
Our blood has more toxins during illnesses, and more lipoproteins get consumed; blood levels, therefore, drop in every illness. High levels, therefore, predict good health and longer lifespan, but there are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, there is accumulation of old toxin-filled lipoproteins in blood. Egs: In familial hypercholesterolemia clearance of old LDL by liver is slow. Similarly, alcohol slows removal of HDL; torcetrapib prevents HDL-LDL cooperation. In such situations, high levels of LDL or HDL increase blockages.
Statin medicines help by clearing old LDL from blood, but most lipid medicines just change the blood report without improving health.
Cholesterol and Blockages
Food cholesterol has virtually nothing to do with blockages. Blockages occur because of modern lifestyle. Unlike pre-modern hunter-gatherers who fed on forest foods, we eat a high glucose agricultural diet. Thankfully, our liver does not allow too much glucose into the blood, otherwise, our blood glucose would shoot up to over one thousand after every meal! The liver converts sugars into triglycerides and circulates them as VLDL.
Modern diets keep the liver busy manufacturing triglycerides from glucose; this predisposes us to diabetes and fatty liver. Fasting triglycerides should be less than 150. Higher values suggest that the diet contains too much glucose or alcohol.
Glucose damages artery endothelium, and also changes our LDL to small dense LDL. The cholesterol inside blockages comes from harmful, small dense LDL.
Lipid Profiles ‘tests’ are quite popular, but not very helpful. Lipid Profiles have poor predictive value.
The lipids we measure are mostly from liver, not food. Cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL are measured. All the other numbers are usually arithmetic. E.g.: VLDL is triglycerides divided by 5. Additional measurements like apo A, B, Lp(a) etc. do not help much.
Cholesterol levels below 300 are normal. Levels persistently above 300 (or LDL levels above 220) suggest familial hypercholesterolemia. Much lower levels of cholesterol and LDL are presently advocated. The dangerous cholesterol levels have been changed from 350 to 270, 250, 220, 200, 170, 150 etc.; and safe level of LDL is being continuously reduced. These recommendations are motivated. In 1945, a heart disease scare was started in the USA. Large research programs were rolled out to ‘find the cause’ of the ‘number 1 killer’, and they promoted the cholesterol theory the whole world now believes.
High Triglycerides and low HDL is called atherogenic dyslipidemia (blockage causing lipid abnormality). Focus on these for protecting health. They usually stay perfect with a diet low in sugar, starch and alcohol.
Cholesterol is present in animal bodies for the same reason that wood is present in plants. LDL and HDL are two types of blood cleaning lipoproteins; they are not two types of cholesterol. Both these are good and essential for health. High triglycerides and low HDL are the commonest abnormalities in people prone to heart attacks. These improve with low glucose/fructose diet or exercise. Cholesterol found in blockages is not food cholesterol, it is small dense LDL. Blockages are caused by glucose-rich diets.
Most may not be aware of the fact that the human body requires cholesterol for normal functioning. Though normal levels of cholesterol are essential for proper functioning, any fluctuations in these levels can lead to disorders like hyperlipidemia and hypolipidemia.
Cholesterol, a soft, fat-like substance helps in building new cells and secreting hormones. While 80% of the cholesterol is produced by the liver, 20% is obtained from the food you eat. The cholesterol sticks to a protein called the lipoprotein and along with it travels through the bloodstream. Among these lipoproteins, HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) is good for the body, and the other four namely LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein), VLDL (Very Low-Density Lipoprotein), and Triglycerides are bad for your body.
While high blood cholesterol can lead to complications such as heart attack or stroke, low blood cholesterol would indicate the presence of an underlying condition and in either case, proper treatment and management are essential.
Managing high cholesterol
Irrespective of the type of cholesterol disorder, it is essential to follow the doctor’s advice in both cases to avoid the risk associated and lead a healthy life.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cholesterol pockets or Xanthelasma are yellow patches of cholesterol that form in the inner portion of the eyelids. These patches are not harmful; however, they can be a source of cosmetic concern. This condition can be indicative of an underlying heart disease.
Who are the most vulnerable to this disease?
Xanthelasma is a very rare condition that only affects people who have high blood cholesterol levels. However, this condition has been seen to develop even if one’s cholesterol levels are found to be normal. Usually, people in their middle age are the most susceptible to this condition. Xanthelasma affects women more as compared to men.
High blood cholesterol level is the primary cause for this disorder. One might be prone to this disorder if the percentage of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body is on the higher side. Another liver disorder known as ‘biliary cirrhosis’, is also known to increase blood cholesterol levels. Generally, Asians are the most vulnerable to this disease.
Derma Treatments for Xanthelasma-
As these patches do not disappear on their own, they need to be given medical attention. Usually, it’s the cosmetic concern that urges one to go for the treatment. The various treatment options for this disorder are:
Surgical removal of the cholesterol pockets.
These pockets can also be removed with a laser.
Certain medications such as trichloroacetic acid can be used to dissolve these patches.
Cryosurgery, a procedure whereby the cholesterol pockets are exposed to freezing temperatures, is also another treatment option.
Electrodessication is a surgical procedure to get rid of the cholesterol pockets.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Low density lipoprotein or LDL is the bad cholesterol that adds to plaque development alongside triglycerides, which is another lipid. High density lipoprotein or HDL is the good cholesterol that diminishes plaque development. Plaque can hinder the blood supply to the heart, brain, legs or kidneys, leading to heart attacks, stroke or even death. To lower the cholesterol for a younger heart, you may follow the below steps:
Cholesterol is one of those terminologies that need a clear and fresh understanding, right from scratch. It is nothing but obvious and common for you to primarily know about the ill effects of cholesterol and what it does to your body; from increasing the risks of cardio-vascular diseases to adding to your waistline. However, it is time we all got a fresh perspective on what cholesterol is.
So, to start off, what is actually cholesterol?
It is waxy substance produced by the liver which plays an important role in the proper functioning of the cells, digestive process and synthesis of Vitamin D in the body. As cholesterol is a fat based substance that does not dissolve in blood, it is transported, throughout the body, by a protein called the ‘lipoprotein’. The lipoproteins that carry cholesterol are of two types: Low-Density
Why is LDL ‘bad’?
LDL is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol as it is responsible for plaque formation that reduces flexibility of the arteries and tends to clog them.
Why is HDL ‘good’?
HDL is known as the ‘good’ cholesterol because it gets rid of excessive LDL from the arteries and transports them to the liver where they can be broken down. Too much of bad cholesterol in the body can lead to clogged arteries that may result in stroke or a heart attack. Now that you know that too much LDL cholesterol is bad for you, you need to keep it under control while raising the good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
In order to do that, you need to make certain modifications in your lifestyle.
Some of them can be: