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Published on 18/07/2022

If you have familial hypercholesterolemia, the body processes cholesterol differently. Due to this, people with familial hypercholesterolemia have a higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

Inherited genetic changes cause familial hypercholesterolemia. Even if the disorder is present from birth, symptoms may not appear until adulthood. Symptoms commonly appear in children who inherit the disease from both parents. If this rare and more severe form is not treated, it may lead to fatality before age 20.

Treatments for both kinds of familial hypercholesterolemia include various medications and healthy-lifestyle activities.

Now the question is; how do we identify Hypercholesterolemia?

Familial hypercholesterolemia causes extremely high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in both adults and children. LDL cholesterol is referred to as "bad" cholesterol because it can accumulate in arterial walls, hardening and narrowing them.

This extra cholesterol can be found in some areas of the skin, tendons, and around the iris of the eyes:

Skin:

Cholesterol deposits are most commonly found on hands, knees, and elbows and can also occur on the skin around the eyes.

Tendons:

The Achilles’ tendon and various tendons in the hands may get thicker due to cholesterol deposits.

Eyes:

The corneal arcus, a white or grey ring around the eye's iris, can be caused by high cholesterol levels. Although it most frequently occurs in older adults, familial hypercholesterolemia can also affect younger individuals.

What causes hypercholesterolemia?

A gene change inherited from one, or both parents leads to familial hypercholesterolemia. This change stops the body from getting rid of cholesterol that can accumulate in the arteries and lead to heart diseases.

The risk factors for hypercholesterolemia

If one or both of the parents carry a gene mutation that results in familial hypercholesterolemia, the risk of developing the condition might increase. Most individuals with the disease receive the affected gene from one parent. However, in rare cases, a child may also get the affected gene from both parents, which could lead to a severe form of this condition.

Cardiovascular complications associated with hypercholesterolemia

Familial hypercholesterolemia increases the risk of heart disease and early death. Heart attacks can strike men before the age of 50 and women beyond the age of 60. If left undiagnosed or untreated, a more severe and uncommon form of the condition can occur and prove fatal before age 20.

Can hypercholesterolemia be cured?

No, there is no cure for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). However, the condition can be managed. Getting the right diagnosis and treatment on time can improve your overall health and extend your life expectancy.

Patients with hypercholesterolemia are advised to change their diet and engage in regular physical activity. Avoiding foods high in saturated fats, such as cheese, butter, cream, and high-fat meats, can be a recommended dietary change. Saturated fat consumption should be limited.

The patient might be given medication if the blood cholesterol level is still high after a few weeks. The medication recommended is based on various factors, including age, possible side effects, current health, and individual risk factors. Treatment for familial hypercholesterolemia focuses on reducing abnormally high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. As a result, death and heart attack risks are reduced.

Managing hypercholesterolemia with lifestyle changes and home remedies!

Healthy habits can also lower the risk of developing heart diseases and control your cholesterol:

Lose weight:

Cholesterol levels can be lowered by weight loss.

Eat a heart-healthy diet:

Concentrate on whole grains, vegetables, and other plant-based foods, such as fruits and limit the intake of trans and saturated fats.

Exercise regularly:

Moderate-intensity 30-minute workouts can help improve your quality of life.

Don't smoke:

Find a way to stop smoking, which will help you effectively fight your illness.

Don’t wait for your symptoms to get severe. Get yourself diagnosed and seek appropriate treatment now!

Book an appointment with expert cardiologists!


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