High cholesterol has very few noticeable symptoms. The majority of the time, it only results in emergencies. For example, the harm brought on by high cholesterol can result to a heart attack or a stroke.
When to See a Doctor?
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a person's initial cholesterol screening should take place between the ages of 9 and 11, and after that, it should be repeated every five years.
Doctors advise men and women between the ages of 45 and 65 to get cholesterol testing every one to two years, respectively. Individuals over 65 should get their cholesterol levels checked every year.
If you have a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or other risk factors like diabetes or high blood pressure, the doctor may also advise more frequent testing.
Get tested and treated for High Cholesterol at Medicover Hospitals from the best doctors.
Causes and Risk Factors
Lipids with a low density (LDL):
Lipids with a low density (LDL): LDL, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, carries cholesterol metabolites all over the body. LDL cholesterol builds up in the artery walls, hardening and constricting them.
HDL, high-density lipoprotein (HDL):
The "good" cholesterol HDL removes extra cholesterol from your body and transports it to your liver.
Triglycerides, a kind of blood fat, are often measured as part of your lipid profile. Your chances of developing heart disease may also increase if your triglyceride levels are high.
Unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels are influenced by factors such as inactivity, obesity, and a poor diet. Often, additional factors may also be involved. For instance, your genes may make it more challenging for your body to eliminate LDL cholesterol from your blood or for the liver to break it down.
Other conditions that cause unhealthy cholesterol levels are:
Cholesterol levels can also be worsened by some types of medications for other health problems, such as:
A harmful buildup of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries can result from high cholesterol (atherosclerosis). These accumulations (plaques) may lessen blood flow through your arteries, which may lead to issues like:
Chest pain: You may have chest pain (angina) and other signs of coronary artery disease if your heart's blood-supplying arteries (coronary arteries) are damaged.
When plaques rip or rupture, a blood clot may form at the site of the rupture, obstructing blood flow or rupturing and occluding an artery downstream. You will experience a heart attack if blood flow to a portion of your heart is cut off.
A stroke happens when a blood clot prevents blood flow to a portion of the brain, much like a heart attack.
One can prevent getting high cholesterol by making some heart-healthy lifestyle changes, such as:
- Consuming a diet low in salt with a focus on fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains.
- Using healthy fats sparingly and animal fats in moderation.
- Getting rid of that extra weight.
- Quitting smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Engaging in at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
- Reducing stress
A lipid panel or lipid profile, a blood test used to measure cholesterol levels, often shows
Typically, you must fast for nine to twelve hours prior to the test, taking just water as a beverage. Follow your doctor's recommendations as certain cholesterol tests don't require fasting.
- Total cholesterol
- Cholesterol LDL
- Cholesterol HDL
The first line of defence against high cholesterol is changing one's lifestyle through activities like exercises and healthy eating. However, your doctor could suggest medication if you've made these significant lifestyle changes but your cholesterol levels are still high.
The selection of a medicational drug is influenced by a number of variables, including your individual risk factors, age, state of health, and potential drug side effects. Typical options include:
The chemical your liver needs to produce cholesterol is blocked by statins. As a result, your liver filters cholesterol. You can choose from atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin etc.
Inhibitors of cholesterol absorption
The cholesterol you consume is absorbed by your small intestine and released into your bloodstream. By decreasing the absorption of dietary cholesterol, the medication ezetimibe lowers blood cholesterol levels. A statin medicine may be taken along with ezetimibe.
This more recent medication functions similarly to statins but is less likely to result in muscle soreness. A maximal statin dosage increased by bempedoic acid can dramatically reduce LDL. There is also a combo tablet that contains ezetimibe and bempedoic acid.
Resins that bind bile acids
Bile acids, a component required for digestion, are produced by your liver using cholesterol. By attaching to bile acids, the drugs cholestyramine , colesevelam, and colestipol reduce cholesterol in an indirect manner. This causes your liver to produce more bile acids by using the extra cholesterol, lowering the level of cholesterol in your blood.
These medications can increase the liver's ability to absorb LDL cholesterol, which reduces blood cholesterol levels. People with a hereditary disorder that results in extremely high LDL levels or those with a history of coronary disease who are intolerant to statins or other cholesterol drugs may benefit from these medications.
Lifestyle changes and Selfcare
To lower your cholesterol, you must make some lifestyle adjustments.
- Take the additional weight off. Lowering cholesterol can be aided by weight loss.
- Consume heart-healthy foods. Put an emphasis on plant-based foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Limit trans and saturated fats. A healthy alternative is monounsaturated fat, which can be found in canola and olive oils. Additional sources of healthful fat include avocados, almonds, and fatty salmon.
- Regular exercise up to at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five times a week with your doctor's approval.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
Dos and Don’ts
A person with high cholesterol has to follow sets of do’s and don’ts to manage it and related symptoms and infections.
|Perform some physical activity, yoga, exercises etc.||Forget to treat other medical conditions.|
|Eat foods that contain high fibre.||Eat too oily or deep fried foods|
|Consume fish as it contains omega-3 fatty acids.||Smoke and drink alcohol. |
|If overweight, lose those extra kilos.||Forget to check your cholesterol levels.|
|Sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours||Include excess salt in your diet. |
High cholesterol can lead to many heart conditions. Follow the above tips to prevent complications.
High Cholesterol Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing empathetic healthcare services to our patients. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipment to conduct the tests required for the diagnosis of high cholesterol. We have an excellent team of specialists who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision that bring successful treatment outcomes.