Cholesterol…Is It Really That Bad?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is present naturally in the body. It performs several vital functions. Your body makes all the cholesterol you need. You need only a small amount of fat in your diet to make enough cholesterol to stay healthy. Your body needs cholesterol to build new cells, insulate nerves, and produce hormones.
The fat you eat is absorbed in the intestine and transported to the liver. The liver converts fat into cholesterol and releases cholesterol into the bloodstream. If there is the excess amount of cholesterol in the blood may get deposited in the walls of arteries.
What is bad cholesterol?
There are two main types of cholesterol out of which low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is known as bad cholesterol.
High levels of LDL cholesterol are linked to atherosclerosis, which is the accumulation of cholesterol-rich fatty deposits in arteries.
This can cause arteries to narrow or become blocked, slowing or stopping the flow of blood to vital organs, especially the heart and brain.
Read more about fatty liver in our blog: Do I Need to Worry About Fatty Liver?
What is good cholesterol?
The second type of cholesterol is called as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol also known as good cholesterol.
High levels of HDL cholesterol actually protect against heart attacks and strokes by removing cholesterol from the arteries and bringing it back to the liver.
People with levels low HDL cholesterol are more likely to develop atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke.
Factors that may increase your risk of high cholesterol include:
- Age: Your risk may increase as you get older. Men after age of 45 years and females after the age of 55 years are at the risk of developing high cholesterol
- Poor eating habits : Foods that are high in cholesterol, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, bakery products can increase your total cholesterol.
- Unhealthy lifestyle: Lack of exercise and sedentary habits
- Obesity and Large waist circumference
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, making them likely to accumulate fatty deposits. Smoking may also lower your level of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar contributes to higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. High blood sugar also damages the lining of your arteries.
- The family history of high cholesterol or heart diseases can put you at risk of developing high cholesterol
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What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?
Most people with high cholesterol don’t have any symptoms until cholesterol-related atherosclerosis causes significant narrowing of the arteries leading to their hearts or brains.
Atherosclerosis affecting the heart is called coronary artery disease, and it can cause heart-related chest pain (angina) or heart attack. When atherosclerosis blocks arteries that supply blood to the brain, it can cause a stroke.
Some people may experience nodules filled with cholesterol over various tendons, especially the Achilles tendons of the lower leg called as xanthomas. Cholesterol deposits also can occur on the eyelids, where they are called xanthelasmas.
How to manage high cholesterol?
High cholesterol can be inherited, but it’s often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, and thus preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and sometimes medication can help in reducing high cholesterol.
- Healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy foods
- Avoid high cholesterol foods like meat, cakes, pastries, cookies, nuts, milk products, butter, ghee, sugary, and fried foods
- Eat a low-salt diet
- Avoid smoking
- Losing weight, being active, regular exercises for 30-60 mins daily will help you to reduce your bad cholesterol.
Conventional treatment: Cholesterol lowering medication
Homeopathy medicines are helpful to treat the symptoms and condition related to abnormal cholesterol level. Homeopathic medicines will help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raise HDL cholesterol, and also enhance immunity system. Homeopathic remedies can help to maintain cardiovascular function and a healthier circulatory system.
Homeopathic treatment is absolutely safe and free from any side effects. To know more about how homeopathy can help you, you can leave your details below and have one of our doctors’ call you back. Alternately you can get in touch with us via telephone (+91-22-66888888) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
– Written by Dr. Aparna Hingmire, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah, Team LifeForce
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