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High cholesterol: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found naturally in our body, which needs to function correctly. However, when this fat is in excess in our blood, it can narrow or clog the arteries causing heart disease. High cholesterol, known as hypercholesterolemia, usually has no symptoms and can be detected through blood tests. At FastlyHeal, we explain the causes and treatment of high cholesterol.

Causes of high cholesterol

The causes of high cholesterol, for the most part, are related to an unhealthy lifestyle, such as being overweight, eating high-fat foods, and lack of exercise, but some conditions such as having kidney disease, diabetes, being pregnant, hypothyroidismand having a polycystic ovary can also cause cholesterol to rise.

In the same way, some medications promote the rise in cholesterol, such as contraceptives, drugs for depressionand diuretics. Contrary to what is believed, smoking does not increase cholesterol but reduces “good” cholesterol or HDL.

There are also different types of cholesterol; the most common are:

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL): known as “good” cholesterol
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): known as “bad” cholesterol
  • Total Cholesterol – This is all of the cholesterols combined

A blood test will determine elevated cholesterol values; a cholesterol test can also be performed for more specific conditions. Some doctors recommend getting the first exam at age 20, but every man over 35 and woman over 45 should do so to detect any abnormalities early.

We must remember what the average values ​​of cholesterol in our bodies are. In the case of “good” cholesterol, it should be more than 50 mg / dL; the higher, the better the number; for “bad” cholesterol it should be between 70 and 150 mg / dL, the lower numbers being better indicators. . The ideal for total cholesterol values ​​is less than 200 mg / dL and triglycerides between 10 and 150 mg / dL.

Treatment for high cholesterol

Most of the time, a lifestyle change is a fundamental treatment for cholesterol:

  • Get regular exercise.
  • Stop smoking, reducing the risk of strokes and heart disease.
  • Avoid foods high in saturated fat.
  • Eat low-fat foods like vegetables, grains, and fruits.
  • Losing weight if being overweight is the cause of high cholesterol.
  • If you use sauces and dressings for your meals, prefer those low in fat.

The drugs to treat cholesterol are only prescribed if lifestyle changes are not paying off, depending on your age, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or any heart disease. The prognosis of this condition will depend on the change in your habits; not having adequate treatment could cause arteriosclerosis and lead to other serious illnesses.

Diet for high cholesterol

To lower cholesterol, a change in diet is essential, so it is necessary to base your diet on five servings a day of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains such as rice, bread, and pasta. Consume legumes such as lentils and beans at least three times a week, as well as oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna, which will provide you with “healthy” fat and nutrients to reduce “bad” cholesterol.

Do not eat foods high in saturated fat like those found in fast-food chains, as these can seriously affect your cardiovascular health. Substitute skimmed dairy for whole dairy products and ate lean meats such as chicken, rabbit, turkey, and some cuts of veal such as tenderloin, vacuum, and sirloin. Sausages, egg yolks, and industrial pastries should be considered prohibited foods to lower cholesterol.

If you want to know more about how your diet should be if you have high cholesterol, we recommend the article foods to lower cholesterol.

Complications of having high cholesterol

When our cholesterol values ​​are not at the proper level, it accumulates and forms plaques in the arteries, obstructing them and causing the blood to stop circulating correctly towards the heart or allowing the formation of clots.

If an artery stops passing blood to the heart, a heart attack or heart attack will occur, and if the blocked artery supplies blood to the brain, a stroke could occur.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to High Cholesterol: Causes and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our Blood, Heart, and Circulation category .

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