High cholesterol can put you at risk for heart and circulation conditions like heart attacks, strokes, and vascular dementia. Your blood contains a fatty molecule called cholesterol. The liver naturally produces it. All people have cholesterol. Every cell in our body uses it, thus we require it to maintain our health. This cholesterol is derived in part from the foods we consume. When your blood has a high level of cholesterol, you have high cholesterol. Your risk of heart and circulation conditions like heart attacks and stroke may rise as a result.
The two primary forms of cholesterol are good cholesterol and harmful cholesterol. A high level of “bad” cholesterol might have negative effects on your health. Proteins in your blood transport cholesterol. Lipoproteins are created when proteins and cholesterol mix. HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, is referred to as “good” cholesterol. This is because it purges your blood of the “bad” cholesterol. It returns unnecessary cholesterol to the liver. It is broken down by the liver so that your body can expel it.
The non-HDL or “bad” cholesterol is referred to as non-high-density lipoproteins. This is due to the fact that if there is an excessive amount, it may accumulate within the blood vessel walls. This narrows the arteries and clogs them up, increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. LDL cholesterol is another name for the so-called “bad” cholesterol. This used to be the primary indicator of high blood cholesterol, but today we know that other kinds of non-HDL cholesterol are also dangerous.
Triglycerides, a particular kind of fat, are also present in our blood. The body’s fat cells store this. Eating a lot of fatty and sugary foods while being extremely overweight increases your risk of having a high triglyceride level. Triglycerides can also lead to the artery walls becoming narrower, which raises your risk. Your doctor will be able to inform you whether it’s too high if you notice it on the results of your cholesterol test. A high triglyceride level can coexist with normal HDL and non-HDL cholesterol levels.
Non-HDL take cholesterol from the liver to the cells around your body. Too much bad cholesterol (non-HDL) can be harmful because it sticks to the inside walls of your arteries. This can lead to fatty material (atheroma) building up – this process is known as atherosclerosis. It makes it harder for blood to flow through, which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. If your total cholesterol is high, it can mean that you have a lot of bad (non-HDL) cholesterol in your blood. A high level of good (HDL) cholesterol can help keep that bad cholesterol in check and remove it from your body.
Anyone can develop high cholesterol, and a variety of factors can contribute to this condition. You can influence certain things, like your lifestyle choices, but not others. You can help reduce your risk as long as you take care of the things you can control.
Things that cause high cholesterol you can control:
– eating too much saturated fat
– not being active enough
– having too much body fat, especially around your middle.
– smoking can lead to high cholesterol levels, and the build-up of tar it causes in your arteries makes it easier for cholesterol to stick to your artery walls.
Since there are usually no traditional symptoms of high cholesterol, it is crucial to have it evaluated. Being a hidden risk factor, it occurs without our knowledge until it is too late.
Contact Dr. Barbara Karin Vela today to schedule an appointment.