Cholesterol Management

Cholesterol in blood

Last Updated February 21st, 2019

Overview of cholesterol management

Cholesterol is an important element of the body. It regulates several physiological mechanisms and helps maintain a healthy lifestyle. Any abnormalities in the level of blood cholesterol may give rise to multiple complications. This may predispose a person to several diseases. Hence cholesterol management has become an integral part of global health maintenance programs. In the mid 1980s, the National cholesterol Education Program and American Heart Association collaborated and initiated a national campaign to spread the mass awareness related to health risks of cholesterol and effective cholesterol management. A high cholesterol level in different countries has impacted the morbidity and mortality rates.

 

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a whitish, waxy and fatty material that generates from the liver. Saturated fats present in diet can also generate cholesterol. It is carried by the circulating blood. It performs a few essential functions like-

  • Generation and maintenance of cell membrane
  • Produce bile (essential for absorption and digestion of consumed fat)
  • Prepare Vitamin D and regulate hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone

Cholesterol is naturally generated within the human body. It has a threshold level. A rise in this level of blood cholesterol  is known as “hypercholesterolemia”. It gives rise to serious complications within the body. For an effective cholesterol management, one should avoid a diet rich in trans fats and triglycerides.

 

What are the causes of high cholesterol?

A high cholesterol level in the body is a primary risk factor for several physiological complications. These conditions are common in men above 45 and women above 55 years of age. The common triggers are as follows-

  • Unhealthy diet: Diet rich in saturated and trans fat cause an increase in cholesterol in blood. Poultry, eggs, dairy products and red meat are few examples of fatty diet. High intake of sodium in diet also contributes to the disease.
  • Obesity: Increase in weight can increase the level of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides in the body.
  • Physical activities: Complete lack of physical activities and work-outs is affects health. It inhibits the absorption of fats and triglycerides.
  • Age: Different physiological changes occur with age. A few common changes are, weak heart muscles, kidney dysfunctions and the degeneration of the liver cells. This predisposes an individual to several diseases.
  • Gender: Men are more susceptible to the disease than women. High blood cholesterol symptoms manifest themselves within men after the age of 40. Women experience similar symtpoms after the age of 55.
  • Genes: High cholesterol conditions are hereditary. People who have a family history of the disease are more likely to develop it in future.
  • Existing diseases: Chronic diseases like Hypothyroidism, renal dysfunctions, cardiovascular disorders and liver diseases can be responsible.
  • Medications: Certain drugs like corticosteroids, diuretics, caffeine and narcotics can trigger high cholesterol (LDL) conditions.
  • Addictive habits: Smoking and alcoholism can impede normal liver functions and cause high cholesterol.

 

What are the different types of cholesterol?

High cholesterol condition mainly arises due to abnormal levels of mainly three types of lipids (fats) and lipoproteins in the body. These are as follows-

  • Low-density Lipoproteins (LDL): This type of cholesterol is called “bad cholesterol”. It can combine with other fatty substances which are then carried by blood to the different body tissues. These substances slowly deposit on the walls of arteries (plaque formation) and cause obstruction of arterial passages which leads to coronary heart diseases in future. LDL cholesterol concentration should be kept as low as possible (below 130 mg/dL)
  • High-density Lipoproteins (HDL): This is called “good cholesterol”. It usually carries excess cholesterol from the arterial tissues to the liver where they are excreted. Thus risks of heart blockage due to fat deposition are reduced. Higher HDL levels are desirable within the body (above 45 mg/dL). Regular exercise can help achieve this.
  • Triglycerides: These belong to the third category of fats and are present in the body of high blood pressure or alcoholic patients. They should be kept below 150 mg/dL).

 

Clinical complications of high cholesterol

This disease does not have noticeable symptoms. Hence after a certain age (normally 40), people should go for regular check-ups. Progress of the disease can give rise to some serious clinical complications. These are as follows–

  • Coronary heart disease: The deposition of excess cholesterol on the inner walls of the coronary artery of the heart can cause this disease.
  • Atherosclerosis: In this condition, the heart muscles become thick due to plaque formation.
  • Carotid artery disease: It occurs due to the formation of plaque inside carotid artery (supplies blood to brain). It may lead to brain stroke in future.
  • Peripheral artery disease: It occurs due to arterial blockage in the limbs.
  • Renal failure: Excess cholesterol cannot be excreted and exerts pressure on the walls of kidneys causing renal failure in future.
  • Muscular failure: Excess cholesterol might affect the skeletal muscles as well causing muscular dystrophy (muscle stiffening) in advanced stages.

 

Is there any genetic connection?

According to the reports of British Heart Foundation, 1 in 500 people in UK suffer from Familial Hypercholesterolemia.

It is common in people who have a family history of the disease.

Extensive research proves that the mutations of specific genes like APOB or PCSK9 (determine the amount of cholesterol produced in the body) can cause cholesterol in future generations.

 

 

Diagnosis of high cholesterol

Doctors recommend lipid profile tests to determine the levels of –

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

 

Treatment and Prevention

Cholesterol-related health complications are mostly tied closely to lifestyle and diet choices.It is thus important to maintain special care in having a healthy diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables that is rich in fibre, essential nutrients, healthy fats etc. Having a physically active routine,  that includes atleast 20-30 minutes of exercise 4-5 days a week.

One should stay away from toxic habits such as drinking and smoking. Nicotine, alcohol, trans-fats, and sugar are the biggest culprits for bad cholesterol management that inevitably lead to heart issues.

WHO reports show that one-third of the ischemic heart diseases worldwide occur due to high levels of cholesterol. Nearly 2.6 million fatalities have been reported globally due to high cholesterol levels. The steadily increasing morbidity rates have made National Stroke Association spread the mass awareness related to heart diseases (especially in low and middle-income countries ) that might arise due to increased cholesterol levels in the body.

 

Facts

  • Losing a significant amount of weight is not a big priority for controlling cholesterol. One can achieve 8% reduction in LDL by losing 10 pounds.
  • High cholesterol causes twice as many deaths as lung cancer and thrice as many as breast cancer.

Facts

  • Only 33% of all individuals diagnosed with high cholesterol have the condition under control.
  • Controlling cholesterol can significantly reduce your chances of developing cardiac diseases and needing a by-pass surgery.

Facts

  • Currently, over 70 million Americans suffer from high cholesterol condition.
  • 2-3 hours of exercising is a minimum required to control cholesterol level. This figure may differ from person to person depending upon the age, weight, and LDL levels.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Remove all trans-fats from the diet. If any packaged or processed food label reads, partially hydrogenated oil, understand that it contains trans-fats.
  • Eat more of whole grains and fiber-rich foods to control weight gain.
  • Soy products are effective in removing LDL from the body. They can be used to replace conventional dairy and meat products from the diet.
Don'ts
  • Consume red meat. Substitute it with fish since fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are the good kind of cholesterol.
  • Lead a highly sedentary lifestyle. Have a fixed routine for performing physical exercises.
  • Binge-eat processed snacks and junk foods. These are high in trans-fats and refined sugar.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis pump. It is…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the female clitoris to…
apple cider vinegar weight loss
Apple cider vinegar: Weight loss, shinier hair, and more! Did you know that apple cider vinegar, produced by the simple fermentation of apple juice, could hold the…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a separate organ.  Can…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best way to please…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with essential nutrients that…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure countless ailments and…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an inexplicable emotional numbness…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too! Read on to…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing tips to get…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Is this is the real life? Is this just fantasy? – Decoding the myths of lucid dreaming Lucid dreaming or dreaming with a state of awareness has often intrigued the minds of experts worldwide. Do…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of the entire global…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes, environmental circumstances, etc.
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling of either digust…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How you can use…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
Military diet
Military Diet : Why following a highly restrictive diet is a bad idea Is seiging your calorie intake the right way to attack fats? Read more about Military diet, a highly…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something as slimy as…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga over them? Are…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Vitamin C: The instant health benefits of adding the citrusy goodness to your diet Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be synthesized in your body and has to be obtained…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep going in vain?…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken the world by…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
DASH Diet: What to eat in a “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension”? If you or your loved one is suffering from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), dash towards a DASH…
Experts reveal, how long does marijuana actually stay in your system… Weed or marijuana is one of the most widely abused recreational drug. But did you know how long…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can treat HIV and…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the three important functions…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid when you experience…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used to produce that…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
healthy habits
10 healthy habits: Have a hearty kick-start to the New Year! Do you set goals that are too difficult for you to maintain? Are to struggling to follow healthy…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
collagen benefits skin
Collagen: Get age-defying skin and faster hair growth with this miracle protein Collagen – Wrinkle-free skin, stronger nails, and thicker locks – now you have more reasons to eat these…