Reviewed by Dr. Hasan Feroz, MD
What is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a kind of fat used by our body that is produced by our body and also sources from animal meat. Cholesterol is as important to our body as other vitamins and minerals but a large amount of cholesterol in the body may cause heart problems.
There are three types of cholesterol named HDL or good cholesterol, LDL or bad cholesterol, and triglycerides. The amount of cholesterol depends on our body on what we eat in the form of fat and meat. Excess cholesterol may cause heart blockage and stroke.
Importance of Cholesterol in Our Body
Cholesterol is a very essential substance of our body produced by the liver and also we get it from foods. It is helpful in making vitamin D, hormones and antioxidants. It is a waxy type of fat and found in our blood. When it increases in the quantity our blood vessels start blocking and resulted in heart disease.
There are two types of cholesterol, in general terms, we know as good and bad cholesterol. The good cholesterol is HDL or high-density lipoprotein and LDL or low-density lipoprotein. HDL is considered as good cholesterol and LDL is bad cholesterol.
When the levels of LDL is increased in our body it makes our blood arteries thinner and makes a wall in the arteries resulting in thinning of arteries known as cholesterol plaque.
HDL cholesterol known as good cholesterol helps to decrease LDL cholesterol. It dissolves the deposits of LDL and is helpful in forming good cholesterol.
Triglycerides are another type of lipid that is helpful in making cells and the body. It is a source of oils. When we eat an excessive amount of oils in the food it accumulates in the body like fat. HDL cholesterol uses it to convert it into energy.
Causes of High Cholesterol
The buildup of the high fat in our body is the main cause of cardiovascular diseases. It is accumulated in our body and narrowing the causes difficulty in flowing the blood.
Factors that affect your body in the forming of bad cholesterol are:
Poor Diet- If you eat so much fat in your diet and include high fried and oily stuff you will probably adding more fat to your body. It is found in animal meat, processed food, and market food. People who take full cream milk may also be at risk of developing cholesterol in their body.
Lack of Physical Activity- If you exercise and do physical activity like cycling, exercise helps your body to make HDL but if your habit is only eating and sleep nature you will be at great risk of developing high LDL cholesterol.
Obesity- If your body mass index is more than 30 then you are at risk. Try to reduce the BMI to live longer. Obesity is the main cause of heart disease.
Smoking- Cigarette smoking damages the arteries and causes the accumulation of cholesterol plaque. Try to minimize smoking as much as possible.
Diabetes- Diabetes is also the contributor to very low degree lipoproteins or VLDL. It reduces the HDL cholesterol levels in the body. High blood sugar also damages the lining of the heart.
Symptoms of High Cholesterol
There are no symptoms of high cholesterol and it poses no problem to the person. It is considered a silent problem. it triggers problems of heart and blockage of arteries then patient came to know that the problems are increased.
It is recommended to people who are older than 30 years check their cholesterol levels regularly. If it is beyond the desired limit, one must have to be cautious. If the levels are slightly up then changes in eating habits may solve the problem and if it is too high then statins are recommended.
Complications in high Cholesterol
There are various problems associated with cholesterol especially problems of heart like
High Blood Pressure
Angina or chest pain