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Everything you need to know about cholesterol?
Cholesterol, in simple terms, can be defined as a chemical compound in the human body. It feels like a waxy substance. It is generated in the liver of a human being. Cholesterol, when present in an adequate number in the body, plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy body. It helps create cell walls, tissues, hormones, and bile acids. If cholesterol is present in a more significant amount than the ability of the human body to handle it, it can become dangerous. Too much cholesterol can block blood flow as it may accumulate in the blood vessels. This further increases the risk of a person developing heart disease or stroke. Cholesterol can also be consumed in the form of food sources, including whole milk, dairy products, eggs, and meat food items.
Types of Cholesterol
In the human body, cholesterol travels through the body using the blood medium, which flows to every part of the body. Cholesterol travels in the bloodstream through a protein chemical which is termed lipoproteins. Depending on the human body, different types of cholesterols exist, good and bad cholesterols. These two types of cholesterol are discussed below.
Good Cholesterol – Here, the density of the lipoprotein is considerably high. It is termed a 'good' type of cholesterol because it decreases the risk and chances of a person suffering from a stroke or heart attack. Here the lipoprotein carries the cholesterol back to the liver and then flushes out of the body.
Bad Cholesterol – In this type, the density is considerably low. It is termed a 'bad' type of cholesterol because this type increases the risk and chances of a stroke or a heart attack. This happens because the excess cholesterol in the bloodstream accumulates in the blood vessels, thereby blocking blood flow.
Harmful Triglycerides – In this type, the lipoprotein is very low. It is also termed a 'bad' type of cholesterol, and it helps create blocks in the bloodstream in the human body. The only difference between this type and the 'bad cholesterol' is that this type of lipoprotein carries triglycerides, and the 'bad cholesterol' contains low lipoprotein that has cholesterol.
According to the national library of medicine, if the cholesterol levels in a person's body are less than 200 mg/dl, the person is in average condition and healthy. If the cholesterol levels in a person's body are in the range between 200 mg/dl and 239 mg/dl, then the person is in borderline condition. Suppose the cholesterol levels in a person's body are more significant than 240 mg/dl. In that case, the person is in an unhealthy state and needs to exercise proper methods to take control of his cholesterol levels.
Causes and Preventions of High Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring component that can be beneficial if it is present at an acceptable level; nevertheless, it can behave in a hazardous manner if it is at an excessive amount. According to the World Health Organization, around 2.6 million people all over the world have died as a result of high cholesterol levels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more commonly referred to as the CDC, estimates that high cholesterol affects approximately 94 million people in the United States who are at least 20 years old.
Everyone, regardless of age or gender, is susceptible to having high cholesterol during his lifetime. On the other hand, one may have more chances of the same if he is overweight and obese, engages in little physical exercise, comes from a family with a history of individuals suffering from high cholesterol, and uses tobacco products.
It is also possible for a person to have high cholesterol levels due to inherited diseases that are passed on via his bloodline. The medical term for this condition is familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). This is a genetic condition that makes it more difficult for the body to flush out the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that circulates in the bloodstream of the body of the affected individual. This leads to the development of cholesterol along the walls of the person's arteries and veins, further narrowing the passageways. This tends to significantly increase the risk of suffering from a dangerous health situation at a very early age, say since childhood, such as a heart attack, chest pain, or a stroke.
A person can make a few changes to reduce the likelihood of getting high cholesterol levels. Some of these lifestyle changes include giving up smoking or avoiding it for as long as possible, exercising regularly at high intervals, and adhering to a diet that is low in salt, high in fiber level, and low in cholesterol, such as fruit, vegetables, and food products or items made from whole grains. Other changes include physical activities and avoiding as much alcohol as possible.
Because there are no outward signs or symptoms of high cholesterol, a person suffering from the condition may be unaware that he has it. As a result, one has to go through a simple time after regular intervals to check his cholesterol levels and execute the alterations suitably or contact his doctors for the professional opinions of the medical staff.
Test & Control
A person should therefore conduct a straightforward test to determine whether or not his cholesterol levels are high. One needs to exercise better control over his diet and prioritize consuming foods, products, or objects low in cholesterol. Last but not least, the individual should bring his cholesterol levels under control by using the drugs and other techniques recommended by the primary care physician or other health care practitioner.
A blood test known as a lipoprotein panel can be carried out on an individual. The results of this test can accurately calculate and establish whether or not a person has high cholesterol levels. The test provides information about triglycerides, total cholesterol, good cholesterol, and bad cholesterol. It also provides information about non-HDL cholesterol. One can then proceed to take the steps in accordance with the blood test results to maintain his body's safety and health.
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