What is Cholesterol?
Healthy cholesterol is made by the liver. It is used to stimulate the body, insulate the nerves, build new cells and helps in producing hormones. Cholesterol enters the body externally with our foods through milk, meat, eggs, etc. Too much cholesterol is harmful to the body and will be the root cause of many diseases.
How does cholesterol affect heart disease?
Too much cholesterol formation in the blood will create blockages in the arteries by making the arteries narrow which causes difficulty for the blood flow. This process is called Atherosclerosis. This excess cholesterol causes various types of heart diseases.
As we all know blood carries oxygen to the heart, if enough blood is not pumped into the heart oxygen levels will be decreased and may cause chest pain, heart attack and other heart diseases. Hence, proper care of cholesterol levels in the body should be considered to be healthy. Commonly affected heart diseases are:
- Heart attack
- Chest pain
- Heart strokes
- Coronary heart disease
- Arteries heart disease
- Cardiovascular heart disease
Types of cholesterol:
There are 3 types of cholesterols:
- Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL): Also known as "Bad Cholesterol". This bad cholesterol transfers cholesterol particles throughout the body and helps in building across the walls of blood vessels, arteries and makes them hard and narrow.
- LDL increases the risk factors of various heart diseases and may leads to complex problems.
- High Density Lipoprotein (HDL): Also known as "Good Cholesterol". This picks up excess cholesterol present in the body and takes it back to liver. Liver pumps out the wastes and makes the body toxic free. HDL protects heart from several complex diseases.
- Triglycerides: It is another type of fat which may also leads to heart diseases.
Every person with the age of 20 and above should get the cholesterol measures ones in every 2 years. Lipoprotein profile is the name for blood test which is done to get the cholesterol numbers present in the body. This blood test is done by the professional doctors for whom set of rules should be followed by the test taking person.
The test provides the result for the below details:
- Total cholesterol
- LDL Numbers
- HDL quantity in the body
These numbers show how the body system is working and the number of cholesterol indicates the level of risk for heart and other diseases with the amount of LDL and HDL present in the body. Refer to the provided below tables for clear data on cholesterol levels.
Symptoms of cholesterol:
The cholesterol formation in the body has the following symptoms of cholesterol for the heart disease which are stated by the best cardiologist in Kukatpally Hyderabad and other specialists.
- There are no symptoms for High cholesterol. It can be detected by only through blood test.
- No prior physical symptoms are found in any research till now.
- It can be detected and can take precautions with the help of cholesterol levels test.
How cholesterol Increases:
There are numerous effects of cholesterol which leads to various risk factors including heart diseases. Few of them are listed below.
- Foods: Not following proper diet and eat more fat content foods will increase the levels of LDL in the body which creates bad fat and leads to heart diseases. Many claim that saturated fat in the body is good for health. But, saturated fat and cholesterol content in the food will increase LDL in the body.
- Weight: Overweight or excess weight irrespective of age and gender depending upon our height is the result of bad cholesterol and excess fat in the body which is considered as the root cause for several heart diseases. Control cholesterol levels by losing the weight.
- Physical activity: If a person is not active physically or too lazy there are high chances of increase in fat due to LDL cholesterol which leads to obesity and other heart diseases. Be active with certain physical exercises which helps in improving HDL in the body and protects from different diseases.
- Age and gender: Cholesterol is formed due to the age and gender of a person. As a person gets older the levels of cholesterol also starts increasing in the body and it exceed normal levels. Generally, after menopause age women have high tendency to be affected with LDL cholesterol.
- Heredity: Genes and family history also considered as the main factors of increased levels of cholesterol in the body.
Risk factors of heart disease with cholesterol:
- High blood pressure
- Low HDL cholesterol
- Genetic heart diseases
According to best pediatric cardiologist in Hyderabad there is a great link between cholesterol and heart diseases. The cholesterol is categorized majorly into 4 categories depending on the level of risk the cholesterol contains. The categories is listed in the below table format.
|If You Have||You Are in Category|
|Heart disease, diabetes, or risk score more than 20%||I. High Risk|
|2 or more risk factors and risk score 10-20%||II. Next Highest Risk|
|2 or more risk factors and risk score less than 10%||III. Moderate Risk|
|0 or 1 risk factor||IV. Low-to-Moderate Risk|
Treatments: Treatments for the cholesterol mainly focus on lowering the cholesterol levels in the body which indeed reduces the risk of heart diseases and other defects. The treatments are performed depending on the category the patient is situated in. Cholesterol levels are categorized into different levels.
- Category I: Highest Risk
- Category II: Next Highest Risk
- Category III: Moderate Risk
- Category IV: Low-Moderate Risk
These all required treatment from the best cardiologist in Hyderabad India or any other location you belong to. These treatments should be taken under expertise team. Always consider the doctor's advice and follow one doctor. Changing multiple doctors will increase the side effects and risk factors. The treatment includes various tests, medication and other therapies which are recommended by the team.
Drugs commonly used to lower cholesterol:
Below are the commonly used drugs which help in lowering cholesterol levels and controls good fats in the body.
Statins: These are the block substances which are needed for the liver to make good cholesterol. Statins will remove the LDL and blocked cholesterol from arteries and blood vessels wall. It helps in reversing coronary heart disease.
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol)
- Lovastatin (Altocor, Altoprev, Mevacor)
- Pitavastatin (Livalo)
- Pravastatin (Pravachol)
- Rosuvastatin calcium (Crestor)
- Simvastatin (Zocor)
Bile acid binding resigns: Liver creates bile acid which makes the digestive system work properly. The liver uses excess cholesterol to produce bile acid which will reduce blood cholesterol levels.
The common drugs include:
- Cholestyramine (Questran and Questran Light)
- Colesevelam (WelChol )
- Colestipol (Colestid)
Cholesterol absorption inhibitors: These inhibitors absorb bad cholesterol from the body. The small intestine absorbs cholesterol from foods you intake, and it releases in the bloodstreams. The drug called ezetimibe limits the absorption of cholesterol. It needs combinational drugs. The example of combinational drugs includes:
- Advicor: Lovastatin and niacin ( nicotinic acid )
- Caduet: Atorvastatin and amlodipine, a calcium channel blocker
- Liptruzet: Atorvastatin and ezetimibe
- Simcor: Simvastatin and niacin (nicotinic acid)
- Vytorin: Simvastatin and ezetimibe, a cholesterol absorption inhibitor
Fibrates: Fibrates lowers the triglyceride levels in the body. It improves HDL cholesterol and controls LDL. Below are commonly recommended drugs.
- Fenofibrate (Antara, Lipofen, Lofibra, Tricor)
- Fenofibric acids (Fibricor, Trilipix)
- Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
Injectable medications: This new medicine allows the liver to absorb LDL cholesterol. It lowers the blood cholesterol and reduces LDL also improves HDL.
Medication for High triglycerides:
High triglycerides will also have same risk factors as other cholesterol types. The prescription for the medication depends upon the severity of the level. Consume more fiber content foods, omega-3 fatty acid supplements and other food which is healthy for heart and control cholesterol.
The therapy which is followed by the best Interventional cardiologist in Hyderabad and around the globe is TLC.
TLC: Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes:
This therapy is taken to lower the cholesterol levels and control it. It reduces fat and LDL cholesterol and removes bad cholesterol from the body.
The TLC follows majorly the below steps:
- TCL Diet
- Weight Management
- Physical Activity
Cholesterol in Children:
Do you children with the age 2 and above are also affected with high cholesterol. There are various ways and treatments to treat and lower cholesterol levels in the body. If the child is 2-10 years age then there will be initial stage treatment to reduce the risk and control high cholesterol without any prescribed drugs. Children with age 10 or above are prescribed by the drug which helps in lowering the cholesterol levels.
Foods to lower cholesterol:
Here is the list of foods which helps in lowering cholesterol levels and keeps heart healthy.
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
10 myths about cholesterol affected heart disease:
These are the 10 myths which are considered by many people around the globe which are taken from the expertise team from best cardiologist surgeon in Hyderabad. The below listed are just myths and false statements which are generally taken for granted and believed from a long period of time from generations.
- You can take heart attack easily
- If you take cholesterol lowering medication, then you can intake any type of foods
- High blood pressure is common and no risk in older age
- Diabetic can be cured permanently with medication
- Heart disease risk can be lowered with vitamins and supplements
- Quitting smoking after a long time can reduce heart risk
- Heart disease is mainly caused in Men
- Eating very low-fat content foods will reduce heart diseases
- A small heart stroke will not affect much on anyone
- Bypass surgery will fix the heart permanently
Side effects of Cholesterol Lowering Drugs:
There are various side effects depending on age and gender, but the below listed are commonly seen in everyone who is affected with high cholesterol and are under medication. Best cardiologist in Apollo Hyderabad also proved these side effects which are seen in many patients.
- Muscle aches
- Abnormality in liver
- Heart burns
- Chest pains
- Memory problems
- Skin allergies
|Less than 150||Normal (desirable), heart disease|
|Less than 200||Desirable|
|200 - 239||Borderline High|
|240 and above||High|
|LDL Cholesterol||LDL-Cholesterol Category|
|Less than 100||Optimal|
|100 - 129||Near optimal/above optimal|
|130 - 159||Borderline high|
|160 - 189||High|
|190 and above||Very high|
|60 or more||Desirable - helps to lower risk of heart disease|
|Less than 40||Major risk factor - increases the risk for developing heart disease|
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Author's Bio: Ashreetha Pendkar Is a Healthcare writer, trainer and Digital marketing expert, she loves to read healthcare content and spreading her words about the importance of the health to near & dears.