Understanding High Blood Cholesterol

High blood cholesterol is a common condition nowadays that is characterized by having high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a kind of waxy and fatty matter that can be found in all of the cells in the body. It is a substance that the body produces and is essential to the normal functioning of the cells.

Cholesterol is needed in the body to produce hormones, nutrients such as vitamin D as well as other substances that aid digestion. Although they have a vital function in the body, too much cholesterol in the blood can also be bad. With high blood cholesterol levels, fatty deposits may gradually develop in the artery walls. This can cause arteries to narrow and constrict the flow of blood.

Causes of high blood cholesterol

High blood cholesterol is caused by a variety of factors. Cholesterol travels through the body by way of the blood stream. Cholesterol attaches to proteins in order to move about, the combination of which is known as lipoproteins.

The primary type of lipoproteins that causes the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries is LDL or low density lipoprotein, also commonly known as the bad cholesterol.

There are certain factors that cause high blood cholesterol that people can avoid. A sedentary lifestyle, overweight and an unhealthy diet can all contribute to having high cholesterol levels in the blood. Other possible causes which people may not have any control of would include inherited genetic flaws that runs in the family.

Symptoms of high blood cholesterol

High cholesterol levels present no noticeable symptoms as it develops. The only way to know if one has high blood cholesterol is by taking a blood test.

How high blood cholesterol  is diagnosed?

Fr a doctor to determine that a patient has high blood cholesterol would be through a blood test. This condition presents no physical signs whatsoever to help doctors identify it until after it develops into atherosclerosis.

A patient has to take a blood test called a lipid panel or lipid profile test that determines the total cholesterol in the blood. The information that such a test provides is the amounts of LDL or bad cholesterol and HDL or good cholesterol in the blood along with a type of fat called triglycerides in the blood.

How to treat high blood cholesterol?

Treating high blood cholesterol combines a variety of medication and lifestyle changes. When it concerns medication, the aim for the treatment is to lower down the LDL levels in the blood. Medication is prescribed by doctors for those who still have high levels of cholesterol in the blood despite handling certain factors under their control.

Statins are the most commonly prescribed medication to lower blood cholesterol levels. Other medications include cholesterol absorbing inhibitors and bile acid binding resins. Undergoing lifestyle changes such as following a more active and healthy lifestyle by having a regular exercise regimen and healthy eating habits can help lower down high blood cholesterol.