Causes of high cholesterol and triglycerides: What does cholesterol mean? Cholesterol is classified as a lipid. It’s a waxy, fat-like substance produced naturally by your liver. It is required for the formation of cell membranes, hormones, and vitamin D.
Because cholesterol does not dissolve in water, it cannot travel through your bloodstream on its own. The liver produces lipoproteins to help move cholesterol through the body.
Lipoproteins are fat and protein particles. They transport lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides through your bloodstream. Lipoprotein is classified into two types: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Any cholesterol carried by low-density lipoproteins is considered LDL cholesterol. You may be diagnosed with high cholesterol if your blood includes an excessive amount of LDL cholesterol. High cholesterol, if not treated, can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Initially, high cholesterol rarely causes symptoms. That is why having your cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis is essential.
Symptoms of high cholesterol- What does cholesterol mean to your body
In most scenarios, high cholesterol is a “silent” problem. It usually has no symptoms. Many people are unaware they have high cholesterol until they experience major consequences, such as a heart attack or stroke.
If your cholesterol level is high, your body may store the additional cholesterol in your arteries. These are the blood veins that transfer oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body.
Plaque is a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Plaque can harden and constrict your arteries over time. Large plaque deposits can totally block an artery. Cholesterol plaques can potentially break apart, resulting in the creation of a blood clot that prevents blood flow.
A heart attack can be caused by a blocked artery to the heart. A stroke can be caused by a clogged artery to the brain.
Many people do not realise they have high cholesterol until they experience one of these life-threatening situations. Some patients discover this during routine check-ups, which include blood tests.
Causes of high cholesterol
Consuming too many cholesterol- saturated-fat and trans-fat-rich foods may increase your chance of having high cholesterol. Obesity can also raise your risk. Inactivity and smoking are two more lifestyle factors that can lead to elevated cholesterol.
Your genes may also play a role in your risk of getting high cholesterol. Parents pass down their genes to their children. Certain genes regulate how your body processes cholesterol and fat. If your parents have high cholesterol, you may be more likely to have it as well.
Family history of high cholesterol might occasionally be the cause of high cholesterol. Your body can’t get rid of LDL due to this hereditary disease.
The National Human Genome Research Institute Trusted Source reports that the majority of adults with this illness have total cholesterol levels that are above 300 milligrams per deciliter and LDL levels that are above 200 milligrams per deciliter.
You may be more likely to getting higher cholesterol and associated issues if you already have other medical diseases like diabetes and hypothyroidism.
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Types of Cholesterol and their functions
Depending on what the lipoprotein carries, there are many types of cholesterol.
- Low-density lipoprotein
The term “bad cholesterol” is commonly used in reference to Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Your arteries receive cholesterol from it. LDL cholesterol can accumulate on the lining of your arteries if your levels are too high.
Cholesterol plaque is another name for this accumulation. This plaque can cause artery narrowing, reduced blood flow, and an increased risk of blood clots. A heart attack or stroke can result from a blood clot blocking an artery in your heart or brain.
- High-density lipoprotein
“Good cholesterol” is another name for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It aids in the removal of LDL cholesterol from your body by assisting its return to the liver. By doing this, you can keep your arteries free of cholesterol plaque.
Your risk of blood clots, heart disease, and stroke can be reduced when you have healthy levels of HDL cholesterol.
Risk factors of High Cholesterol
Your chance of having unhealthy cholesterol levels might be affected by the following factors:
Unhealthy cholesterol levels can be caused by eating too much saturated or trans fat. Saturated fats can be found in full-fat dairy products and fatty animal cuts. Trans fats can often be found in packaged desserts or snacks.
People who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are at risk of having high cholesterol.
Lack of Exercise:
The “good” cholesterol in your body, HDL, is increased by exercise.
Smoking cigarettes may cause your HDL, or “good,” cholesterol, to drop.
Alcohol consumption in excess might raise your total cholesterol level.
Even young children can have high cholesterol, although adults over 40 are far more likely to have it. The ability of your liver to eliminate LDL cholesterol declines with age.
Why Women Are Affected by Cholesterol Differently?
The female sex hormone estrogen tends to increase this beneficial cholesterol, which is why women typically have higher amounts of HDL cholesterol than men. But with menopause, everything changes, just like so many other things. The cholesterol levels of many women now alter, with total and LDL cholesterol rising and HDL cholesterol falling.
This explains why women with healthy cholesterol levels during their reproductive years may develop increased cholesterol later in life. Of course, genetics and lifestyle choices can also have a significant impact.
How to reduce cholesterol Quickly?
Your doctor could suggest lifestyle modifications to help lower your cholesterol if it is high. For instance, they might advise adjusting your eating plan, exercise program, or other components of your daily schedule. They’ll probably tell you to stop smoking if you do.
To help decrease your cholesterol levels, your doctor might also recommend drugs or other treatments. They might suggest a specialist in certain circumstances if you need further care.
Your doctor could advise dietary changes to help you reach and keep healthy cholesterol levels.
For instance, they might suggest that you:
- Limit the amount of cholesterol-, saturated-, and trans-fat-containing foods you eat.
- Pick lean protein sources including chicken, fish, and lentils.
- Eat a variety of high-fiber foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Choose fried cuisine over baked, broiled, steaming, grilled, and roasted options.
- When possible, stay away from fast meals and sugary, pre-packaged foods.
High-cholesterol, saturated-fat, or trans-fat foods include:
- Red meat, organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy items with a high fat content
- Prepared foods made with palm oil or cocoa butter
- Some baked items, such some cookies and muffins, as well as deep-fried dishes like potato chips, onion rings, and fried chicken.
What does Triglycerides mean in a blood test?
The blood carries triglycerides, which are fats from the food we eat. Triglycerides are the primary kind of fat that we consume. Triglycerides are formed when excess calories, alcohol, and sugar are consumed by the body and are then stored as fat cells throughout the body.
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Causes of Triglycerides in blood
Triglyceride levels naturally change in response to a variety of elements, such as calorie consumption and the time of day. Triglycerides may rise after eating a meal, which the body may then store for use when it needs energy.
Although these fluctuations are normally short, they are one of the reasons why doctors would advise someone to fast before receiving a blood test for their lipid profile.
Higher triglyceride levels could be a result of certain Health conditions. The American Heart Association Trusted Source lists the following:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Insulin resistance
- Having excess body weight or obesity
- Inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Kidney disease
Risk factors of High Triglycerides
Triglyceride levels may be increased by the following factors:
- Excessive drinking.
- High cholesterol in the family history.
- Either renal or liver problems.
- Medications, such as beta blockers, corticosteroids, hormones, and diuretics.
- Thyroid condition.
- Unmanaged diabetes
- A sugar- and simple-carbohydrate-rich diet.
How to reduce high triglycerides naturally?
No more than 6% of your daily calories should be from saturated fat, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) Trusted Source. Additionally, the AHA Trusted Source advises against Trans fats wherever possible. Consuming a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also lower high cholesterol.
You can also do the following to keep your triglyceride and cholesterol levels in check:
- The consumption of skinless, fat-free poultry
- Eating moderate portions of lean meat
- Eating dairy products that are fat-free or low in fat
- Utilizing poly- and mono-unsaturated fats as opposed to trans- and saturated fats.
- Four days a week, spend at least 30 minutes working out.
- Steer clear of fast food, junk food, and processed meats
- Eating grilled and roasted cuisine as opposed to fried food
- Alcohol use should be reduced because it raises triglyceride levels.
What distinguishes triglycerides from cholesterol?
Both cholesterol and triglycerides are fatty compounds known as lipids. Cholesterol is not a fat, whereas triglycerides are. The liver produces cholesterol, which is a waxy, flavor less chemical. It is utilized to create cell walls, supports the neurological system, and is crucial for digestion and hormone synthesis.