What You Need to Know About Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol Levels)

In the world we live in today, things move quickly and we always look for ways to make our lives easier.

That’s why taking care of our health has become even more important than before. One crucial aspect is managing our cholesterol levels.

Hypercholesterolemia is a condition that occurs when there’s high levels of cholesterol in the blood, it affects millions of people all around the world.

In this blog post, we will talk about hypercholesterolemia to help you make smart choices about your health.

What exactly is Hypercholesterolemia?

Hypercholesterolemia means having too much of a type of cholesterol called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in your blood.

LDL cholesterol is often called “bad” cholesterol because it can stick to the walls of your arteries, causing atherosclerosis.

Cholesterol is good for your body because it helps make hormones and keeps your cell membranes healthy.

However, if your cholesterol levels are too high, plaques begins to build up in your arteries. This raises the chances of developing heart-related problems like heart attacks and stroke.

Hypercholesterolemia are classified into two types: Primary and Secondary.

  • Primary Hypercholesterolemia: Is hereditary, and it’s caused by genetic factors that affect how the body produces and removes cholesterol.
  • Secondary Hypercholesterolemia: Is influenced by things like eating unhealthy food, lack of physical exercise, being overweight, having diabetes, and kidney problems.

However, hypercholesterolemia can affect individuals of all ages, not just the elderly.

What Causes Hypercholesterolemia?

Hypercholesterolemia is often
caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors. Some of the causes include:

  • Consuming foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Being overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Taking drugs like corticosteroids

Some people are born with a genetic mutation that affects how their body handles cholesterol, while others develop the condition overtime because of unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking, obesity, and certain medical conditions.

What are the symptoms of hypercholesterolemia?

Hypercholesterolemia typically doesn’t show any signs until it has reached a more advanced stage.

At that point, it may cause symptoms like:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness
  • Yellowish fatty deposits around the eyelids
  • Grayish ring forming around the edge of the cornea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vision problems
  • Severe headaches
  • Fatigue in the legs during physical activity

People with hypercholesterolemia do not show any symptoms from the start, which is why it is called a “silent” condition.

In this situation, regular medical check-ups and cholesterol tests are essential for early detection, making it easier to manage the condition.

How Is Hypercholesterolemia Diagnosed?

Hypercholesterolemia is diagnosed using a lipid panel test. This test measures the levels of different types of cholesterol in your blood.

The test checks for different types of cholesterol in your blood, which includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Additional tests may be carried out to evaluate the risk of developing heart disease, like coronary calcium scan.

This scan helps evaluate the presence of calcium deposits in the coronary arteries, which indicates the likelihood of developing heart-related problems.

How Is Hypercholesterolemia Treated?

The treatment options for hypercholesterolemia include:

  • Medications: Cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins helps to control high cholesterol levels.
  • Combination Therapy: In certain situations where cholesterol levels still remains high despite lifestyle changes and statin use, ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors may be taken with statins for better control of cholesterol.

How Do I Prevent Hypercholesterolemia?

Hypercholesterolemia can be well controlled and, in some instances, prevented.

Here are some strategies for preventing and managing high cholesterol:

  • Focus on eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Limit the intake of saturated fats and trans fats in processed foods.
  • Engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight through a combination of a nutritious diet and regular exercise.
  • When you quit smoking it improves cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart-related diseases.

Conclusion: What You Need to Know About Hypercholesterolemia

Hypercholesterolemia is a condition that needs to be taken seriously and managed effectively.

By learning about what causes high cholesterol, understanding the risks it poses, and knowing how to manage it, you can easily take control of your health and lower the chances of experiencing complications related to high cholesterol.

Staying consistent and committed to a healthy lifestyle will help keep your cholesterol levels in check and supporting your heart health.

In addition, it’s important to have regular check-ups to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels and see how well your management strategies are working.

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