Cholesterol is an essential substance in the body that helps in natural functions such as generating vitamin D, digestion and producing hormones. However, a higher concentration of cholesterol can put your health and life in danger. Let’s look at the five common types of diseases that could be the result of high cholesterol
1. Coronary Heart Disease:
High cholesterol poses the threat of coronary heart disease. When the cholesterol level is too high, it can build up on the arteries of the walls. The continuous build-up leads to narrowing of arteries, and the narrowed blood vessels also reduce the flow of blood to the heart. The result could be chest pain when the heart doesn’t receive enough blood or a heart attack when the blood supply is completely blocked.
The blocking or bursting of blood vessels carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain could lead to stroke. It happens when a part of the brain doesn’t receive oxygen, the brain cells die within minutes and could eventually lead to permanent brain damage.
3. Peripheral Arterial Disease:
Peripheral arterial disease is the disease of blood vessels outside the brain and heart. The condition is the result of a build-up of fatty deposits along artery walls that affect the circulation of blood to other parts of the body. The peripheral arterial disease mostly occurs in arteries carrying blood to feet and legs.
4. High Blood Pressure:
Hypertension or high blood pressure is linked to high cholesterol level. Cholesterol and calcium buildup leads to hardening and narrowing of arteries. As a result, the heart has to work more to pump blood through these arteries. The result could be hypertension.
Reasons for High Cholesterol:
The problem of high cholesterol could be inherited, but is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle in most cases. Some of the reasons for high cholesterol are:
- A diet that is high in saturated fat and cholesterol
- Excessive intake of alcohol
- Family history
- Age and sex. The bad cholesterol level increases with age and women have higher LDL level than men after age 55
- Medications such as beta-blockers
- Lack of exercise
Controlling High Cholesterol:
- Bringing changes in lifestyle could dramatically lower the cholesterol level in the body. Some of the highly effective ways to treat cholesterol disorder are:
- Eating foods that are low in saturated and total fat
- Exercising three times a week and for at least 30 minutes
- Refraining from smoking and alcohol consumption
- Medications such as statins that block the cholesterol producing substance in the liver
- Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can lower triglycerides and LDL levels
High cholesterol is tough on arteries as well as your health. What makes the problem worse is that there are no visible symptoms of high cholesterol in the body. It is, therefore, necessary that you look for medical doctors near me and undergo routine tests to keep an eye on the cholesterol level in the body. Remember that even a slight increase in cholesterol levels in otherwise healthy individuals between age 35 to 55 can have a long-term effect on their heart health.