Is High Cholesterol Genetic - Here's The Truth!

Is High Cholesterol Genetic? – Here’s The Truth!

Cholesterol doesn’t show any symptoms until it becomes a severe issue. Cholesterol may detect in two ways. The first type is the abnormally high levels of cholesterol in the blood. The second type occurs because excessive saturated fat causes high cholesterol levels in the blood. The first type of cholesterol is inherited. It is inherited from one or both parents. The second type of cholesterol occurs due to excessive consumption of foods.

High cholesterol may cause by several factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, etc. ultimately which put you at several health issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the united states is at the forefront among the high number of people who died due to high cholesterol. This type of cholesterol is commonly seen among most people. What if you have already high cholesterol at birth? In some cases, high cholesterol runs in the family. Here is everything you need o know about inherited high cholesterol.

What Is Familial Hypercholesterolemia?

What Is Familial Hypercholesterolemia

As aforementioned, in some cases, cholesterol may inherit from the previous generations or passed down from one parent or both parents. You can not control the cholesterol level in the blood in those situations. This type of inherited cholesterol is scientifically known as familial hypercholesterolemia or FH. people who have this condition produce abnormally high levels of cholesterol than their bodies can handle. It results in the buildup of fat and the forming of plaque in the arteries. The condition gradually leads to severe health conditions like cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke.

If people in your family have had heart attacks, you need to consult a doctor and take a blood test to know about cholesterol levels. If your family members are struggling to deal with heart disease, there may have a high possibility of familial hypercholesterolemia.

Does Your Body Need Cholesterol?

Yes. your body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to function your body properly. But you might have heard about cholesterol as a villain. But the thing is that cholesterol is essential to build healthy cells in the body. It has various functions. It helps to produce hormones, and vitamin D and also helps in the digestion process.

Does Your Body Need Cholesterol

The liver produces the needed cholesterol for the proper functioning of each part of the body. There are different types of cholesterol. Cholesterol have also good parts and bad parts. The different types of cholesterol determine whether it’s good for the health or not. 

Commonly cholesterol is of three types. High-density lipoprotein(HDL), low-density lipoprotein(LDL), and triglycerides. HDL absorbs excessive cholesterol in the blood and carries it back to the liver. HDL is a good part of cholesterol in your body. On the other hand, LDL is harmful to health. It formulates the bulk of cholesterol in the body and forms plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Thereby blood can not circulate properly through the narrow parts. It affects the health heart and other parts of the body. 

Familial Hypercholesterolemia As A Trick On The Liver

FH occurs due to faulty LDL receptors that can’t cycle cholesterol from the blood through the liver. The liver produces more cholesterol than its capacity. People who have been diagnosed with FH have higher cholesterol levels than others without this condition. It can not be controlled through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. It is extremely difficult to lower the cholesterol level of people diagnosed with familial cholesterolemia. In some cases, medications are helpful to control the excessive production of cholesterol in the liver.

FH Comes With A Family Affair

If a parent has familial cholesterolemia, then you have 50%chance of inheriting the LDL abnormality. This condition is known as heterozygous FH. In some cases, the child may not have been detected with this condition. It is depending on the genes of the individual. If you inherit your parent’s genes, then there is a higher chance of having FH at birth. 

FH Comes With A Family Affair

When your both parents have FH,  there is a 25 percent chance to inherit the condition. This occurs in rare cases. The child may inherit both genes of the parents. This condition is known as homozygous FH.  In severe cases, high cholesterol can develop into heart disease in the early stages.

What Are The Early Symptoms Of FH?

When you find this genetic condition in the early stages, some proper medications can help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. People who have familial cholesterolemia may have lumps in their skin. It is one of the early symptoms that you can find in the body.

FH shows several other symptoms. The main signs are visible on the skin. Sometimes the fatty substance deposits on the hands, knees, Achilles tendons, and elbows. These types of fatty substances are known as xanthomas. The eyes are the best source of symptoms that shows high-cholesterol level. Sometimes an ophthalmologist can spot the signs of high cholesterol deposits in the eyes.

Normally, cholesterol does not show any symptoms. So if you want to know about the cholesterol level, take a lipid test and understand the count of HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and the total amount of cholesterol. High cholesterol at a young age shows signs of familial hypercholesterolemia. If you detect any symptoms, don’t bad about yourself. Talk to your doctor and genetic testing can confirm the diagnosis.

Treatments For High Cholesterol Levels Caused By Genetics

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor would suggest you follow certain lifestyle modifications. But if you have FH, it’s not possible to reduce your cholesterol level by changing your daily habits. However, it’s mandatory for all people who have high cholesterol.

Especially people with FH must eat an extremely low-fat diet. Proper medications are also crucial for people who have FH. the most common type of treatment is statin drug therapy. Statin has side effects too. However, it can provide temporary relief from the excessive amount of cholesterol in the blood. Statin can lower the number of bad cholesterol levels by 50 percent or more.

It can be considered one of the best medicine when it comes to helping people with FH. Statin is beneficial to reduce the risk of heart disease for 30 years.  Statin medications like praluent, and ezetimibe helps to decrease total cholesterol. A study in the July 2018 frontiers in pharmacology suggests that 14 treatment options are available for FH ranging from diet to genetic therapy.

How Can You Lower High- Cholesterol?

A proper lifestyle and daily exercise can’t help you to fix familial hypercholesterolemia alone. However, it is encouraged to control your bad cholesterol. This means following a low-fat diet is mandatory, especially for people who have hypercholesterolemia. A low-fat diet like the Mediterranean diet or a plant-based diet is good for managing cholesterol.

Mostly cholesterol comes with lifestyle changes. Compared to normal cholesterol, the number of patients with FH is less. Most cholesterol cases occur due to excessive consumption of saturated fats. Let’s see what ways you can adopt to lower high cholesterol. 

  • Reduce Saturated Fats And Trans Fats
Reduce Saturated Fats And Trans Fats

As aforementioned, saturated fats are the main source of high cholesterol. Avoiding meat-based foods help to control your cholesterol level. Avoiding trans fat can reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Store-bought cookies, crackers, and cakes are high in trans fat. Trans fat is another source that increases bad cholesterol in the body. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is rich in trans fat. Avoiding oil-based foods can make big difference in high cholesterol. 

  • Follow Regular Exercise
Follow Regular Exercise

Physical activities are essential for leading a healthy life. It is not only good for your cholesterol but also your whole body. Doing physical activities in short intervals several times a day can help to lose weight. Take advice from doctors before you start. Doctors can suggest better activities that are suited for your body. Moderate physical activities help to raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. A daily walk or playing your favorite sport can burn high calories. Cardio workouts and aerobic activities are better for your heart health.

  • Quit Smoking 
Quit Smoking 

You heard about the warning that smoking is injurious to health. It causes you in different ways. Quitting smoking habits improve good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Studies suggest that within three months of quitting can improve your lung functions and blood circulation as well. 

  •  Moderate Consumption Of Alcohol
 Moderate Consumption Of Alcohol

A moderate level of alcohol doesn’t affect your cholesterol level. But the excessive alcohol consumption can cause several risk factors. It can affect your liver, and cardiovascular health and gradually leads to the damage of other parts. Moderate level of alcohol consumption helps to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood. Moderate level of alcohol consumption means, for healthy adults, it’s better to take one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65. 

  • Manage Weight
Manage Weight

Carrying extra weight can contribute to high cholesterol. If you crave something sweet like candies can influence your weight. Being overweight increases cholesterol levels. Therefore it is better to control your weight for maintaining a proper cholesterol level. 

Final Take

The aforementioned tips help to maintain a balanced cholesterol level in your body. People with FH must follow these lifestyles. In addition, proper treatment is also vital to them.

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