Cholesterol is a fat-like and waxy substance that develops in all the cells in the body. The liver generates cholesterol as well as it is also available in some foods like dairy products and meat.
A little amount of cholesterol is good for the body but if your kid or teen has a high cholesterol level (too much cholesterol in the blood) then he or she has a higher risk of coronary artery disease as well as which can cause other heart diseases.
High Cholesterol In Children – Reasons And Treatment!
In the modern world, not only adult people are affected by high cholesterol, but kids are also suffering from high cholesterol, which can cause dangerous health problems.
Particularly it may be harmful to the heart when the child gets older. A higher level of cholesterol leads to the creation of plaque on the walls of the arteries, which provide blood to the heart as well as other organs.
Plaque can narrow the arteries and prevent the blood flow to the heart and this can cause heart problems and strokes.
As per the studies, it is recommended to every parent that the cholesterol test should happen between the ages of 9–11 years and this screening should be frequent every 5 years or sooner, depending on certain risk factors.
What Are The Major Reasons For High Cholesterol In Kids?
There are different causes why a child may have higher cholesterol levels. It may be such as diet or certain health conditions.
There are some major reasons are given below:
It can increase the risk of boosting high cholesterol levels if a kid is living with diabetes.
Diabetes can be the major reason for the condition called diabetic dyslipidemia, which reduces HDL “good” cholesterol levels and boosts LDL “Bad” cholesterol levels.
According to research in 2016, it was found that out of 202 children with diabetes, 26.2% were suffering from dyslipidemia.
Though, additional research is required to identify the frequency of the condition in kids with diabetes in the United States.
Saturated as well as trans fats are kinds of fat in certain foods. These fats can root the liver to produce more cholesterol than the body needs.
If a kid’s diet includes high amounts of saturated and trans fats, it may be harmful or lead to high cholesterol levels.
According to research, it is observed that obesity in kids can also lead to high cholesterol as well as blood pressure levels.
Here are some foods that include saturated or trans fats such as:
- High-fat meats
- Heavy fat cheese
- Whole fat milk and cream
- Ice cream
- Coconut oils and palms
- Processed goods, such as potato chips, cookies, as well as fried foods
To maintain a nutritious diet, the studies suggest that a child aged between 2–3 years get a total fat intake of 30–35% of their everyday calories.
It is also recommended that kids aged 4–18 years can collect 25-35% fat from their daily calories.
Atherosclerosis is a situation in which fatty deposits which are also known as plaque, develop in a person’s arteries. The plaque includes cholesterol, fatty substances, fibrin, a clotting agent in the blood, cellular waste, calcium, etc.
The valid reason behind atherosclerosis is unclear, although doctors believe it built up in the childhood stage. Atherosclerosis can be a significant reason for health-related complications if it produces further during adulthood.
It is a genetic condition that can cause high cholesterol in kids. According to the FH Foundation, It is a very rare condition because this disease affects 1 in 250 people worldwide.
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) causes huge amounts of LDL cholesterol due to a transformation in a gene responsible for removing cholesterol from the body. This condition is genetic and a person with FH has a 50% chance of passing it on to their kids.
How We Can Treat High Cholesterol In Children?
The most excellent way to manage cholesterol in kids is with a diet as well as an exercise program that involves the whole family.
If these two things do not bring changes, medicine might be considered for kids older than eight. Some drugs utilized to treat cholesterol in kids such as colestipol, cholestyramine, and colesevelam.
A kid’s cholesterol levels must be re-tested after three months of dietary changes.