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How High Cholesterol Affects Your Heart: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment!

How High Cholesterol Can Affect Your Heart- The notion that excessive cholesterol causes heart disease is so widely held that you’d think it’d be a well-established truth by now.

How To Lower Your Cholesterol?

One of the five major risk factors for heart disease is high cholesterol. High cholesterol, or high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, are commonly associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

What exactly are high cholesterol and their types

You may be shocked to find that the research available to us does not all indicate a causal relationship between high cholesterol and heart disease.

Various research points to a variety of contradicting results, and the overall picture is far more nuanced than most media on the subject would imply. Let us look more into how cholesterol can affect your heart in this review.

What exactly are high cholesterol and its types?

Cholesterol is a waxy molecule that is found in your bloodstream. Although your body needs cholesterol to produce healthy cells, excessive cholesterol levels can raise your risk of heart disease. High cholesterol might cause fatty deposits in your blood vessels.

These deposits eventually develop, making it harder for adequate blood to circulate through your arteries. Those deposits might sometimes shatter unexpectedly.

High cholesterol can be inherited, but it is more commonly the result of poor lifestyle choices, making it both avoidable and curable. High cholesterol can be reduced by a balanced diet, frequent exercise, and, in some cases, medication.

There are two kinds of cholesterol:

healthy and harmful. Too much ‘bad’ cholesterol can be harmful to your health. Proteins transport cholesterol into the bloodstream. Lipoproteins are formed when cholesterol and proteins bind together.

High-density lipoproteins, or HDL: These are referred to as “good” cholesterol. This is due to the fact that it removes the “bad” cholesterol from your blood. It returns cholesterol to the liver that you don’t need. It is broken down by the liver so that it may be excreted from the body.

Non-high-density lipoproteins, or non-HDL: These are referred to as ‘bad cholesterol. This is due to the fact that if there is too much of it, it might accumulate inside the walls of the blood vessels. This clogs them, causing artery constriction and increasing your chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Non-HDL transports cholesterol from the liver to cells throughout the body. Because it adheres to the interior walls of your arteries, too much bad cholesterol (non-HDL) can be hazardous. This can result in the accumulation of fatty material (atheroma) – a process known as atherosclerosis.

It makes blood flow more difficult, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. If your total cholesterol level is high, it might indicate that you have a high level of bad (non-HDL) cholesterol in your blood. A high level of good (HDL) cholesterol can assist keep bad cholesterol under control and eliminating it from your body.

The link between cholesterol and heart disease

At first look, it appears that there are compelling grounds to assume that high cholesterol and heart disease are inextricably related. For starters, we have a reasonable explanation for why they should be.

According to this theory, LDLs are the “bad” kind of cholesterol because they may adhere to the inner walls of your blood arteries and potentially block them, leading to heart problems including stroke, atherosclerosis, angina, and coronary heart disease (CHD). HDLs (high-density lipoproteins) are the ‘good’ form of cholesterol that has the opposite impact. Here is various evidence that this hypothesis is accurate.

The link between cholesterol and heart disease

To begin with, there is evidence of a link between high cholesterol/LDL levels and heart disease. In 1977, the Framingham Research, a prospective cohort study with over 5,000 participants, released a report concluding that greater HDL levels and lower LDL levels were related to a lower risk of coronary heart disease.

How is cholesterol level measured?

A simple blood test is used to determine blood cholesterol levels. Your GP or practice nurse will collect a blood sample, generally by pricking your finger, or you may be asked to go to your local hospital for a blood test. Your blood is then tested for levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, bad (non-HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.

Cholesterol and triglycerides are measured in millimoles per litre of blood, which is commonly abbreviated as mmol/Litre’ or’mmol/L’. In general, the goal for a healthy heart is to have a low non-HDL level and a greater HDL level. If you have been informed that you have high cholesterol, this means that you have an excess of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your system, which raises your chance of having a heart attack.

How is cholesterol level measured

What is the reason for high cholesterol?

High cholesterol may affect everyone, and it can be caused by a variety of factors. Some aspects, such as lifestyle choices, are under your control, while others are not. You can assist reduce your risk by taking care of the things you can control.

You have influence over the following factors that contribute to elevated cholesterol:

  • consuming an excessive amount of saturated fat
  • being inactive enough and having too much body fat, particularly around your midsection

High cholesterol may affect everyone, and it can be caused by a variety of factors. Some aspects, such as lifestyle choices, are under your control, while others are not. You can assist reduce your risk by taking care of the things you can control.

What is the reason for high cholesterol?

Also, there aren’t generally any obvious indications that you have high cholesterol, which is why it’s critical to have it checked. It is a hidden risk factor, which implies that it occurs without our knowledge until it is too late. Trans fats enhance LDL cholesterol while decreasing HDL cholesterol.

According to the American Heart Association, both of these changes are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Trans fats have no nutritional benefit. PHOs (partially hydrogenated oils) are the primary source of trans fat in our diets. They can be present in a variety of processed foods.

Heart disease prevention

Here are some things you can take to reduce your chances of having heart disease:

  • Keep an eye on your weight. Being overweight raises your LDL cholesterol. It also adds to the strain on your heart.
  • Get moving. Exercise can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol levels.
  • Eat healthily. Consume plenty of veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Nuts, seeds, and legumes are also good for your heart. Instead of red or processed meat, choose lean meats, skinless chicken, and fatty fish. Low-fat dairy products should be consumed. Trans fats should be avoided at all costs. Instead of margarine, lard, or solid shortening, use olive, canola, or safflower oil.
  • Don’t light up. Talk to your doctor if you presently smoke.
  • Make an appointment for a yearly exam, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. The sooner you realise you may be at risk, the sooner you may take steps to avoid heart disease.

Is dietary cholesterol related to blood cholesterol?

The quantity of cholesterol in your food and the amount of cholesterol in your blood is not the same. Although it may appear reasonable that ingesting cholesterol will boost blood cholesterol levels, this is not always the case.

By regulating cholesterol production, the body carefully regulates the quantity of cholesterol in the blood. High-cholesterol foods, on the other hand, boost blood cholesterol levels in some persons.

Is dietary cholesterol related to blood cholesterol

These folks, who account for around 40% of the population, are sometimes referred to as “hyper responders.” This proclivity is thought to be hereditary. Even while eating cholesterol somewhat raises LDL in these people, it does not appear to enhance their risk of heart disease. This is due to the fact that an increase in LDL particles often reflects an increase in big LDL particles rather than tiny, dense LDL.

People with mostly big LDL particles, on the other hand, have a decreased risk of heart disease. Hyperresponders also have an increase in HDL particles, which balances off the rise in LDL by carrying excess cholesterol back to the liver for clearance.

As a result, while hyper responders have higher cholesterol levels when they increase their dietary cholesterol, their LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio remains constant, and their risk of heart disease does not appear to rise.

High cholesterol medications and therapies

If your cholesterol is really high and lifestyle modifications are ineffective, your doctor may recommend medication to lower it. Statins are the most common form of cholesterol-lowering medication. Your doctor will advise you whether you need to take any additional medications to assist reduce your cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol medications and therapies: How High Cholesterol Can Affect Your Heart

They may also recommend that you see an expert. When you reduce your food intake of cholesterol, your body produces more. When you consume more cholesterol, your body produces less.

As a result, meals high in dietary cholesterol have minimal effect on blood cholesterol levels in the majority of persons. If you have high cholesterol, simple lifestyle adjustments can frequently help you decrease it.

For example, reducing excess weight may aid in the reversal of excessive cholesterol. Several studies suggest that a 5–10% weight loss can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease in persons who are overweight.

High levels of HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream, whereas high levels of LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides, a form of blood fat, raise the risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

High levels of HDL cholesterol

“However, studies have shown that HDL does not work as well in people at high risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases and that the functional ability of HDL is just as important as its quantity,” said Dr Montserrat Fitó, coordinator of the Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Spain and the calibre of Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition.

Is a plant-based diet practical?

A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and low-fat dairy is recommended by the great majority of health professionals.

According to Harvard Medical School, plant-based diets have been found to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some malignancies. This study adds to the growing amount of data that plant-based nutrition should comprise the majority of our diet.

Is a plant-based diet practical

“Patients should attempt to avoid as many processed and packaged meals as possible, which are rich in salt, sugar, and saturated fat, as well as animal products, particularly processed meats,” Harkin said. People should also consume extra fibre since it naturally reduces cholesterol levels. Our knowledge of cholesterol and heart disease is continuously developing.

While more research is needed to completely understand how cholesterol impacts human health, this study supports the idea that individuals should limit their consumption of saturated fats, regardless of where they come from.

Worst case scenario

High cholesterol levels can result in a hazardous buildup of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries (atherosclerosis). These deposits (plaques) might decrease blood flow through your arteries, resulting in problems like:

Chest ache: If the arteries that carry blood to your heart (coronary arteries) are damaged, you may have chest discomfort (angina) and other symptoms of coronary artery disease.

A heart attack occurred: When plaques rip or rupture, a blood clot might develop at the site of the rupture, obstructing blood flow or breaking away and clogging an artery downstream. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a portion of your heart ceases.

Obesity: A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above puts you at risk of having high cholesterol.

Worst case scenario: How High Cholesterol Can Affect Your Heart

You Might Like To Read This: Diet Tips To Lower Cholesterol Levels Naturally: Foods That Lower Cholesterol

Bottom line

In the case of risk factors like how high cholesterol can affect your heart, a ’cause’ does not imply that the existence of this risk factor would always and always result in a certain disease. This is determined by a variety of different factors, including age, co-morbidities, lifestyle, and maybe just simple chance. What we are attempting to show here is not as simple as assertions like “the TB bacteria causes tuberculosis.

” Instead, we’re looking at a complicated set of interconnected processes, all of which may or may not contribute to illness. And predicting health outcomes will undoubtedly be challenging and perplexing if we don’t know exactly how these systems to function or how they interact with one another.

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