A Guide to Cholesterol Management

4 minute read

By HealthVersed

If left untreated, high cholesterol can lead to more serious health issues like heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about cholesterol management with a search online right now.

Managing your cholesterol properly reduces your risk of developing potentially harmful complications and improves your quality of life. That’s why it’s worth taking some time to learn about managing high cholesterol.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a natural, fat-like substance found in every cell of your body. It is used to help create vitamin D and several other hormones, as well as the gastrointestinal fluids that enable you digest food.

While your liver produces all the cholesterol that your body needs, the waxy nutrient is also found in a variety of foods, such as poultry, red meat and full-fat dairy products. Plus, some tropical oils, such as palm and coconut oil, can cause your liver to make excess cholesterol. Your body needs cholesterol to help produce new cells. It also helps your brain, skin and other organs function properly. But too much cholesterol can lead to serious illnesses.

Cholesterol is transported through the bloodstream in a structure called a lipoprotein. The two types of lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often referred to as the bad cholesterol. High levels of LDL can cause a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Known as the good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) helps transport excess cholesterol from other parts of your body back to the liver where it is eliminated naturally. While your body needs a healthy amount of both types to function properly, you need higher levels of HDL and lower amounts of LDL.

When your doctor will perform a blood test to check your cholesterol levels, there is a simple way to understand the results. Focus on the “H” and the “L” in the names. You want a high level of healthy HDL and a low amount of lousy LDL.

Signs and Symptoms

High cholesterol is the medical condition that occurs when there is too much of the substance in your blood. You should have your cholesterol levels checked regularly. Since the condition usually does not produce any signs or symptoms, many people do not know that their bad cholesterol is high.

High cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis, a dangerous accumulation of plaque and cholesterol deposits on the interior lining of your arteries. The buildup reduces blood flow resulting in the following complications:

Common Treatment Options

Cholesterol levels are checked using a blood test called a lipid panel or lipid profile. This test shows your total cholesterol as well as the individual amounts of HDL and LDL in your blood. Based on these levels, your doctor will determine a course of treatment that may include medications.

The specific type or combination of drugs depends upon several factors, such as your age, current health condition and possible side effects. Doctors commonly prescribe medications, such as:

Alternative Remedies

You can also treat high cholesterol with lifestyle changes that include eating a cholesterol-friendly diet. Cholesterol levels can be reduced by losing excess weight, quitting smoking, and increasing your physical activity.

What you eat can have a direct impact on your cholesterol levels. Use the following tips to manage your cholesterol: