Cholesterol is referred to as the fat-like waxy substance that is made in the cells and the liver. Contents of cholesterol are available in meat, eggs and dairy products etc. Reasonable amount of cholesterol is a must for our body to function in normal manners. It is required for production of vitamin D, hormones and the bile acids. Excessive cholesterol level in the body may lead to heart problems.
Ill effects of high cholesterol – Buildup of cholesterol in the blood leads to its accumulation in the arteries. They become hard & narrowed and obstruct flow of blood / oxygen to the heart. This condition is too serious and may lead to heart attack because it does not receive the requisite quantity of oxygen through the blood.
A thick and hard substance known as plaque may develop in the arteries because of excessive cholesterol. This is the major cause for the arteries to become hard and narrowed and the condition is known as atherosclerosis. It may result in heart attacks. Angina and chest pain are the consequences of this problem.
Known as Hypercholesterolemia, i.e. high cholesterol is dangerous. HDL or LDL levels of cholesterol are managed with exercises, low-fat diets or medications including statins etc.
Types – Cholesterol may be divided into three categories depending upon the quantity of protein in relation to the fat. LDL, known as bad cholesterol is referred to as the one that causes plaque buildup on the arteries walls. Persons with excessive LDL in the blood are more prone to heart diseases. HDL cholesterol or the good cholesterol is able to manage LDL. Higher level of HDL cholesterol is good and reduces the risk of heart problems. VLDL or the very low density lipoproteins cholesterol is just like the LDL and consists of fat but not much protein in it. Triglycerides refer to a fat that is transported through VLDL. Excessive alcohol, calories or sugar in the body are converted into triglycerides that are stored in fat cells.
Causes of high Cholesterol – Diets containing extra fat are responsible for enhancing the levels of cholesterol. Persons suffering from obesity are also prone to high cholesterol. Remaining inactive also aggravates the problem. We see the people working in comfortable positions are liable to get affected with heart problems because of excessive cholesterol. Diabetic patients, menopause women and the elder citizens often fall victim to this problem that can occur because of hereditary disorders too. Certain medications may also result in high cholesterol.
Treatment – The usual medicines to control high cholesterol are Niacin, Statins, Bile-acid resins and Fibrates etc. Doctor should be consulted to opt for any particular treatment. Patients suffering from this disorder are advised to take fiber-rich diets but avoid saturated fat etc. They are suggested to manage weight and adopt physical exercises, yoga asana and long walks etc. Alcohol and cigarette smoking should be restricted as they aggravate the problem. Coffee and tea should also be minimized. Sufficient water and fluids should be taken to throw out the toxic substances that may lead to obstruction for the flow of blood.