What is bad cholesterol

High cholesterol in the modern world has ceased to be a problem exclusively for the elderly. Today, signs of early atherosclerosis are diagnosed in 25-30-year-olds who still have to live and live. But the blockage of blood vessels with atherosclerotic plaques threatens with a sudden stroke or heart attack, and it’s not a fact that everything will be without serious consequences.

It is worth noting that this problem has become much younger, as industrial production has developed, and food products in general have become less high-quality. The abundance of trans fats in the diet gradually leads to a violation of lipid metabolism, the accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels and their blockage. Do not wait for the doctor to make a disappointing diagnosis of “atherosclerosis”, everyone needs to know about the causes of its occurrence right now.

Elevated cholesterol in the blood: diagnosis

In fact, cholesterol can be both bad and good. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) – clog blood vessels with plaques and harm the body, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), on the contrary, help transport excess cholesterol from the vascular walls to the liver, where it is safely disposed of.

Normally, the total cholesterol level should not exceed 3 mmol / liter. If it is increased due to HDL, then there is no threat. Moreover, the HDL level from 1.7 to 2.1 mmol/l indicates that everything is just fine with you, and there are great chances of becoming a long-lived person.

In cases where the total cholesterol level is more than 5 mmol / l, you already need to consult a doctor and be sure to check the quantitative content of LDL and HDL. With cholesterol of more than 8 mmol / l, it is unlikely that you will be able to do with one nutrition correction. Most likely, the doctor will prescribe special medications in addition to a balanced diet (as a rule, statins are recommended in this case).

It is necessary to check the level of cholesterol in the blood at least once a year, starting from the age of 25. It can be taken either separately or viewed as part of a comprehensive biochemical blood test.

Causes of increased cholesterol in the blood

The increase in the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood is due to various reasons and, often, a complex factor. Among those:

  1. Smoking and alcohol abuse. Yes, addictions have a negative effect on the whole body. For example, alcohol “kills” the liver, which is why it begins to dispose of excess cholesterol worse. As a result, it accumulates, again enters the bloodstream and settles on the walls of blood vessels.
  2. Hereditary pathology of lipid metabolism, when fats are not absorbed as they should.
  3. Taking oral contraceptives, against which the level of triglycerides and, accordingly, “bad” cholesterol in the blood may increase. That is why women using this method of preventing unwanted pregnancy need to monitor the lipid profile.
  4. Obesity, due to which the general metabolism is disrupted and the body fat mass increases significantly. All this affects the metabolism of lipids and the amount of LDL.
  5. Arterial hypertension is another risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. Very often these two diseases are paired with each other.
  6. Diabetes mellitus, in which the metabolism is disrupted, there is a tendency to obesity and, accordingly, atherosclerosis.
  7. Excess of simple carbohydrates in the diet. Actually, it causes insulin resistance in the future, and then, if you’re not lucky, diabetes mellitus. Such a diet leads to an increase in triglyceride levels, which entails an increase in the amount of “bad” cholesterol.
  8. Regular overeating, especially if the diet is rich in saturated and trans fats.
  9. Imbalance in the production of liver enzymes, namely: alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase. In this state, the liver cannot properly utilize excess cholesterol, and it begins to accumulate in the vessels.
  10. Kidney failure, in which it is difficult to remove “bad” cholesterol from the body. In case of kidney problems, doctors usually prescribe a creatinine test.
  11. Lack of thyroid hormone production (hypothyroidism).
  12. Sedentary lifestyle, leading to blood thickening and concomitant vascular pathologies.
  13. Sleep disorders, due to which the production of certain hormones worsens, metabolism slows down, LDL accumulation occurs.
  14. Chronic stress, leading to excessive production of adrenaline and cortisol. The first of these hormones causes vasospasm in excess, and the second contributes to the accumulation of abdominal fat and disrupts lipid metabolism.

High cholesterol: what to do?

If the results of the blood test showed that you have a high total cholesterol level, then you need to do the following:

  1. Take an analysis of LDL and HDL levels to understand how high the level of “bad cholesterol” is. In cases where an increase in total cholesterol occurs due to an increase in the amount of HDL (at the LDL norm), nothing needs to be done.
  2. Show the results of the tests and get a consultation with a cardiologist, family doctor or lipidologist.
  3. Consult with a nutritionist or nutrition consultant who has been trained in the school of dietetics on the account of a therapeutic diet for high cholesterol / atherosclerosis. Most likely, you will be prescribed a Mediterranean diet with an abundance of fish, seafood, vegetables, fruits and cereals. For a certain period, a vegetarian menu may even be recommended.
  4. Start taking Omega-3 (fish oil) and diversify the menu with products that include it: nuts, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, unrefined olive and sunflower oil, avocado, fish, seafood, etc.
  5. Start regular cardio workouts of medium intensity. Practice at least 3 times a week and at least 40-60 minutes in duration. In the process of such loads, the heart muscle develops perfectly, the blood begins to flow faster, which makes it less dense.
    Active fat burning caused by a rapid pulse leads to weight loss, and this is a very important factor in correcting the level of “bad” cholesterol and atherosclerosis.
    In people who started exercising on a regular basis and switched to a balanced healthy diet, over time, the amount of cholesterol itself normalizes (not always, but often enough). In addition, the pulse in a calm state and blood pressure return to normal.
  6. Ask your doctor about the need to take special medications to reduce cholesterol in the blood (as a rule, statins are prescribed).
  7. Get rid of stress by starting to look at problems from a different angle. Perceive the challenges of fate not as difficulties, but as an opportunity to gain new experience, develop certain skills, and pump up your character. All situations in life are given to us to teach us something. Just consider these perspectives and stop worrying about problems.
  8. Get rid of bad habits – stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  9. Get examined by an endocrinologist, nephrologist and gastroenterologist to make sure that you have no problems with the thyroid and pancreas, liver and kidneys. If any pathology is found, then proceed to its treatment.
  10. Start sleeping normally, do not stay up late, do not eat at night, so that later there will be no insomnia due to heaviness in the stomach.
  11. If you have identified the dependence of high cholesterol on taking oral contraceptives, then consult with a gynecologist about replacing the means of protection.
  12. Once every six months or on the recommendation of your doctor, check your total cholesterol and LDL levels to monitor how a new lifestyle, proper nutrition and/or treatment affects these indicators.
What is bad cholesterol

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