Cholesterol is a soft fat like substance in the body of a human being. Every human being needs cholesterol. It helps the vital parts of the body to function properly and helps in building cells and hormones in the body. A human body gets cholesterol in two different ways. 80% of cholesterol in the body is produced by the liver and the rest is obtained from the food taken. Food rich in sugar or any kind of fatty food produces cholesterol in the body. Dairy products like cheese, poultry, fish and animal meat also produce high cholesterol levels in the body.
Problems that arise due to high levels of cholesterol
The higher the cholesterol level the higher are the risk of heart diseases and cerebral strokes. Cholesterol levels can be brought to control through healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, and exercise, taking walks and in some extreme cases you have to take medicines prescribed by a doctor.
Generally cholesterol level starts getting higher after 30. But unlike other diseases, it will not show any signs. You will have to have a blood test done to check whether you are high in cholesterol. Women start getting high levels of cholesterol after menopause. Men are at a higher risk of having high cholesterol than women.
When someone is diagnosed with high level of cholesterol, they should never ignore it or put it aside for treating it latter. Due to high levels of cholesterol you may be at various risks of health, like stroke, heart failure, diabetes and hypertension.
Types of cholesterol
Mainly there are two types of cholesterol carried by the lipoprotein – one is the LDL or the low density lipoprotein and the other is HDL or the high density lipoprotein. High levels of LDL are also called the bad cholesterol causes greater risk of heart attack and stroke. The HDL also known as the good cholesterol carries the fats from other parts of the body to the liver. The liver then flushes them out of the system. So it is very important to maintain proper balance of both the cholesterol levels.
LDL and HDL or the bad and the good cholesterols should be kept within the range of 200mg/dl. To balance that number you will have to have your LDL less than 150 mg/dl and you will have to keep your HDL 35mg/dl or probably a little on the higher side. The higher is your HDL and the lesser is your LDL your cholesterol level you will have a healthy level of cholesterol and you will be spared of all the health risks associated with it.
How the cholesterol can cause health problems
High cholesterol levels in the body can cause major damages to the body. It is a silent killer. The high level of cholesterol starts blocking and clogging your arteries. When your arteries are blocked blood the oxygen supply to your brain and heart will stop and you will have a heart attack. Same is in the case of the brain. When your brain stops receiving blood and oxygen you will have a brain stroke. The outcome in both the cases is very serious and definitely life threatening. Cholesterol does not dissolve in the blood, it bonds with carriers called lipoproteins which travel into the blood stream and then blocking the arteries. Neglecting your cholesterol levels can be very dangerous, so start taking proper measures of checking from the beginning. Eating vegetables, whole grains, nuts and lean meat will keep your cholesterol under control.
Uncontrolled cholesterol levels can cause high blood sugar or hypertension. It may also cause other hormonal imbalances in the body. High cholesterol can even cause peripheral vascular diseases outside the heart, which generally affects the arteries of the feet and leg.
Diets which are high in saturated fat, Trans fat helps build high levels of cholesterol. Obesity, sedentary lifestyle and even hereditary factors are the main reasons behind high levels of cholesterol. When there is a blockage in the coronary artery your heart will not get enough blood and oxygen and this will result in more pumping of the heart. This in the course of time will cause permanent damage to your heart. When a clot completely blocks the arteries no blood and oxygen can flow into the heart, then your heart stops working and you have a massive heart attack. When a clot completely blocks the arteries feeding your brain you will have a cerebral stroke.
Significant problem due to high levels of cholesterol
Very high levels of cholesterol have two main significant problems which are life threatening. The most common significant problem is that high levels of cholesterol cause permanent damage to the heart. The clogged arteries, which are formed from high levels of cholesterol cannot supply enough blood and oxygen which makes the heart work faster and thus makes the heart weaker. When the arteries are totally blocked oxygen and blood is not able to reach you suffer a heart attack.
High levels of cholesterol are a major cause in having brain stroke. When the arteries connecting the brain get clogged the brain cannot get sufficient blood and oxygen supply. Heart attacks and Brain strokes are the major causes of death around the world. These two main significant problems can be avoided by just being aware of your cholesterol levels and hence maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol.
Despite of the high risks of cholesterol people all over do not seem to take it seriously at all. As high levels of cholesterol do not show any symptoms people neglect it. Even when you are taking preventive measures for maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol through balanced and healthy diet, a healthy lifestyle and medication results never show until you have done a blood test to check the cholesterol level.
It is not like taking painkillers that will give immediate results and you start feeling it is working. No one can predict what health problems you might face in the future, but surely you can take precautions by having periodic blood test, visit to the doctors. Prevention is always better than cure.