What is Hypercholesterolemia?
What is Hypercholesterolemia? Hypercholesterolemia is a condition of high cholesterol levels in a person’s blood. Cholesterol itself is a soft substance that can be found in fat in human blood. The human body needs cholesterol to continue producing healthy cells.
High cholesterol levels in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease a person, because of fat deposits in the blood vessels. These fat deposits will inhibit blood flow in the arteries, so the heart can not get the oxygen-rich blood supply it needs.
Hypercholesterolaemia does not show any symptoms. The only way to detect hypercholesterolaemia is by blood tests.
Causes and Risk Factors Hypercholesterolemia
The cause of hypercholesterolemia is an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. The combination of protein and cholesterol in the blood is called lipoprotein. There are two types of lipoproteins:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad fat”. LDL will accumulate and become a blocker in the blood vessels, then make the blood vessels harder and narrower.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good fat”. HDL will take the excess cholesterol content and bring it back to the liver.
Some of the factors that increase a person’s risk of developing hypercholesterolaemia are:
- Poor diet. Eating saturated fats contained in animal foods, fatty acids on cakes, red meat and fatty dairy products can increase cholesterol levels.
- Obesity. People who have a Body Mass Index of 30 or more will be at higher risk of developing hypercholesterolaemia.
- Diabetes. High blood sugar levels can also make LDL increase and decrease HDL, this condition also damages blood vessel walls.
- Large waist circumference. Men with waist circumference above 102 centimeters and women with waist circumference above 89 centimeters then the risk of hypercholesterolemia will increase.
- Smoke. Cigarette smoke destroys the blood vessel walls and makes the walls a place of fat accumulation. Smoking also lowers HDL levels.
- Lack of exercise. Exercise will help the body to increase the amount of HDL. Exercise also increases the size of the LDL-forming particles, which in turn makes LDL less dangerous.
Diagnosis of Hypercholesterolemia
Diagnosis is a doctor’s step to identify a disease or condition based on symptoms and clinical signs experienced by the patient. To diagnose hypercholesterolemia the doctor will perform a blood test to see the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia
The first step to treating of hypercholesterolaemia is a more healthy diet change and more regular exercise. If someone has undergone both but the cholesterol levels in the blood are still high, then the doctor will suggest some treatment steps.
For children suffering from hypercholesterolaemia and obesity, doctors will handle it by suggesting changing patterns and a healthier diet and exercise.
There are natural substances in foods that have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, namely:
- Barley or barley.
- Beta-sitosterol (found in some types of margarine).
- Blond psyllium husk (found on some grain skins).
- Oatbran (found in oatmeal).
- Sitostanol (found in some types of margarine).
Several factors that influence the combination of hypercholesterolemia treatment are risk factors for each patient, possible side effects, patient age, and health condition.
Some of the following commonly recommended medicines for doctors to treat hypercholesterolaemia are:
- Statins. This type of drug will block the substances that the liver needs to produce cholesterol. This causes the liver to take cholesterol from the blood. Statins also help the body absorb cholesterol from cholesterol deposits in the blood vessel walls.
- Bile acid binding resin. This type of drug lowers cholesterol indirectly by binding to bile acids, which causes the liver to use excess cholesterol to make bile acids again. This will make the cholesterol levels in the body decreases.
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors. This type of drug will limit the absorption of cholesterol by the small intestine, so cholesterol levels in the blood will decrease.
- Injectable drugs. New types of drugs that can help the liver to absorb LDL cholesterol more, thereby lowering cholesterol levels contained in the blood. This type of drug is commonly prescribed for patients with congenital abnormalities that cause high LDL levels, or a history of coronary disease that is intolerant to statin or other cholesterol-lowering medications.