High Cholesterol Diseases

Overview of High Cholesterol Diseases

High Cholesterol Meaning in Urdu

ہائی کولیسٹرول کے علاج کی طرف اگر توجہ نہ دی جائے تو یہ ایک خطرناک بیماری ثابت ہو سکتی ہے۔ جب خون میں کولیسٹرول کا لیول بڑھ جاتا ہے تو یہ بیماری لاحق ہوتی ہے۔ جسم کو صحت مند سیلز بنانے کے لیے نارمل مقدار میں کولیسٹرول کی ضرورت ہوتی ہے، لیکن اگر کولیسٹرول کا لیول بڑھ جائے تو اس سے بہت سی بیماریاں لاحق ہو سکتی ہیں۔ طبی ماہرین مشورہ دیتے ہیں کچھ مہینوں بعد کولیسٹرول کا ٹیسٹ لازمی کروانا چاہیے کیوں کہ ہائی کولیسٹرول کی کوئی علامت ظاہر نہیں ہوتی۔

High cholesterol (کولیسٹرول) is one of the common health issues in Pakistan. According to one of the recent studies conducted in Agha Khan University, it was reported that high cholesterol levels are relatively high in the population of Pakistan. Further studies reported that 32% of males and 23% of the female population of age group (20-59) years old suffer from high cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is fat that our body produces. It can also be taken from animal-based foods as well. To know about healthy levels of cholesterol, it is required to know about the total cholesterol, good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), and triglycerides.

What is Cholesterol?

We all might already have heard about cholesterol. However, you might not have an idea what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is a lipid or fat (waxy type in nature) that circulates in your body via the blood. Lipids are not dissolvable in water hence, they do not come apart in the blood. Our body can produce cholesterol, but we can also get it from animal-based foods.

Cholesterol is important for our body as it helps our body's cell membrane to produce layers. These layers act as gatekeepers. Cholesterol is also necessary for the production of certain hormones and even Vitamin D. Our liver is responsible for the production of cholesterol. It is then used to produce the bile. Your liver produces enough cholesterol that is needed by your body. But, in the case of high cholesterol, your risk of heart-related health issues increases.

If you are suffering from high cholesterol, the fat starts to deposit in your blood vessels. If left untreated, these fatty acid deposits hinder the blood flow in your arteries. Sometimes, these deposits can break and form a clot leading to heart attack and stroke.

High cholesterol can be inherited but most of the time it is due to unhealthy lifestyle habits. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and medication can help reduce and maintain high cholesterol levels.

Signs and Symptoms of High Cholesterol Diseases

A high cholesterol level is a “silent condition”. There are no typical signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Many people don’t realize that they are suffering from high blood pressure until they develop severe health issues such as stroke or heart attack.

Therefore, if you are 20 years old or above, you need to get a regular cholesterol screening test.

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Causes of High Cholesterol Diseases

There are various causes of high cholesterol levels.

  • Genetics- High cholesterol levels can be hereditary. If your parents suffer from high cholesterol levels, you are also at risk of having it too.
  • Food- If you eat food that is rich in Trans fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol then you are at risk of suffering from high cholesterol issues.
  • Smoking- It is a leading factor in many health issues.
  • Physical Inactivity- From high cholesterol levels to various health issues, physical inactivity is the silent cause of many illnesses.
  • Diseases- If you suffer from hypothyroidism and diabetes, you are at risk of suffering from high cholesterol levels and related health conditions.
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Risk Factors of High Cholesterol Diseases

People of all ages, ethnicities and gender can suffer from high cholesterol levels.

However, you may be at a higher risk of suffering from high cholesterol levels if you have one or more of the following issues:

  • Obesity
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Family history of high cholesterol levels
  • Eating foods rich in trans or saturated fats
  • Suffering from kidney disease, diabetes, or hypothyroidism

Health Complications Related to High Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol levels can lead to excess accumulation of fat in the arteries (atherosclerosis). This deposit or plaque can reduce the blood flow in your arteries. It can lead to the following health complications:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Chest Pain or Angina

High cholesterol levels can create an imbalance of bile as well, it can increase the risk of gallstones.

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Prevention

You can definitely prevent high cholesterol levels. You can do so by adding heart-friendly foods that can help reduce and maintain high cholesterol levels. You need to:

  • Quit smoking
  • Manage your stress
  • Eat a low-salt diet (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables)
  • Reduce and maintain intake of good fats
  • Maintain healthy body weight
  • Exercise at least 20 minutes a day
  • Avoid alcohol
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Diagnosis

High cholesterol levels can be easily diagnosed by a blood test that determines the levels of cholesterol level in the blood. It is known as a lipid profile or lipid panel test. It helps determine the total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood. To further analyze, your doctor can also recommend separate tests for HDL, LDL, Triglycerides as well.
Generally, you are required to fast for 9-12 hours before the test. Some of the cholesterol tests do not require fasting. So, you need to follow the instructions of your doctor.

Children and Cholesterol Testing

For children, as per studies, the cholesterol screening test is recommended at the age of 9-11 years of age and then it should be repeated after every 5 years.
If your child has a family history of heart issues, diabetes, obesity, etc then the medical practitioner would recommend regular cholesterol testing.

Treatment of High Cholesterol Diseases | When to Consult a Doctor

The first line of defense for treating the high cholesterol level is marinating the healthy diet, lifestyle changes. If however, you are already opting for these two factors, your doctor would recommend you medicines.

The type of medication therapy depends upon the medical history, age, risk factors, and other health concerns of the patients.

 Some of the common medications include:

  • Statins – Statins are medication that acts as a blocker. It blocks the substance that your liver needs for the production of cholesterol. This can help your liver in reducing the cholesterol in the blood. Statins include lovastatin (Altoprev), atorvastatin (Lipitor), pravastatin (Pravachol), pravastatin (Livalo), simvastatin (Zocor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor).
  • Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors – The cholesterol from the diet is absorbed by the small intestine and is then released into the bloodstream. Zetia or Ezetimibe helps in reducing the cholesterol level in the blood by limiting its absorption from the food. This drug can be used in combination with Statins.
  • Bile-Acid-Binding Resins – Bile is produced by our liver. It helps in the production of cholesterol. The bile-acid-binding resins function by binding with the bile and thus lowering the cholesterol. These medications include colestipol (Colestid), colesevelam (Welchol), and cholestyramine (Prevalite).
  • Bempedoic Acid – This drug works in a similar way as that of statins. However, it reduces muscle pain. It can help lower LDL levels.
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors – These drugs lower the level of cholesterol in the blood by absorbing the LDL or bad cholesterol from the blood. These are expensive drugs and are injected under the skin. Medications include evolocumab (Repatha) or alirocumab (prudent). These medications might be used for people who suffer from a genetic condition that leads to a high level of LDL.

Further studies are being conducted to find more treatment options for cholesterol.

(Note: Take medications only as per advised by your medical practitioner. Avoid self-medication. It is harmful to health)

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

You can improve levels of cholesterol by doing simple changes in your lifestyle.

  • Lose Extra Weight – It can help lower your cholesterol levels.
  • Exercise Regularly – Exercise at least 20 minutes a day is necessary for good health.
  • Eat Heart-Healthy Food – Limit the intake of food that is rich in fats. Add whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet.
  • Avoid Smoking

Doctors to treat High Cholesterol Diseases

Last updated on Monday 31/10/2022

Doctor

Dr. Muhammad Aatasam Hanif

General Physician | MBBS

Al Afzal Medical CentreRs 500

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Today’s Slots

99%

Satisfaction Rate

3

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Dr. Samia Naz

Rheumatologist, Pediatrician | MBBS, DCH, FCPS, PGPN

Al Afzal Medical CentreRs 2000

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96%

Satisfaction Rate

19

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Doctor

Dr. Amjad Zaidi

General Physician |

Sarf HospitalRs 1000

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97%

Satisfaction Rate

7

Years

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