[Related Blood Test: Lipid Profile Test]
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found in each cell of the body. It’s far essential for many body functions which include strengthening cell membranes, manufacturing hormones and digesting fats. The liver produces all of the cholesterol that our body desires. The extra cholesterol that we eat via our diet can be dangerous while in excess.
When the cholesterol in our bloodstream will become too high, it could increase as plaques on the arterial walls, causing a slowing or blockage of blood flow. This build-up also causes narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, a process called arteriosclerosis.
The build-up of cholesterol plaques can begin very early in life. Usually, there are not any signs and symptoms till the arteries end up so narrow that blood flow is limited to the heart or different important organs. At this factor, a person can experience chest ache, heart attack, stroke, poor circulation, and so on. High cholesterol is one of the most important risk factors for heart disease.
Raised cholesterol is a common problem and a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease; however, a visit to your GP and following a healthy diet and lifestyle can help to lower cholesterol levels and will significantly reduce the risk.
What are cholesterol and its functions?
Each and every cell in our body is surrounded by a membrane known as the plasma membrane. The plasma membrane is a biological membrane separating the inside of the cells from the outside and appearing as a barrier. it is a continuous double layer of phospholipids, intermingled with cholesterol and proteins. Cholesterol is a plentiful and important constituent of the cell wall.
It acts as safety shield allowing only those materials to go into the cell and preventing the unwanted ones. Without cholesterol, the plasma cell membrane would be too fluid, now not strong enough, and very permeable to some unwanted molecules. Besides being had to build cell wall, cholesterol additionally keeps the cell membrane in place and maintains its fluidity.
It keeps the fluidity of the membrane by means of stabilizing it and raising its melting point at high temperatures. At low temperatures, it separates the phospholipids and prevents them from binding collectively and stiffening. Cholesterol also plays an important role in maintaining the health of the body cells by helping them with the uptake of nutrients. Get your cholesterol test done, without wasting much of time.
Total cholesterol is the sum of all the different types of cholesterol found in the blood. It serves as a generalindicator of someone’s overall risk for developing heartdisease. Lipoproteins are the carriers that transport cholesterolthroughout the body. These carriers consist of cholesterol, fats, and proteins manufactured by the body. They are not found in food.
The 2 most important lipoproteins:-
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)
- LDL is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood. It is often, referred to as the “bad” cholesterol because of it leads to the accumulation of plaque on the walls of arteries. Therefore, decreasing LDL levels is a crucialpart of lowering the risk of heart disease.
- HDL — as the “good” cholesterol because itcarries cholesterol to the liver, where it is, eliminated fromthe body. High levels of HDL (especially over 60), believed to protect against heart disease, while low levels(less than 40) increase the risk of heart disease andpossibly the risk of stroke.
How to know about your cholesterol level?
There are usually no signs or symptoms that you have high cholesterol. There is a blood test to measure your cholesterol level. When and how regularly you need to get this test depends on your age, risk factors, and family records.
Cholesterol, measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per decilitre (dL) of blood. Your cholesterol level, considered excessive when you have total cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or higher. Doctors consider borderline when it is between 200 and 239 mg/dL.
Overall cholesterol levels below 200 mg/dL, considered perfect, but your individual target cholesterol level can be different, determined by your doctor and relying on your risk factors for heart disease.
What causes high cholesterol?
Foods high in saturated and trans fat increase cholesterol levels. Saturated and trans fats, found mainly in fatty meats, full cream dairy products (e.g. milk, cream, cheese, and butter), deep-fried takeaway foods, baked products (e.g. biscuits and pastries). You should limit the number of foods you eat that contain saturated and trans fats.
How to improve your cholesterol?
- Stop smoking
- Limit animal fats (e.g. butter, cream, cheese, fried foods, Red meat)
- Eat more fiber (e.g. fruit, vegetables, cereals, baked beans), follow the DASH diet.
- Eat more fish
- Drink less alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Increase physical activity – aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity every day of the week
- Take medicine every day as directed by your doctor – medication can help reduce your cholesterol if it’s too high
Cholesterol is a kind of fats, found in the bloodstream. Your body needs a few cholesterols to work efficaciously. Cholesterol has many good uses but is a trouble when there’s an excessive amount of it inside the blood. High cholesterol can clog the blood vessels that supply the heart and different parts of the body. This will reduce the flow of blood to the heart and cause a heart attack.
Communicate to your doctor about all your risk factors and what you may do to reduce your risk of heart disorder. Often, the actions you are taking to control one risk component help reduce others as well. For example, losing weight enables to reduce your blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, and helps to control diabetes. Normal physical activity assists you to lose weight as well as enhance the health of your heart and lungs, which can also help lower your danger of heart disease.