If you suffer from high cholesterol, your chance of developing heart disease, cardiovascular disease and suffering from a stroke are all dramatically increased as a result. Cholesterol is found in each cell of the body. As a type of lipid fat, it can be found in some foods and whilst it is harmless in most cases, high cholesterol levels can lead to serious health conditions.
Types of Cholesterol
Certain proteins in blood carries cholesterol around your body. Since cholesterol is a type of fat, when it combines with these protein molecules a new formulation is created called lipoprotein. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered the healthy variation because it takes cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then breaks it down before letting it pass out of the body.
On the other side of the spectrum you have low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which can lead to cholesterol building in the walls of arteries. This occurs because there is too much cholesterol present in the cells and much of it goes unneeded.
How is Cholesterol Measured?
A blood test is used to measure the amount of HDL and LDL present in the bloodstream. The more HDL present, the better. The reason for this is because high density lipoprotein helps to reduce the chances of stroke and heart disease whilst LDL increases the risk of these health conditions.
According to Bupa, the test will also measure levels of a fat called triglycerides in the blood. High levels of this can also contribute to the increased chance of developing stroke and heart disease.
Causes of High Cholesterol
Causes of high cholesterol levels present in the blood include an unhealthy diet consisting of lots of saturated fats for example, suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes, smoking, family history of heart disease or stoke and an inherited condition referred to as hypercholesterolaemia.
Various treatments and ways in which to help reduce your cholesterol levels are included below:
- Healthy diet – eat less fatty food that contains a lot of saturated fat. Instead, opt for wholegrain goods, fruit and vegetables.
- Regular Exercise – 30 minutes of gentle exercise a day should be enough to make some changes.
- Give up Smoking – smoking can increase cholesterol levels as well as high blood pressure.
- Cholesterol-lowering medication – Seek advice from your GP about your options. You mau consider volunteering for trials testing new methods of lowering cholesterol. Clinical Data Managers from companies such as http://www.gandlscientific.com are able to provide their expert experience and knowledge during these clinical trials so you can rest assured knowing you’ll be in good hands.