[Good Pharm NOWㅣPopular] High Cholesterol: A Silent Threat to Your Health

[Good Pharm NOWㅣPopular] High Cholesterol: A Silent Threat to Your Health

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What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all cells of the body. It is essential for many bodily functions, including the production of hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids. However, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

What causes high cholesterol?

There are many factors that can contribute to high cholesterol, including:

  • Diet: Eating a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol can raise your cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, and dairy products. Cholesterol is found in animal products and some plant-based foods, such as eggs and shellfish.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of high cholesterol. This is because excess weight can lead to insulin resistance, which can cause your liver to produce more cholesterol.
  • Physical inactivity: Not getting enough exercise can also increase your risk of high cholesterol. Exercise helps to raise HDL cholesterol levels, which is the "good" cholesterol that helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the body.
  • Smoking: Smoking cigarettes can lower HDL cholesterol levels and increase LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to have high cholesterol. This is because diabetes can damage the blood vessels and make them more susceptible to the buildup of cholesterol.
  • Family history: If you have a family history of high cholesterol, you are more likely to develop it yourself.
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What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?

High cholesterol usually does not cause any symptoms. However, if you have very high cholesterol, you may experience:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in your legs or arms
  • Numbness or weakness in your legs or arms
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How is high cholesterol diagnosed?

High cholesterol is diagnosed with a blood test. Your doctor will recommend that you have a fasting lipid profile, which measures your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

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How is high cholesterol treated?

The treatment for high cholesterol depends on the severity of your condition and your individual risk factors. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Lifestyle changes: Making healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and losing weight, can help to lower your cholesterol levels.
  • Medication: If lifestyle changes are not enough to lower your cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe medication. There are several different types of cholesterol-lowering medications available.
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What are the risks of high cholesterol?

High cholesterol can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including:

  • Heart attack: A heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery that supplies blood to the heart.
  • Stroke: A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery that supplies blood to the brain.
  • Peripheral artery disease: Peripheral artery disease occurs when the arteries in your legs or arms become narrowed or blocked. This can lead to pain, numbness, and weakness in your legs or arms.
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How can I prevent high cholesterol?

There are several things you can do to prevent high cholesterol, including:

  • Eat a healthy diet: Eat a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Choose lean protein sources, such as fish, chicken, and beans. Limit your intake of red meat and processed meats. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Get regular exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Exercise helps to raise HDL cholesterol levels and lower LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Lose weight: If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help to lower your cholesterol levels. Even a small amount of weight loss can make a difference.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking cigarettes lowers HDL cholesterol levels and increases LDL cholesterol levels. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, including your cholesterol levels.
  • Manage your diabetes: If you have diabetes, it is important to manage your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and make them more susceptible to the buildup of cholesterol.

Conclusion

High cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, it is a condition that can be prevented and treated. By making healthy lifestyle changes, you can help to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

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