Hyperlipidemia: Blood Fat Imbalance Triggers Heart Disease

Hyperlipidemia: Blood Fat Imbalance Triggers Heart Disease

Hyperlipidemia is the medical term for the condition of high cholesterol. Sometimes, this condition causes no symptoms, but it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and can lead to death. Therefore, it is important for you to be aware of this condition.

Hyperlipidemia is characterized by high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides. Both are the main fats in the blood. Cholesterol is produced naturally in the liver and can be obtained from fatty foods, such as eggs, red meat and cheese, while triglycerides come from extra calories stored by the body.

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Cholesterol is divided into 2 types, namely good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein or HDL) and bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or LDL). Well, hyperlipidemia is caused by too much bad cholesterol in the blood and not having enough good cholesterol to clear it.

This condition can then cause blockages or plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Over time, the plaque can expand and block the arteries, leading to heart disease and stroke.

Risk Factors for Hyperlipidemia

There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing hyperlipidemia, including:

1. Unhealthy lifestyle

Obesity, eating too much fatty foods, smoking, consuming too many alcoholic beverages, and not exercising enough can increase bad cholesterol levels and decrease good cholesterol levels.

2. Certain medications

Birth control pills, diuretic drugs, and some types of antidepressant drugs are also known to affect your cholesterol levels.

3. Certain health conditions

Abnormal cholesterol levels can be found in pregnant women and people suffering from certain diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome.

4. Heredity

Hyperlipidemia can also be genetic or hereditary. Generally, people with hereditary hyperlipidemia conditions have high cholesterol and triglyceride levels since adolescence. This condition increases the risk of early coronary heart disease and heart attack.

Symptoms can be felt within a few years, such as chest pain, mild heart attack, cramps in the calves when walking, sores on the toes that do not heal, and symptoms of stroke.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Hyperlipidemia

Hyperlipidemia shows almost no signs and symptoms. However, in hereditary hyperlipidemia, symptoms such as yellowish fatty growths around the eyes and joints may appear.

To confirm the condition of hyperlipedimia, a blood test called a lipid panel or fat profile test must be done. The results will show total cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, good cholesterol levels and bad cholesterol levels.

Everyone’s cholesterol levels can vary depending on their health history and condition. However, normal cholesterol levels are as follows:

  • Total cholesterol levels are below 200 mg/dL, and can be said to be high if it exceeds 240 mg/dL
  • LDL levels are considered normal if they range from 100-129 mg/dL, and are considered very high if they exceed 190 mg/dL
  • Triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL, and are considered high if they exceed 200 mg/dL.

How to Overcome Hyperlipidemia

Hyperlipidemia can actually be overcome in a simple way, namely by changing and improving lifestyle. However, in some cases, hyperlipidemia must be treated by taking medical drugs.

The following are some ways to reduce the risk of high cholesterol:

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet with a low-fat and fiber-rich menu, maintaining weight, exercising diligently, quitting smoking, and limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages, can lower your cholesterol levels.

Taking medication

There are several types of drugs to treat hyperlipidemia conditions, namely:

  • Statin drugs, such as simvastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin. This drug has proven effective in lowering cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Nicotinic acid. This drug can reduce bad cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels.
  • Fibrates, which are another type of drug to lower triglyceride levels and increase good cholesterol levels.

To treat hyperlipidemia, apart from living a healthy lifestyle, you need to have regular blood tests so that the fat levels in your body are monitored. You can also consult a doctor to determine the right hyperlipidemia treatment steps according to your condition.

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