What is High cholestrol?

It is important for all of us to find out what is high cholestrol, what it causes, how it can be measured and how to lower it.

If you have any of the following risk factors then you should go and get your cholestrol level checked:-
– You have a family history of heart disease.
– You have had previous heart surgery like a heart bypass.
– You have a family history of high cholestrol.
– You smoke
– You suffer from diabetes.
– You have heart disease.
– You have high blood pressure.

What is high cholestrol bad for?
Our hearts and our general health. High cholestrol is bad for us because excess cholestrol is deposited on the walls of the arteries causing atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries. These narrowing arteries then reduce blood flow to the body’s vital organs like the heart and brain. Atherosclerosis can cause heart disease and you may require heart surgery like a heart bypass. It can also cause strokes.

What is high cholestrol measured by?
High cholestrol has no obvious symptoms and so you need to be tested for it. High cholestrol is measured by a blood test. You can got to your doctor for a blood test or you can purchase a home test kit.
Your Doctor will examine the level of Total cholestrol in your blood (TC), the level of good cholestrol (HDL cholestrol) and the level of bad cholestrol (LDL cholestrol). You want your TC and your level of LDL cholestrol to be low. Total cholestrol is the total of HDL and LDL cholestrol and a healthy reading is between 190-210mg/dl or between 4.9 and 5.4mmol/l. If your reading is above this you will be diagnosed as having high cholestrol.

What is high cholestrol treatment?
A change of lifestyle is the best treatment to lower high cholestrol.
You need to start a regime of aerobic exercise and follow a low calorie diet which is low in food containing saturated fat. These changes will also help you to lose weight. You will also be advised to increase your intake of foods that help make your levels of good cholestrol higher such as oily fish and seed oils which contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids. There are also cholestrol lowering products available , for example milks, spreads and drinks which contain plant sterols known to raise good cholestrol levels while decreasing bad cholestrol levels. Have a look for them in your supermarket.
Changing your diet and starting aerobic exercise can reduce your cholestrol in about 3 weeks!
If your cholestrol is very high and you have already made lifestyle changes then your doctor may prescribe medication as a treatment for your high cholestrol.

I hope that this infromation has helped to explain what is high cholestrol.