Cholesterol | Types | Symptoms | Cause | Functions and Importance
Cholesterol is a lipid which means a fatty or wax – like substance which our liver produces naturally, it may also produces from food we eat. Cholesterol does not get dissolved in water it just float through blood by itself.
Cholesterol is necessary for the formation of cell membranes, creation of bile (substance required for digestion), creation of certain hormones and Vitamin D. The food we intake are packaged into small particles called Lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are made of fats and proteins.
The Two major Lipoproteins are :-
- LDL (Low density lipoprotein)
- HDL (High density lipoprotein)
When one has too much of cholesterol then it starts to getting concentrated in arteries this is called hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis. And this where all heart problem starts. The more and more concentration of cholesterol makes the arteries narrow and hinders the blood flow, It may cause blood clots and inflammation which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Natural Treatment & Home Remedies:
There are some effective Home Remedies and Natural Treatments through which one can easily reduce the level of bad Cholesterol and get cure.
Types Of Cholesterols
Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol helps cholesterol to reach arteries. When the LDL cholesterol level increases then it starts getting stored in the arteries creating a wall called cholesterol plaque.
When the cholesterol plaque forms a wall it may blocks the flow of blood to heart and rises the risk of blood clot formation. A blood clot in an artery of heart or brain can cause heart attack or stroke hence LDL cholesterol is also called “Bad Cholesterol”.
One – third of the american population suffers from bad cholesterol as per the Centers of Disease control and prevention.
Some cholesterol helps LDL cholesterol to return back to the liver from arteries and from other body parts and such cholesterols are called High Density cholesterol or Good Cholesterol.
The LDL cholesterols returned to liver are broken down and re-used by the live thus preventing creation of cholesterol plaque in arteries.
HDL cholesterol helps in reducing the risk of blood clot in arteries and reduces chances of a heart attack or a stroke.
Apart from other lipoproteins the liver produces another form of lipid called Triglycerides.
The calories one intake is converted into triglycerides and are stored in fat cells. These triglycerides act as source of energy and like other lipoproteins this also float through blood.
The Risk factors associated with high level of triglycerides are cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. The information of triglyceride level can be obtained from cholesterol test.
Healthy level of cholesterol is vital for human body some of its importance and functions are described below:
- Cholesterol helps in the formation of cell membrane, it is present in all cell. The cells need elements such as oxygen and nutrients, cholesterol helps the absorb only essential elements and eliminating rest other harmful and unwanted materials.
- It prevents crystallization of hydrocarbons in membrane.
- The body converts sunlight exposed to the body to Vitamin D with the help of cholesterol.
- Cholesterol is vital in creation of bile salt which is required for digestion.
- Cholesterol are required for creation of sex hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and hormones released from adrenal gland such as cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone, and others.
There are no particular early symptoms of high cholesterol. Some emergency events such as a heart attack or a stroke are the only symptoms of high cholesterol which are created dues to the formation of cholesterol plaque in arteries.
The only way to know high cholesterol is a blood test. It is always suggest to go for a cholesterol level test after 20 years and this should be rechecked at least after every 4 or 6 years.A person which high blood pressure, overweight, who smokes or has a family history of cholesterol should definitely check cholesterol on a regular interval as they have more chances of having high cholesterol level.
Some Genetic condition that may lead to High Cholesterol are :
- Genetic Conditions: High cholesterol may pass on to person through his/her family i.e. the genes causing high cholesterol is passed from generation to generation and such condition is called Familial Hypercholesterol. Such people experience xanthoma (causing a lump underneath the skin or yellow patches above the skin).
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): Coronary heart diseases are caused due to high cholesterol. Heart diseases are one of the major diseases that half of the population of US suffer from. Some common symptoms of Coronary heart diseases are :
– Extreme Fatigue
– Chest Pain
– Neck pain or pain in the jaw, upper abdomen and back
– Nausea and numbness
- Peripheral Heart Disease (PAD): This occurs when the concentration of cholesterol creates a wall in the arteries which blocks the blood supplies to arms, kidneys, stomach, legs and feet.
Some early symptoms of PAD are :
Leg pain: The cholesterol buildup cause blockage of blood flow in legs and feet so a person may feel heaviness, pain or burning sensation in any part of leg say calf, feet, thigh or buttock.
Cramps: A high cholesterol patient often suffers from cramps in any part of leg, it can on forefoot, heel.
Changes in skin: In case of high cholesterol the skin of leg or feet becomes pale and shiny. It may cause death of tissues as blood supply is reduced.
Cold feet: The temperature of feet decreases, and the feet feels colder compared to other body parts.
There are many entities that play a major role in causing high cholesterol, some of then come from our daily lifestyle such as unhealthy meal, lack of exercise, it can be hereditary or other diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes. The reasons which lead to high cholesterol are described below:
Unhealthy diet: Intake of food items which contains too much of saturated fat and trans fat can lead to high cholesterol. Food items such as egg, milk, cheese, butter etc are rich in saturated fat and Food items such as fried and packaged food contains trans fat these food item.
Lack of exercise: Lack of physical activities can cause high cholesterol as exercise can help in fat burning.Obesity: overweight is caused due to fat consumption this increases triglycerides and reduces HDL which naturally leads to High cholesterol.
Smoking: Smoking cause high cholesterol as it contains a chemical called acrolein which block good cholesterol.
Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol increases the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in our body.
Other Diseases: a patient of High blood pressure or diabetes are more prone to have high cholesterol. Other disease which increases the risk of high cholesterol are kidney diseases, hypothyroidism, liver diseases.
Family history: This risk of having high cholesterol increases when it runs in the family. The issue of high cholesterol is hereditary.
Danger Of high cholesterol
High cholesterol is caused due to decreased production of Good cholesterol and increased production of bad cholesterol. These cholesterol gets deposited in arteries blocking the blood flow to heart, brain and other parts of the body which may lead to many cardiovascular diseases and other diseases. Some of the issues caused due to high cholesterol are:
Atherosclerosis: This is caused due to narrowing of arteries resulted by high level of LDL, obesity,smoking, high blood pressure etc. .
Heart Attack: The blood carries oxygen to our heart and if the arteries are blocked the oxygen rich blood does not reaches the heart muscle and the heart muscles die and this leads to heart attack.
Agnia: Agnia is a discomfort of pain in chest one feels when the heart muscles does not get enough blood
Stroke: Strokes occur when the the blood get clotted in artery and blood flow is less to the brain.