Cholesterol is known to be a fatty substance, also called a lipid, that is produced by the liver. It is also found in foods which are high in saturated fats like fatty meats, shellfish, dairy products and egg yolks. It's an essential part of functioning and the structure of our cells. However, high level of cholesterol in blood may result in slow plague development in the arteries and with time, a severe progressive disease known as artherosclerosis.
Total cholesterol which is a combination of HDL, VLDL and LDL in the blood is one among the most generally viewed measurements on the lipid's profile. The total cholesterol measurements can be obtained easily and can provide you with an idea of the level of cholesterol.But is it the only reading which you are required to look at? The answer is no.
The total cholesterol level can be capable of alerting you if there is a problem with your lipid - and a bigger risk of contracting any heart disease, but that doesn't tell you the entire story. For example, if the total cholesterol is higher, it may be because of your HDL, VLDL, LDL, or else a blend of such factors. If the total cholesterol level is high due to your LDL levels, this can indicate that you not only have high cholesterol but can also be at risk of heart disease in the future if it isn't addressed right away. In such a case, depending on how high the LDL levels really are, you may be prescribed some medication or require to make modifications to your lifestyle. But if the total cholesterol is high because of your higher HDL levels, it is not necessarily a bad thing - higher HDL cholesterol may be protective against heart disease.
Therefore, a question that arises here is, how can something which your body requires be dangerous? Well, not all cholesterol is considered harmful. There are three major components doctors assess when you take a blood test in order to check the cholesterol levels. They evaluate the HDL (good) cholestrol, LDL(bad) cholestrol, and other substances known as triglycerides. Having accurate levels of each in the body is healthy.
However, the fact also remains that cholesterol can be injurious to your health if there is too much in your blood. The levels of your cholesterol depend on your lifestyle. Consuming lots of fats and then not doing sufficient amount of exercise can lead to high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is also a result of genetic makeup. People with a high cholesterol level need to keep it under control, and it can be even more vital for those who have extra risk factors. These risk factors include:
High blood pressure
Family history of heart disease
If you fall in any of the above groups, you can be at bigger risk of plaque upsurge in your arteries. Since plaque builds gradually, it can cause the arteries to narrow down. So your doctor might want you to obtain lower cholestrol levels in comparison to someone having high cholesterol alone. It is important to talk about all the risk factors when thinking about a cholesterol-management plan.
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