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Overview and Facts

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the cell membrane. It is a metabolite that travels in the body’s blood plasma. It can be good and it can be bad. Cholesterol comes from two sources, from the body naturally and from different types of foods. Two examples are; meats and cheeses. On average, the human liver produces 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol. With this number being so high one would remain perfectly healthy if they never absorbed any cholesterol from their food. LDL is the bad cholesterol. A person’s artery can become clogged if there is too much of this cholesterol in their blood stream. LDL is produced by the body naturally. HDL is the good cholesterol. It helps to keep the LDL cholesterol from sticking to the artery walls and causing a clog.

Signs and Symptoms

High cholesterol is usually diagnosed at routine cholesterol and triglyceride checks. Studies show that people that have normal cholesterol do not feel any better than those who have high cholesterol. People of all ages can develop high cholesterol. It is highly recommended that everyone over the age of twenty should have their cholesterol level checks at least once every five years. People who come from a family with a history of high cholesterol should talk with their doctor about being tested more frequently.

Causes and Diagnosis

There are many things that cause the cholesterol levels in your blood to rise. Some things that cause high cholesterol can not be controlled. A few examples are age, sex and genetics. At puberty a male has lower levels of HDL than females and the females have lower LDL levels than males. After age 55 though, women tend to have much higher LDL levels than men. High cholesterol can also be a genetic hereditary condition called Familial Hypercholesterolemania. This condition results in unusually high levels of LDL beginning at birth. A few of the following are causes for high cholesterol that can indeed be controlled. They are weight, activity and diet. When you have too many fats in your diet, your cholesterol can drastically rise. The two fats that you should watch for are Saturated fats and Trans fats. Saturate fats are most harmful of the two. Foods that contain the most cholesterol are those that come from animals such as egg yolks, cheeses and meats. Tests showed that the LDL levels are much higher in people that are overweight opposed to those that are physically fit. Excercising regularily can help to bring the bad cholesterol down and the good cholesterol up. Diagnosing high cholesterol is a safe easy and inexpensive procedure. This test takes a small sample of blood which is then checked to determine a person’s HDL, LDL and Triglyceride levels.

Cholesterol Tests and Treatments

Testing cholesterol levels helps to determine a person’s risk of having many health problems. The EKG (blood test) may help to check for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis and hypertension. There are a few things a doctor may recommend to help treat high cholesterol. The following treatments mentioned are the almost “automatic” things doctors say to do if they may apply to the patient. There are medicines you can take to lower LDL levels. They are called Statins and they slow the body’s ability to produce LDL cholesterol. Some may also stimulate your livers activity and increase how much LDL it removes from the body. If a person is overweight or inactive the may be asked to start a weight loss regimen. Healthy physical activity is essential when treating cholesterol. Even though it does not have much of an impact on LDL, it can improve HDL and triglyceride levels. A good diet also helps treat high cholesterol. Some even say that a vegetarian diet is a very effective way to avoid dangerous fats and dietary cholesterol. Cholesterol comes from animals so it is best to eat only controlled amounts of egg yolk, cheeses and meats.

Helpful Tips and Home Remedies

All of the popular home remedies are not target specifically at lowering cholesterol but they are indirectly beneficial. Water treatments like steam baths are said to positively affect a person’s health as a “whole body cleanser”. The drinking of onion juice is believed to reduce cholesterol by cleansing out the blood and the digestive system. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water stimulates the activity of ones kidneys. This is one effective remedy to lower cholesterol.

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