What is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood, and is naturally produced by the liver. It’s used to help form healthy cells, certain hormones, and even vitamin D.
Cholesterol doesn’t dissolve in water, so the liver produces lipoproteins which carries the cholesterol to help it travel through the blood stream.
Good vs Bad Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol picks up, and carries, excess cholesterol back to the liver.
Low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, transports cholesterol throughout the body, which can build up in the walls of arteries, solidifying and making them narrow.
High cholesterol is when there’s too much LDL cholesterol in the blood.
High cholesterol doesn’t usually show any symptoms. Often, it won’t be known until health complications, or serious medical issues, arise.
This is why it’s smart to regular screening with a doctor is important.
Common factors that can increase the chance of developing high cholesterol:
- Lack of exercise
- Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.
Other factors that may increase the chance of developing high cholesterol include:
- Family history
- Medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or hypothyroidism
If left untreated, high cholesterol can lead to:
- Heart attack
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
Treatment for high cholesterol may include lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both. Speak to a doctor so they can recommend the best course of action for treating your high cholesterol.
When to See a Medical Doctor
High cholesterol often has no symptoms until serious complications begin. If you have high cholesterol, have any of the risk factors, or if it runs in your family, speak to a doctor.
A doctor can help catch high cholesterol before it get bad, or offer the best advice and treatment options for your situation.