Top 7 Myths and Facts About Hyperlipidemia or High Cholesterol

Hyperlipidemia - Sriramakrishnahospital

High cholesterol or hyperlipidemia is a condition in which there is an excess amount of lipids in the blood. These excess amounts tend to be retained as the body cannot use all the lipids for its function. These unused or retained lipids build up in the arteries in the form of plaque making blood flow difficult. 

What are types of cholesterols?

There are several types of hyperlipidemia, but probably the most common ones we hear are the “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol”.

Good cholesterol is referred to as the high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL helps in transporting cholesterol to the liver. The liver further makes use of the cholesterol for body functions and keeps it balanced. The excess cholesterol is further eliminated by the liver. 

In case the HDL levels are desirably low, the cholesterol retains in the body and moves along with blood flow. 

Bad cholesterol is also referred to as low-density lipoprotein. LDL can be the reason for the plaque build in the arteries. 

What are the top 5 causes of high cholesterol in the body?

High cholesterol in the body is generally due to genetics and lifestyle habits. Few major causes include:

  • Extreme stress
  • Excess use of tobacco
  • High levels alcohol intake
  • Dietary habits
  • Inadequate movement 

Cholesterol is a simple topic, yet it is always misunderstood. There is a lot of misguided information that is passed on from one another. This makes the topic of cholesterol scary in most individuals. 

Debunking some of the 7 myths related to cholesterol.

Myth 1:

Any amount of cholesterol is bad.


As previously mentioned there are two major types of cholesterol that are in the human body. That is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Human body needs adequate amounts of good cholesterol or HDL as it helps in utilization of cholesterol. It is important to keep a check on your habits to help the body function properly. 

Myth 2:

If you have high cholesterol you can know.


This is a major myth that the majority of people believe. But the reality check is that one can never know if they have high cholesterol. The only way for hyperlipidemia diagnosis is through blood tests. Generally cholesterol is referred to as “silent” disease and there won’t be visible symptoms. So undergoing timely blood analysis helps in identifying any levels of cholesterol.

Myth 3:

Only obese people can get affected by cholesterol:


Most people assume that only obese can get affected and thin people are not at the risk from cholesterol. But the fact is irrespective of weight and age people can get affected by cholesterol. The hyperlipidemia risk factors include inactive lifestyle, unhealthy food habits, and also habits like consumption of alcohol and smoking. 

Myth 4: 

Without medication one can reduce cholesterol levels.


Although not all cases of cholesterol require medication. In few people cholesterol can be reduced by following the right diet and lifestyle habits. This can significantly help in reducing cholesterol levels without any medicines. But in few people when the levels are unmanageable they require both medication and also lifestyle changes to manage the cholesterol efficiently. Visit a general medicine hospital in Coimbatore to consult the experts to know about cholesterol and get the right treatment.

Myth 5:

One cannot do anything to reduce their cholesterol levels:


Fortunately you can try a lot of things that can help in reducing cholesterol levels. Few of the options are regular exercise and a healthy diet along with the doctor’s prescribed medications. It is important to keep a check on the foods you eat. It is advised to avoid any foods that are high in saturated fats especially foods like highly processed foods, salty snacks and many more. Instead you can choose foods like nuts, plant-based protein, fatty fish.

Myth 6:

Only men can get affected by cholesterol:


Irrespective of their age, gender, and weight anyone can get affected by cholesterol depending on their genes and every day habits. But fortunately women are lucky in some aspects. But once a woman reaches menopause, the body undergoes a lot of changes that also includes visible changes in hormones. When there is an imbalance of hormones it can lead to a drop in good cholesterol that means there is a chance of plaque build up.

Myth 7:

Only older men can get cholesterol.


According to the latest data, approximately 7% of children aged 6 to 19 have elevated cholesterol levels. These children face similar risk factors as adults, including an unhealthy diet, unhealthy weight, and a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease. It is recommended that children with any of these risk factors undergo cholesterol screening as early as the age of 2.

What are the conditions that can follow in case of high cholesterol?

Imagine your blood vessels like a pipe, when it gets clogged with gunk that needs to be cleaned as the water does not drain properly. Similarly when the blood vessels are filled with plaque, blood does not flow properly leading to pressure build up. 

High cholesterol levels can lead to:

What health conditions can affect your cholesterol levels?

Health disorders and cholesterol are interlinked and are a close relationship. Here are the conditions that can affect the cholesterol,

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • HIV
  • Polycystic disease

Important Takeaway:

High cholesterol operates in a silent manner. It is possible to have excessive lipids in your bloodstream without being aware of it for an extended period. The sole means of hyperlipidemia diagnosis is through a blood test. High cholesterol can impact individuals of all age groups, even those who lead an active lifestyle and perceive themselves as healthy. Certain medical conditions increase an individual’s susceptibility to high cholesterol and heart disease. Reach out to a high cholesterol treatment in Coimbatore to get effective treatment from the experts.

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