• Elevated blood cholesterol: causes and treatment, symptoms

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    Cholesterol( cholesterol) is a lipophilic alcohol( fat-like substance), which is a part of cell membranes of virtually all living organisms.

    Only 20% of the cholesterol enters the human body with food, and the rest of it is synthesized by the body's tissues( mostly the liver, as well as the intestines, adrenals, etc.).Most of the cholesterol is contained in red blood cells, liver cells, white matter of the brain.

    Without the participation of cholesterol, it is impossible to perform many processes, for example, digestion, the synthesis of hormones, certain vitamins, etc. But at the same time it is with it that the emergence of serious diseases of the cardiovascular system( atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction,), leading to disability and premature death of many people.

    One of the contributing factors of such diseases is hypercholesterolemia. Today we will discuss cholesterol, in particular what it means to raise its level in women, what it says, and what to do.
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    Causes of increased cholesterol

    So, what does this mean? Distinguish between hereditary and acquired causes of increased cholesterol levels in the blood.

    In the first case, a person inherits from his parents genes responsible for abnormal synthesis of cholesterol. But this does not mean that cholesterol will necessarily be increased - in 60% of cases its content in the blood, and hence the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, is determined by the way of life in particular nutrition and physical activity.

    In addition, affects the level of cholesterol: smoking, stress, alcohol abuse, abdominal obesity, in which the accumulation of fat deposits occurs mainly in the abdominal region. The risk group includes women with a waistline above 80 cm and men with a waistline above 90 cm.

    Elevated cholesterol is considered one of the components( along with obesity, hypertension and hyperglucosemia) of the metabolic syndrome.

    The group of acquired causes include:

    1. 1) Thyroid disease, accompanied by a decrease in its function( hypothyroidism);
    2. 2) Liver diseases leading to bile duct obstruction( eg cholelithiasis);
    3. 3) Diabetes mellitus of two types, in which the carbohydrate metabolism is disturbed;
    4. 4) Long-term use of certain medications( eg, immunosuppressants)

    Symptoms of increased cholesterol

    Cholesterol settles on the inner wall of the vessels and is the main component of atherosclerotic plaques. That's why hypercholesterolemia is the very first sign of atherosclerosis.

    The main clinical symptoms of high cholesterol in the blood are:

    1. 1) The appearance of a light gray rim along the edges of the cornea before 50 years - indicates a hereditary predisposition to an increased content of cholesterol in the blood;
    2. 2) Appearance under the skin of the eyelids of dense yellow knots( xantham), which include cholesterol;
    3. 3) Pain in the heart( angina pectoris), resulting from constriction of blood vessels supplying blood to the heart muscle;
    4. 4) Pain and weakness in the legs during physical exertion, arises due to a decrease in the lumen of the vessels, blood supplying the tissues of the lower limbs;
    5. 5) Coronary thrombosis with atherosclerotic plaques, which leads to acute heart failure( including myocardial infarction).


    To know exactly how to treat high blood cholesterol, you first need to determine the causes of this condition. In addition to clinical symptoms that appear, as a rule, in the midst of diseases, there are laboratory methods that determine the level of cholesterol in the blood.

    The most common is a biochemical blood test. The normal upper cholesterol level in the blood is 5 mmol / l. The indicator above indicates hypercholesterolemia( see the norm of cholesterol in the blood).

    For a more detailed study, a blood test for lipids is taken, in which the level of "bad"( low-density lipoproteins that cause atherosclerosis) and "good" cholesterol is determined( high-density lipoproteins that protect the vessels from settling on the intima( inner shell of blood vessels) of plaques).Then the ratio of one indicator to another is carried out. If the coefficient is higher than 3, then the risk of developing atherosclerosis is high.

    To determine the genetic predisposition will help genetic analysis that identifies the genes responsible for hypercholesterolemia. After conducting the diagnosis, it becomes more clear what to do in each case.

    How to treat high cholesterol?

    Cholesterol level in the blood can be changed with the help of medicamentous and non-medicinal means.

    Drug treatment for high cholesterol is prescribed by the therapist taking into account age, concomitant diseases, individual characteristics of the organism. To drugs that contribute to the destruction of lipids and the synthesis of new ones belongs to the pharmacological group - statins. With their help, you can maintain cholesterol levels within normal figures, which affects quality and longevity.

    To reduce absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, absorption inhibitors are prescribed. Preparations of this group are effective only in the case of the use of products containing cholesterol, which comes only in the fifth part with food from the total volume of its secretion in the body. In the blood of this group of cholesterol levels do not reduce.

    Fibrates and Omega-3 increase the level of "good" cholesterol and reduce the concentration of triglycerides( fat-like substances).

    See also: what to do, and how to lower cholesterol in the blood at home.

    To non-medicamentous methods of treatment of hypercholesterolemia, as well as to primary preventive measures are:

    1. 1) Special diet, which should include more plant foods, whole-grain baking, fish containing omega-3 amino acids, nuts, etc. It should be sharply limitedrefractory fats, semi-finished products, eggs, dairy products with high fat content, mayonnaise, etc.;
    2. 2) Active physical load, due to which weight and predisposition to metabolic syndrome decrease;
    3. 3) It is important to stop smoking and drinking alcohol;
    4. 4) For preventive purposes it is recommended that persons over 40 years of age, at least once a year, donate blood for biochemical research.

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