Cholesterol is lipophilic alcohol (a 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, while the rest of it is synthesized by the tissues of the body (mostly the liver, as well as the intestines, adrenals, etc.). Most of the cholesterol is contained in red blood cells, liver cells, and white matter of the brain.
Many processes are impossible without the participation of cholesterol, for example, digestion, the synthesis of hormones, certain vitamins, etc. But at the same time cholesterol may lead to the emergence of serious diseases of the cardiovascular system (atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, etc.) that result in disability and premature death of many people.
Causes of High Cholesterol
There are hereditary and acquired causes of increased cholesterol levels in the blood.
The level of cholesterol is affected by the following:
- Alcohol abuse
- Abdominal obesity, in which the accumulation of fatty deposits occurs predominantly in the abdominal region
The acquired causes of high cholesterol include:
- Diseases of the thyroid gland, accompanied by a decrease in its function (hypothyroidism)
- Liver diseases leading to bile duct obstruction
- Diabetes mellitus of two types, which violate carbohydrate metabolism
- Intake of certain medications (for example, immunosuppressants)
The Symptoms of High 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 include:
- The appearance of a light gray rim along the edges of the cornea in a person who is younger than 50 years old. It indicates a hereditary predisposition to an increased content of cholesterol in the blood.
- The appearance of dense yellow knots under the skin of the eyelids, which include cholesterol.
- Pain in the heart (angina pectoris), resulting from constriction of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle.
- Pain and weakness in the legs during physical exertion, which arises due to a decrease in the lumen of the vessels, supplying the tissues of the lower limbs with blood.
- Coronary thrombosis with atherosclerotic plaques, which leads to acute heart failure (including myocardial infarction).
To know exactly how to treat high blood cholesterol, the causes of this condition need to be determined first. 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.
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 (high-density lipoproteins that protect the vessels from settling on the intima of the inner shell of blood vessels) cholesterol is determined. Then the ratio of one indicator to another is carried out. If the coefficient is higher than 3, the risk of developing atherosclerosis is high.
The genetic predisposition can be determined with the help of genetic analysis that identifies the genes responsible for hypercholesterolemia. After conducting the diagnosis, it becomes clearer what to do in each case.
The Importance of Balanced Diet and Exercising
In order to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood, both medicinal and non-medicinal methods are used. Non-medicinal methods include exercises and a balanced diet.
Exercises are a great method to decrease the level of cholesterol.
- Regular physical exercises help the body remove fat, which enters the bloodstream with food. When the bad lipids do not stay in the bloodstream for a long time, they do not have time to settle on the walls of the vessels. It is proved that running helps remove the fat obtained from the products. People who regularly run are least likely to form cholesterol plaques.
- The usual physical exercises, gymnastics, dancing, and walks in the fresh air allow you to keep muscle tone, which has a positive effect on the state of the vessels.
- Walking and regular exercises are especially important for the elderly.
A balanced diet can help decrease the level of high cholesterol as well. When keeping a balanced diet, some products must be completely eliminated, while the consumption of others should be reduced to a minimum.
It is important that a person does not consume more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. A lot of the cholesterol is contained in eggs, butter, smoked sausages, mayonnaise, and meat (pork, beef, lamb). The use of these products leads to the increase in the level of cholesterol.
Medications Used to Treat Cholesterol
5 Cholesterol-Lowering Pills from Canadian Health&Care Mall
Drug treatment for high cholesterol is prescribed by the therapist taking into account age, concomitant diseases, and individual characteristics of the organism. The drugs that contribute to the destruction of lipids and the synthesis of new ones are statins. With their help, you can maintain cholesterol levels within normal figures.
In order to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, absorption inhibitors are prescribed. Drugs of this group are effective only in the case of the use of products containing cholesterol. In the blood, these medications don’t reduce the cholesterol levels.
Crestor is the drug that helps reduce LDL, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and other harmful fats and constituents. At the same time, the drug increases the presence of HDL. It is noted that the effect of taking the drug is manifested in a week, but the maximum possible effect will be achieved at the fourth week of therapy with the drug.
Crestor is prescribed in the following cases:
- When diagnosing primary or mixed hypercholesterolemia, as an additional remedy for a curative and corrective diet and the main medication.
- In the presence of hereditary homozygous hypercholesterolemia, as well as an additional component of a corrective diet and basic treatment.
- To help reduce the development of atherosclerosis.
- With hypertriglyceridemia.
- For the initial prevention of major cardiovascular diseases in those people who have an increased risk of their development.
Usually, the drug is well tolerated and even minor side effects pass quickly and independently.
Zocor is an effective agent for preventing the development of serious cardiovascular diseases. The drug reduces the level of harmful cholesterol and levels the ratio of total cholesterol. The effect of taking the medication is noticeable after 2–4 weeks of therapy.
- Zocor is a fast-acting remedy for reducing cholesterol and protecting against dangerous cardiovascular problems.
- The dosage of the drug is selected depending on the purpose of the application and the results of the patients’ analyses.
- Side effects from Zocor are rare, and there are few contraindications to its use.
- To keep the result, constant maintenance therapy is necessary.
- The drug significantly reduces the risk of mortality from various vascular and cardiac diseases.
Zetia helps slow the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, without affecting the process of absorption of fats and triglycerides. Its use in effective doses will help lower the level of cholesterol in the blood by 17%. Possible side effects include diarrhea and pain in the abdominal cavity.
Nicotinic acid is the main ingredient of Niaspan. It is most effective for increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and it is also effective in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Nicotinic acid is suitable for those who have only a low level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It is used to raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by 30% or higher. However, it is not as effective as statins. Therefore, when low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol are accompanied by high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, some physicians use statins to reduce first the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
Vytorin reduces the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver, and affects the resorption of cholesterol by the body.
The drug is used together with a low-fat diet and other treatments to decrease the total cholesterol in patients.
On Canadian Health&Care Mall Main page, you can find these and other drugs that help reduce cholesterol levels. Also do not forget that pills are not the only way to lower cholesterol, there are many other, more useful methods. By the way, we recommend that you look at our section of useful and natural tips: www.canadahealthcaremall.com/tips-for-better-health