Wise-Compare.com: Empowering Wise Decisions.

The worst thing a person with high cholesterol can do is ignore it, health experts warn.

More than 102 million Americans, including people under 25, have cholesterol levels that exceed the healthy limit, placing them at risk of a slew of illnesses, including diabetes, coronary heart disease, and plaque build up in blood vessels.

Cardiologists cautioned against brushing off high cholesterol readings, specifically LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol, which is most likely to lead to severe health problems. Catching it early, though, raises the odds of a person deciding to change their habits to slash the risk of developing potentially deadly diseases.

Some cases of high cholesterol are based on genetics, but the most common cause of high LDL cholesterol is poor lifestyle habits such as drinking too much alcohol, eating a diet high in fat and not getting enough cardio exercise.

Addressing the issue could be difficult for millions of people, though, because high cholesterol does not show symptoms until disaster strikes, usually in the form of a stroke or heart attack. 

An estimated one in five cases of high cholesterol in adults goes undiagnosed.

A healthy level of LDL cholesterol falls below 100 milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL) of blood. The risk of cardiovascular events increases substantially when LDL levels exceed 40 to 60 mg/dL

The leading risk factor high LDL cholesterol is artheriosclerosis, a hardening of the blood vessels caused by a build up of harmful plaques. Over time, this narrows the blood vessels, limiting blood flow to the heart

Many Americans could be doing more to bring LDL cholesterol down to a healthy level, which should be below 100 milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL) of blood. 

The risk of cardiovascular events increases substantially when LDL levels exceed 40 to 60 mg/dL.

Yet more than 54 percent of people with high cholesterol – about 47 million Americans – are not taking necessary medications to lower it. 

Meanwhile, about a third of Americans have not had their cholesterol checked in the last five years.

Dr Elizabeth Klodas, a cardiologist and founder of the Preventive Cardiology Clinic in Minnesota, told Parade magazine: ‘The worst thing patients can do is ignore it!’

‘High cholesterol, and especially high LDL (bad) cholesterol, is one of the most well studied, consistently linked risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis,’ or a build up of harmful plaque in the blood vessels that causes them to harden, raising the risk of heart attack.

She added: ‘In fact, there is an almost linear correlation between LDL levels and heart disease risk. By ignoring your cholesterol numbers, you are only inviting disaster.’

Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced in the liver and it travels through the blood. Around 80 percent of the body’s cholesterol comes from the liver and 20 percent comes from poor diet choices. As fat intake rises, the liver adjusts by reducing its own production of cholesterol.

In a recent study US researchers claim that even small changes to diet can lower people’s bad cholesterol levels as much as taking statins. They can reduce your LDL cholesterol by around 30 percent, sometimes even 50 percent with high doses

Not everyone with high cholesterol needs to take a pill to remedy the problem, though around 40 million Americans are prescribed a specific type of medication called a statin.

Statins are the most prescribed medications in the country, with recognizable brand names including Lipitor and Crestor.

They help prevent the accumulation of harmful plaque made up of LDL cholesterol, fats such as triglycerides, and inflammatory cells in blood vessels that, over time, become hardened and narrow. 

This restricts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, which can lead to a condition called myocardial ischemia, as well as heart attack.

Over 75 percent of heart attack and stroke victims have high cholesterol. 

However, heart failure patients who take a statin are significantly less likely to suffer a subsequent one.

Dr Klodas said: ‘Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and high cholesterol is a significant contributor to that statistic.

‘No wonder doctors are so focused on monitoring cholesterol profiles and keeping LDL levels low.’

But drugs are not the only way to bring cholesterol back to safe levels. Lifestyle changes such quitting smoking, getting more cardio, cutting back on drinking, getting good quality sleep, and eating more fiber and less fatty foods can make a major difference.

A 2022 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found adults with high LDL cholesterol who ate snacks twice daily that replaced something they normally ate saw a nine percent decreased amount of LDL and total cholesterol decreased by an average of more than five percent.

Dr Klodas said: ‘Although most people with high cholesterol think their only option is going on medications, nothing could be further from the truth. 

‘In the vast majority of cases, high cholesterol is not caused by a deficiency of drugs like statins but is caused in part or in whole by a deficiency of the right foods.

‘Consuming meaningful amounts of whole food fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterol and antioxidants (nutrients that are primarily found in a whole food, plant-based diet) can markedly lower LDL.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *