What is hyperlipidemia?
Hyperlipidemia commonly refers to a high cholesterol level. It can also indicate an elevated triglyceride level. Frequently it is a combination of both.
Why is there “good & bad cholesterol”?
The cholesterol that is detrimental to our body is the LDL cholesterol. This refers to the bad cholesterol. Circulating LDL cholesterol together with triglycerides builds up in the walls of arteries and form plaques. This process known as atherosclerosis contributes to the major risk factor for ischemic heart diseases and strokes. The HDL cholesterol refers to the good cholesterol because it scavenges & removes the LDL cholesterol to the liver to be reprocessed. It thus lessens the risk posed by the circulating LDL cholesterol.
What causes hyperlipidemia?
Hyperlipdemia is very often genetically based. It can also be contributed by an unhealthy diet laden with saturated oils and cholesterol. Either of which will result in its onset during early adulthood. It is recommended that our first lipid screening, made thru fasting blood levels start at the age of 20 years old.
Are there any “natural” means to avoid hyperlipidemia?
Although there is a significant genetic predisposition to the development of hyperlipdemia, there are some lifestyle modifications that will improve the condition. We should be watchful of our intake of cholesterol laden food. This will include all types of meat and animal derived parts & product including eggs and milk. Saturated oils, excessive alcohol and sugar will contribute to an elevated triglyceride level. Intake of such should be moderated. A regular exercise routine will result in calorie expenditure. This will lower triglyceride level. Exercise has also been shown to elevate the HDL or good cholesterol level. A high HDL level results in lower atherosclerosis risk. Supplements containing red yeast are useful in reducing cholesterol levels. Fish oil & Omega 3 can be taken to reduce elevated triglyceride levels.
What are your thoughts regarding hyperlipidemia?
It is common for patients to dismiss hyperlipidemia. It is a myth that just because it is common, it is harmless. It is perhaps an even greater self delusion that just because it has existed the last 10 years that it will not pose a problem in the next 10 years. Hyperlipidemia is the underlying condition behind atherosclerosis which results in heart attacks and strokes. It should be medically controlled if lifestyle modifications fail to do so.