High Cholesterol

High cholesterol or otherwise known as hyperlipidemia is a condition where you suffer from abnormal high levels of any or all lipids and/or lipoproteins in your blood

When facing with high blood cholesterol you have to understand there are two subtypes of this condition, there is the Primary hyperlipidemia which is usually caused due genetics and you got the Secondary hyperlipidemia which is mostly caused by a variety of possible alternative causes such as diseases as Diabetes, alcohol , steroids or even conditions like pregnancy.

A convenient way to remember secondary causes would be to think of 4 D’s namely drugs, metabolic disorders, diet and diseases. As you can see with proper education and will most of those are within your own ability to adjust and improve.

 To be more precise here is a list of a few of those potential causes for high cholesterol that fall in the secondary category.

Diet related:
Type 2 diabetes
Alcohol consumption (especially excessive consumption)
Obesity (a rising health problem in general)
Carbohydrates(refined vs unrefined)
Dietary cholesterol intake and fats

Drugs related:
Anabolic steroids
Smoking cigarettes
Birth control
Beta blockers
Protease inhibitors
Thiazide diuretics
Protease inhibitors

Disease en metabolic disorder related:
Chronic renal failure
Nephotic syndrome
Cholestatic liver disease

Lifestyle and habits 
Alcohol consumptiion
sedentary lifestyle(lack of physical activity)

There are a few very effective ways to reduce your cholesterol below you can find a few tips

1 Exercise
This is a important aspect for a healthy lifestyle and has the potential to have a dramatic effect on your cholesterol alongside the other numerous benefits. It has been proven that exercise has a modest effect in reducing your LDL but at the same time boost your HDL, it does not matter what your age is or your current ability to exercise, exercise with the exception ofcourse of a very few people(can’t really think of any but just to be sure) will pretty much always give you a positive effect on cholesterol as well as many other aspects of your life and has the potential to dramatically improve your quality of life. It will also help you lose weight which is another cause for high cholesterol.

2. Healthy diet
A poor diet is one of the leading causes of High cholesterol alongside lack of physical activity. So solving these two can go a long way in helping out in reducing your High cholesterol to more healthy levels(not that high cholesterol in itself is unhealthy but the risks they add are), note that losing weight also tends to reduce your cholesterol over time.
When looking at a diet there are a few ways to improve fairly easy here are a few potential tips.

a.       Don’t overdo on saturated fats, while they certainly have a place in our diet and they should be included in a healthy diet you should consider certain restrains to avoid complications.  However in most cases reducing saturated fats or cholesterol will only have a  limited effect on your High cholesterol.

c.       Reducing refined carbohydrates will have a significant effect on your High cholesterol and should probably be the first thing that’s reduced (well before dropping meat from your diet)
Refined carbohydrates tend to lack nutrional value so they add very little in terms of minerals, vitamins and fiber.
A few examples of refined carbohydrates:
White bread
White rice
And the list can go on forever…
In general refined carbohydrates have undergone manufacturing processes and they are the worst carbohydrates available. Refining makes the carbohydrates finer and give it a longer shelf life.

d.       Get more fiber in your diet: eating fruit, vegetables en unrefined carbohydrates is an easy way to increase the amount of fiber and add many vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly at the same time, the recommended daily fiber intake is far higher then what most people eat in average.

Examples of unrefined carbohydrates:
Wholegrain bread
Brown rice
Fruits and vegetables(mango, avocado ...)

3. Improve your lifestyle outside exercising.
More specific stop Smoking, stop drinking(or reduce) and obviously don’t take drugs.

Let’s stick to smoking since I already mentioned the other 2 before, smoking is a habit that will affect your hearth and has been linked in numerous studies to raise your cholesterol and possible more important increase the formation of oxidized LDL(the really bad kind).

4. Supplements, there are a variety of supplements that have a potential beneficial effect on reducing your High cholesterol levels to normal range, most of them are natural products and you should consider that they are not magic pills, they often have a positive effect but this effect will be fairly modest compared to proper excursive and diet in the first place.
A few of the more popular are:
Fish oil (omega3)
Flaxseed oil
Green tea extract
Eca stack(can prevents a drop in HDL commonly occuring during a diet)

5. Medication, in pre-existing conditions to control or cure those conditions and when all else fails you also have cholesterol lowering medication.

If your cholesterol is caused by a disease like diabetes type 2 then you should get that under control which includes changes in your diet but also the use of medication. Same for any other condition you may have that can cause issues for your cholesterol, get them or at least try to get them under control.
Another option is of course the use of specific medication to reduce your cholesterol but it would be advise-able to first look into exercise and diet and your lifestyle and habits before

A good example of this is Statin a popular drug used to lower cholesterol, while it is effective and is shown to reduce the risk of certain issues by a good percentage one should consider that these kinds also have significant potential side effects and should only be used as a last resort kind of treatment not as a easy way out.
A few potential side effects of this drug include
Memory loss
Mental confusion
Diabetes type 2 (don’t have to say what this means do I ?)
Myositis(inflammation of muscles)
Rhabdomyolyisis ( extreme muscle inflammation and damage)

Those are very uncommon but it’s a risk I don’t want to take myself if I can avoid it, and you        should probably ask yourself the same thing

Note that you may feel healthy think you don’t need to but it would be advise-able to have your blood work checked every couple years, this will allow you to adjust and prevent a lot of potential problems that may occur long-term.
High cholesterol does not happened only to people of old age so start with this when you are young to help improve your quality of life when your old.

While it is a rare condition note that to low cholesterol can also be a issue and is able to increase your risk at a few conditions including the following:
Issues at pregnancy (for the child)
Anxiety and Depression

Unfortunately while there is plenty of research into High cholesterol there is very little into to low in comparison. So who knows what else it can cause, but remember this Cholesterol is essential for your body so stick to the middle.

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