Cholesterol

High cholesterol or hyperchlolesterolemia is when the blood carries high levels of lipids. Cholesterol is found in all animal cells. It is used to control our membranes. When your cholesterol raises you may have to change your diet to one that is low in fat. If your cholesterol gets really high you may have to consider other additional treatments. In this article we will look at some of those treatments as well as the symptoms, the causes and the prognosis of having high cholesterol.

Symptoms

High cholesterol is health problem that does not carry any signs or symptoms with it. It does not make you feel sick so your arteries can be clogged and you would not know.

That is why it is important to see your doctor regularly and have your cholesterol checked from around the time you turn 20 years of age.

Causes

There are many things that can cause high cholesterol. It can be your family history, the foods you eat, being inactive, being overweight, your age and just your overall health. It is important to learn about your family history in order to see if anyone else in your family has had high cholesterol as it can be passed down that way. If you have a family history of high cholesterol you can start taking pre-emptive measures such as changing your lifestyle.

Treatment

One treatment that is both money and time consuming is called LDL apheresis. It is when blood is removed from the patient and the LDL cholesterol is removed chemically. The blood is then placed back into the patients body. This procedure takes a few hours to complete and should be done every two or three weeks to have good results (i.e. lowered cholesterol by about 50-80%).

There are many different types of medical treatments that can be used to help reduce high cholesterol. Bile acid binders are a type of drug that may be used to help battle high cholesterol. They are known to help reduce LDL and total cholesterol from some people by removing the supply of LDL cholesterol to the body.

Close-up of Hands and Pills

Statin drugs are probably the most used when it comes to cholesterol medication treatments. What they do is block the liver's ability to make cholesterol. Some of the more popular brand names in the United States include: Pravachol, Mevacor, Zocor, Altocor, and Lipitor.

Diet is one of the most important treatments when it comes to dealing with high cholesterol. It is important to lower your intake of saturated fats. Trans fat is also important to stay away from. It helps to cause heart disease a health problem that goes hand-in-hand with high cholesterol. Garlic is known to help reduce LDL cholesterol but it is important that you consult a professional before you start taking any supplements. Other healthy lifestyle changes include: not smoking, losing weight and getting regular exercise.

Prognosis

If you have high cholesterol you can increase your risk of having a heart attack by up to 20% within a 10 year time period. You can also increase your risk of carotid-artery disease, coronary heart disease, aortic aneurysm, diabetes and peripheral-artery disease.