What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced by the liver and found in the cells of the body. It is an important component of cell membranes and is necessary for the production of hormones and other substances in the body.
What are the different types of cholesterol?
There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol, often referred to as "bad" cholesterol, can contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol, often referred to as "good" cholesterol, helps remove excess cholesterol from the body and can protect against heart disease.
How is cholesterol level measured in the body?
Cholesterol levels can be measured through a blood test called a lipid panel or lipid profile. This test measures the levels of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in the blood.
What is the normal range for cholesterol levels in the body?
The normal range for total cholesterol is typically less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The normal range for LDL cholesterol is typically less than 100 mg/dL, while the normal range for HDL cholesterol is typically more than 40 mg/dL for men and more than 50 mg/dL for women.
What can cause abnormal cholesterol levels in the body?
Abnormal cholesterol levels can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, diet, and lifestyle. For example, a diet high in saturated and trans fats can increase LDL cholesterol levels, while a lack of physical activity can decrease HDL cholesterol levels. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, can also affect cholesterol levels.
How is an abnormal cholesterol level diagnosed?
An abnormal cholesterol level is typically diagnosed through a blood test called a lipid panel or lipid profile.
How is an abnormal cholesterol level treated?
The treatment for an abnormal cholesterol level may involve lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking, as well as medication. Medications used to lower cholesterol levels include statins, bile acid sequestrants, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
Can high cholesterol be prevented?
Yes, high cholesterol can often be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking. It is also important to manage underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, that can increase the risk of high cholesterol.
What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?
High cholesterol often has no symptoms, so it is important to get regular cholesterol tests to monitor levels.
Can high cholesterol lead to other health problems?
Yes, high cholesterol can lead to other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. It is important to manage high cholesterol to reduce the risk of these and other health problems.
"Cholesterol." MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Apr. 2021, medlineplus.gov/cholesterol.html.
"Cholesterol." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 6 Mar. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/symptoms-causes/syc-20350800.
"Cholesterol." Healthline, Healthline Media, 26 Apr. 2021, www.healthline.com/health/cholesterol.