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High cholesterol: Symptoms, hazards, and medications to lower it

Cholesterol is now better known as a term for one type of disease, but in fact indeed everyone has cholesterol. Cholesterol itself is a metabolite containing sterol fat found in cell membranes and circulated in blood plasma.

Cholesterol is then mentioned as the disease is a condition where cholesterol levels in the blood that exceeds normal levels. Cholesterol is now one of the most common diseases in the community. High cholesterol levels in the body to trigger the emergence of various types of diseases that can be harmful to the body.

Before we go further, you need to know that cholesterol does not always have a bad effect on the body. There are two types of cholesterol present in our body. First is LDL cholesterol. This type of cholesterol is harmful to the body, while HDL cholesterol is a cholesterol that can dissolve the bad cholesterol in the body. The normal limit of cholesterol in the body is 160-200 mg only.

When you already have high cholesterol levels then you should start to maintain and regulate the food that enters your body. Start changing your lifestyle and apply a healthy lifestyle. Here's how to lower cholesterol that you can use to not merely consume drugs.

What are the normal cholesterol levels in the body?

Cholesterol levels

It is important for you to check the levels of LDL cholesterol and HDL in the body. This is one step to prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol levels in the blood are measured at least once every five years in any person over the age of 20 years, these tests commonly referred to as lipid profiles.

The lipid profile test can show the total amount of cholesterol present in the body, the amount of LDL, the amount of HDL, and the amount of triglycerides. Limits for each type of test are:

  • A good total cholesterol level in the blood is less than 200 mg / dl, including in the high category when levels reach 240 mg / dl or more.
  • LDL levels are good in the blood is less than 100 mg / dl, and will harm your health if the levels reach 160 mg / dl or more.
  • Good HDL levels in the body are 40 mg / dl or more, and can be said to be low if the levels are less than 40 mg / dl.
  • The levels of good triglycerides in the blood are less than 150 mg / dl, and are included in the high category when levels reach 200 mg / dl or more.

What causes a person to have high cholesterol?

Are you one of those people who have high cholesterol? In that case, it means you have to be more careful in maintaining your health. This condition occurs when you have too much LDL in the blood or too low levels of HDL in the blood. This makes your risk of heart disease greater.


Many plaques (consisting of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances) can form in arterial blood vessels because of high LDL levels. This is called atherosclerosis. As a result, atherosclerosis can clog the bloodstream and cause heart disease.

LDL and HDL levels in the body can be affected by many things, including:

  • The food you eat. Eating foods containing saturated fat and trans fats can cause your LDL levels to rise. Examples of foods that contain high fat are, fried, chicken with skin, fatty meat, and fast food.
  • Excess body weight. People who are overweight or obese tend to have high levels of LDL.
  • The older a person, the more elevated his LDL level. This may be influenced by decreased function and metabolism of the body. So no wonder an elderly person will have a larger LDL count than a younger person. LDL levels will begin to increase after you enter the age of 20 years.
  • Lack of exercise. Exercise can actually help raise HDL levels and also make LDL less harmful, by increasing the size of particles that make up LDL.
  • Family history. If your family members have a history of high cholesterol, you may experience the same thing. This is because genetics also affect cholesterol levels in your blood, can even be very influential compared to other factors (as above). Skinny people who have high cholesterol offspring can also have high cholesterol as well. So, this disease can not only be owned by fat people only, do not get me wrong.

Genetics can control cells to not get rid of LDL in the blood quickly or can also cause the liver to produce too much LDL. Therefore, if you have high cholesterol offspring, you should control the factors that can be changed (such as keeping your intake of eating and exercising).

What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?

Many people do not know that he has this condition, especially if he never checks it out. Usually he knows that he has this condition along with the diagnosis of other diseases, such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Of course, this is late to prevent the disease from appearing.

Actually there is no sign or special symptoms caused if someone has this condition. Inspecting HDL and LDL levels is the only way to tell if you have high cholesterol levels or are still within normal limits.

For that, you are advised to perform regular lipid profile checks to prevent the development of chronic diseases that can be caused by these conditions. Remember, prevention is better than cure!

What are cholesterol-lowering foods?

Food lowering cholesterol

If you do not want LDL high, then you should eat more foods that contain good fats (unsaturated fats) than bad fats (saturated fat and trans fats). Some examples of food sources of unsaturated fat that you can consume to help lower high LDL levels are:

  • Olive oil
  • Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, or other omega-3 rich fish (but should not be fried)
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts, almonds, meds, soybeans, and other beans

In addition to foods high in unsaturated fats, foods high in fiber is also a cholesterol-lowering food. Fiber can help lower LDL and increase HDL. Fiber in foods can block the absorption of this substance by the body and help remove it from the body through the feces. Vegetables and fruits are a group of foods that contain high fiber.

In addition, oatmeal and whole wheat foods also contain high fiber.

Do I need to take cholesterol drugs?

In addition to changing the pattern of life, how to lower other cholesterol is to consume cholesterol drugs. Cholesterol drugs can lower LDL faster by 50% compared to other ways. Like, controlling fat intake only lowers LDL by 10%, while losing weight 5-10% of the initial weight only managed to reduce LDL to 15%, quoted from WebMD. So, no wonder if many people prefer to use drugs to lower LDL than changing lifestyle.

Cholesterol drugs work by blocking substances the body needs to make cholesterol, reduce triglyceride levels in the body, and help absorb cholesterol and get rid of it from the body. One of the most commonly used cholesterol drugs is statins, including atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, and rosuvastatin.

However, do not just rely on cholesterol drugs alone. You still need to keep your HDL and LDL levels normal by controlling your regular eating and exercise intake. Not that you've been using cholesterol drugs so you can eat anything free, that's wrong. After all, using statin cholesterol drugs can also cause side effects.

Side effects that can be generated from statins are dizziness, digestive problems, muscle and joint pain, type 2 diabetes mellitus, to muscle and liver damage. After knowing the side effects of statins, do you still want to use cholesterol drugs? Whether you need to take cholesterol drugs or not, it depends on the level of cholesterol in your body. You should ask your doctor.

Next Read :  5 Body organs damaged by obesity

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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