All have heard this word. All have heard this diagnosis before, whether on TV or in relation to one’s own health or one’s relatives.
What is cholesterol? It is a lipid (fat), which is mainly formed in the liver and has a key significance for normal function of the body. Cholesterol is present in the external layer (plasmatic membrane) of each cell of our bodies and has many roles. It is a wax-like steroid, which is carried in the plasma of all animals; it is the chief sterol created by animals, but small amounts of it are also found in plants and mushrooms.
The term itself is formed by means of two words- “chloe,” which means “fel” and Greek word “steros” meaning solid hard”. There are two types of cholesterol, which can be simply referred to as good and bad. Many believe that having high cholesterol is bad in its own right, but it’s having high cholesterol of the bad type that is actually unhealthy.
Some of the functions that are performed by cholesterol are: it forms cell membranes, it hinders the destruction of hydrocarbons in membranes, it controls the porosity of cell membranes, it participates in the formation of sexual hormones, it is necessary for the formation of hormones created by adrenal glands (cortisone, corticosterone, aldosterone, etc.), it transforms sunlight into vitamin D, it is cruicial for metabolism of certain vitamins, and it isolates nerve fibers.
There is a particularly defined range of the level of cholesterol in the blood. As soon as it crosses over to the level of high cholesterol, there are higher risks that may cause atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, cardiac infarction, cardiac angina, other cardiovascular diseases, and blood stroke. If there is high cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, then the risk of development of the ischemic disease of the heart significantly increases. High cholesterol symptoms as such are non-visible, since neither the patient nor the doctor can actually observe it.
High cholesterol symptoms are revealed, if one has atherosclerosis symptoms, among which narrowed coronary heart arteries, pain in the legs (because the arteries which provide blood for the legs are narrowed), blood clots, the rupture of blood vessels (which may cause blood stroke), the rupture of plaques (which may cause coronary thrombosis; and if it in turn causes significant damage to the heart muscle, it may lead to cardiac failure), and vitilogoideas (yellowish spots on the skin, particularly around the eyes). These cholesterol symptoms have various reasons, such as one’s diet, lifestyle, weight, smoking, alcohol and other deviations from a healthy way of life.
Treating high cholesterol corresponds to cholesterol symptoms. Healthy lifestyles need to be observed, including physical exercises, consumption of many fruits and vegetables and grains, good amount of sleep, normal body weight, avoidance of alcohol consumption and smoking.
Many doctors believe that cholesterol symptoms will not necessarily change only because of the diet change, but it will definitely have advantages for one’s overall health, not just for high cholesterol.
It’s amazing what observing a proper diet can do. If cholesterol symptoms persist after observing all the aforementioned, some drugs may be prescribed to lower the level of cholesterol.
Among these could be statins, aspirin, medication to lower the level of triglycerides, niacins, and antihypertensive medication. Whether by means of natural and lifestyle treatment or medical treatment, high cholesterol can be lowered and controlled if one puts his mind to it, and obtains correct medical treatment for cholesterol symptoms.