What Is Cholesterol

Asking "What is cholesterol?" helps people understand how this bodily substance can be helpful and how to take care of their bodies for long-term health. Today, there's much talk about cholesterol numbers and getting these numbers down. Nearly everyone can quote a series of numbers associated with this natural body steroid, but do people have a true understanding of what function this steroid plays in the body? While the average person understands that high numbers are not good, most people never truly understand why these high numbers are bad and what they are significant of. With a little research online, those wanting to take good care of the bodies given by God can discover the good and bad news about this natural steroid.

A soft and wax-like substance, lipid fats, are found in the human bloodstream and cells. This substance, which acts as a natural steroid, is called cholesterol and is used by the body to help develop cell membranes and some necessary hormones. Unfortunately, when there's too much of this substance found in the bloodstream, the carrier becomes at high risk for a heart attack or stroke. The condition of having high counts of cholesterol in the bloodstream is called hypercholesterolemia. So, what is cholesterol and why is it important? It's a life sustaining substance that every person needs a certain amount of. And, so the next discussion point will be about what causes high cholesterol.

High cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia is a condition that's prevalent in those who have too much low-density lipoprotein in the blood. Lipoprotein's a protein that carries cholesterol through the blood. If there's an excessive amount of low density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood stream, there can be a build up of this substance on artery walls causing thick and hardening plaque. Plague can clog veins and arteries that lead to the heart, causing a heart attack. When veins leading to the brain are blocked by plaque, the result can be a stroke. Both effects are potentially disabling and fatal. What causes high cholesterol are high numbers of LDL is mainly diet or the intake of certain foods.

The body actually makes some cholesterol through the liver. But also, certain foods can contain this steroid as well. The human body, generally speaking, produces enough of this substance to live on, and extra doses are not truly needed. Asking "What is cholesterol?" and "Where does it comes from?" will certainly help health mindful people not eat the foods that can contribute excessive amounts of the steroid that's also found in animals. Egg yolks, fish, seafood, poultry, and many dairy products carry the steroid. However, the steroid is not found in edible plants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and various grains. The foods that have fatty acids will especially raise blood counts and are what causes high cholesterol. Trans fats can also be a danger. The liver will remove some excess from the human body, but recommendations call for limitations. The daily intake should be less than 300 milligrams. For those who may already be at risk for heart disease or stroke, an intake of under 200 milligrams is recommended.

Treatment plans for those who have hypercholesterolemia can vary from one person to the next. Generally, doctors will prescribe a drug therapy program for those who are a great risk for heart attack and stroke. There are several drugs on the market today that will help lower the LDL counts and these drugs are called statins. It is a good idea to research any drug prescribed by a doctor before taking the drug, gaining an understanding of all possible side effects. But, controlling eating habits and incorporating a healthy diet plan will be the single largest factor in defending against hypercholesterolemia, because diet is largely what causes high cholesterol. To keep hypercholesterolemia under control, there may need to be significant life changes.

The Bible teaches that in all circumstances, God's people are to pray and place hope in God. Even in times where illnesses seem to be uncontrollable, it's good to know that God has control and He cares for His people. Along with any medical treatment and diet change, it will be good to turn to the Lord and seek His wisdom and blessings in all circumstances while asking, "What is cholesterol?"

Take time and research hypercholesterolemia, discovering what number counts mean and where healthy counts should fall. When asking the question, "What is cholesterol?", people may find a way to lead a healthier and happier lifestyle. Log onto the Internet today and research the causes to take positive steps and make a difference.

High Cholesterol Symptoms

High cholesterol symptoms are usually an indicator of other problems, because symptoms connected with high levels are actually the end-result of conditions such as coronary disease, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. There is so much attention given to this problem that there are few adults in the U.S. who are unaware of the affects on high cholesterol levels. Anyone who lives a sedentary lifestyle and is overweight is a candidate for this dangerous condition. It can happen with folks who are at their ideal weight and who exercise regularly, but it's certainly less likely.

Among the most common problems that could be termed high cholesterol symptoms is coronary disease. Chest pains, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and a variety of other symptoms can indicate coronary problems and should be checked out. For the person with a history of elevated cholesterol levels, these could be warning signs to get things under control. They could also be symptoms of over-exertion, emotional stresses, or even overeating, so a person should not jump to conclusions. A check-up by a physician is the only way to determine for sure what's going on.

Another catastrophic illness that ranks among high cholesterol symptoms is stroke. A stroke can happen with little or no warning. The sudden onset of numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body can occur; confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding; sudden trouble with vision in one or both eyes; or dizziness, loss of balance, and lack of coordination can happen in the blink of an eye. Strokes range from mild and totally recoverable to severe and permanently debilitating, so any effort put forth to avoid them is well placed.

A third illness to be avoided when discussing high cholesterol symptoms is peripheral vascular disease. The arteries that carry blood to the extremities become narrow or clogged, slowing down blood flow. Numbness and/or tingling, or a cold sensation can occur in the lower extremities can result. Also, open sores or ulcers in the lower extremities that do not heal normally can occur. Any of these described problems are certainly illnesses anyone would want to avoid if possible. There are some high cholesterol reduction tips available to keep things under control.

Lifestyle, gender, and the heritage of the individual are factors in determining the levels of LDL and HDL a person has. Because of this, even a thin, active person can have high counts. Being overweight generally increases the level of "bad" cholesterol. There are some fairly simple and straightforward steps a person can take to lower those numbers. First on the list of high cholesterol reduction tips is diet. Saturated fat, i.e., animal fat, is one of the worst culprits for raising LDL levels. Unsaturated, or vegetable oils, and low fat cooking sprays are healthy substitutes. Counting calories still counts as a legitimate way of limiting intake, so that should be included with the fat monitoring. The family physician will be happy to help with a diet plan to fit an individual's goals and nutritional needs. Bodily health is important for most of life's activities, but we must also remember our spiritual health that comes from God. "That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations." (Psalm 67:2)

Cholesterol levels begin to increase for both men and women as they age. Generally, women have lower levels than men between the ages of 50 and 55. However, once a woman enters menopause, the natural occurrence is an increase in the level. Unfortunately, family genes play a significant role in the amount of one's LDL and HDL levels, so if a parent struggled with the problem, chances are very good that their child will share that struggle. Finding out one's family history can be an important factor. In general, the guidelines toward a therapeutic lifestyle diet are as follows: Less than 7% of the days total calories from saturated fat; 25-35% or less of calories from fat; less than 200 milligrams of dietary fats a day; limit sodium intake to 2400 milligrams a day; and just enough calories to maintain a healthy weight and reduce blood cholesterol level.

Once a person has started a good nutrition program, the next step in high cholesterol reduction tips is exercise. Whether a person walks 20 minutes a day, does aerobic exercises, or jogs, every time he exercises the high cholesterol count declines. Most people will start a new exercise program slowly, and work up to a more intense regimen. Floor exercises that stretch muscles and increase flexibility should have a place in anyone's exercise program. Once a healthy lifestyle is in place, the numbers should come down. If they do not, then there are medications that will help, and the doctors can prescribe the one that best fits the patient's needs. Whatever the overall treatment ends up being, maladies reflecting high cholesterol symptoms should come under control by following the high cholesterol reduction tips.

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