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What Causes High Cholesterol?

Understanding what causes high cholesterol is very important these days. The number of people being afflicted with heart disease as a result of high cholesterol levels is up and going up every year. There is a greater need to get to the root cause of the problem so as to try to stop the trend.

What Causes High CholesterolTo have high cholesterol levels is not bad when you are referring to the good cholesterol or HDL (high density lipoprotein). Actually, you would even want to increase your good cholesterol because it keeps the excess fats out of your system and that lowers your risk for heart disease. What makes having high cholesterol bad when it is the bad fats dominating your system. And how can this happen? What causes high cholesterol?

There are a variety of factors that push the levels of bad cholesterol beyond the normal range. Some of them, like genetics (as in the case of hypercholesterolemia and diabetes) may not necessarily be under your control, but lifestyle factors (such as diet and inactivity) certainly are. Yes, the things that you put in your mouth can raise your bad cholesterol, but thankfully this is something you have control over. If your daily meal consists of junk and fried foods and not much vegetables and fruits, it would not come as a surprise if your bad cholesterol level shoots up sooner than later.

You have to learn to junk the junk, then, and love the greens. Vegetables and fruits, especially those that are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants are very important in the maintenance of good health, and especially in warding off heart problems. Perhaps you might find it difficult at first to let go of all the junk – a lot of people do. But you don’t have to make drastic changes in your diet all of a sudden. Even that may not be a good idea. Maybe you can start by adding a few greens in your sandwiches and reducing the dressing a bit. Then gradually increase the good stuff and lessen the bad stuff as you go along each day.

Another factor that may also contribute to high cholesterol levels is exercise. Not getting enough exercise raises bad cholesterol levels while getting sufficient exercise increases the good cholesterol. So you can see just how important it is to embark on an exercise program regularly. It does not have to be anything strenuous or expensive. It is not even necessary that you go to a gym or enroll in expensive dance classes. What’s important is that you make better use of your time than sitting in front of your computer screen or work area all day long. Get your blood circulating because as it does your metabolic rate also increases and that gets more fats to be burned.

For those other factors that are already beyond your means to control, make these lifestyle changes nonetheless. They can be of great help in reducing their impact on your health, regardless of what causes high cholesterol.

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What Causes High Cholesterol Levels?

If you’ve had your heart checked recently, your doctor must have briefed you what causes high cholesterol levels. A big number of heart problems stem from high cholesterol levels, and so your doctor must have given you some understanding about cholesterol and how it affects your heart health.

What Causes High Cholesterol LevelsMost likely you are aware that there is good cholesterol and there is bad cholesterol. The good cholesterol protects the heart by transporting the excess bad cholesterol to the liver where it undergoes processing and eventually leaves the body. In a way, the good cholesterol prevents the bad cholesterol from mixing with fibrin and other particles to form plaque that clogs the arteries. When you have the good cholesterol in high numbers, you are likely to be far from a range of heart problems.

And so the issue here is not about the good cholesterol increasing, but the bad cholesterol in levels beyond 160 mg/dL. Didn’t your doctor tell you what causes high cholesterol levels? Well, a number of factors do come into play, just like:

1. Familial predisposition. High cholesterol can run in the family. If you happen to have parents or grandparents with high cholesterol levels, have your blood tested for cholesterol, as well. You can’t say that just because you’re still young, you won’t have to worry about cholesterol and heart disease yet because if it is in your blood, you can inherit the problem sooner or later. So be on the know, find out as much as you can about diseases running in your blood and take the necessary steps immediately.

2. Diabetes. Diabetes increases triglyceride levels. High cholesterol is often expected of individuals afflicted with diabetes. Diabetes is usually hereditary, even though some people do not manifest signs and symptoms until much later in life. Needless to say, when you are diagnosed to have diabetes, have your blood checked for cholesterol, too.

3. Diet. Feasting on all things fried is going to get your bad cholesterol in dangerous levels. You’ve been hearing so many people telling you to get on a healthy diet. But what exactly is a healthy diet, one that is good for heart health, one that gets your bad cholesterol down and your good cholesterol up? You would need Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants obviously, and taking these in consideration, the ideal diet for people with high cholesterol levels should include vegetables and preferably eating them in their raw form, fish, citrus fruits, and nuts.

4. Inactivity. Being a couch potato day in and day out can adversely affect cholesterol levels. Get some exercise, then, to get your metabolism working. The better your metabolism is, the more fats are burned, and that keeps you out of heart trouble while helping you lose weight at the same time.

5. Smoking. Haven’t you heard? Smoking one stick of cigarette shortens your life by 3 minutes. Smoking actually suffocates your cells and hampers cellular activity, so quitting the habit for good is really good for you, even better if heart disease runs in the family.

So, regardless of what causes high cholesterol levels, changing your diet and going for a healthier lifestyle can mean a lot.

Click here to know more about what causes high cholesterol levels.

Instant Attack : High Blood Pressure

Stroke is commonly understood as a problem that comes with old age but in truth, even the young and sporty can be exposed. Consultant Neurologist Timothy Lee shares some knowledge about the condition.

A stroke can affect anyone. Case in point: Preferred local radio DJ Rod Monteiro. Despite being comparatively young at 44, and leading a sporty lifestyle including running marathons and cycling frequently, Mr Monteiro made the news lately when he suffered a stroke while at work. Even children are not spared. Specialist Neurosurgeon Dr Timothy Lee?s youngest patient for stroke was just 12 years of age. ?He fainted and was found to be bleeding from a congenital artery anomaly. We had to operate on him right away,? Declared Doctor Lee.

While you may have small control over inborn issues, there are risk factors which can often be moderated to prevent or reduce the prospect of a stroke. Things which you can do actively include adopting a healthy diet, avoid smoking and handling diabetes and hypertension if you have the conditions.

Stroke also need not be viewed as a permanently enfeebling condition. According to Dr Lee, about 1/2 of all patients who suffer from a stroke make a good recovery, typically within the first quarter.

Doctor Lee’s young patient is an example of one success story. He made an excellent recovery and returned to school. He even regained the top position in his class, shared Doctor Lee.


What is a stroke?

A stroke is a condition where blood flow to the brain is interrupted – either due to blockage or bleeding, starving brain cells of necessary oxygen and glucose, and leading to brain damage which can manifest in impairment to speech, movement and memory.According to Dr Lee, in most situations (about 80%), the stroke is thanks to a blocked artery; while bleeding accounts for the rest. Both result in a scarcity of blood flow to the brain and an increase of pressure in the brain that will lead to the demise of brain cells.

How can one tell if someone has a stroke?

The common signs are weakness or insensibility of the limbs and a unexpected headache. Transient weakness or insensibility are possible danger signals of a blocked artery, while a unexpected and weird headache could be a sign of internal bleeding. Slurring of speech or sudden blurred or double vision are possible tell tale indications too.

Does it help if you get to a doctor quickly?

Like most sicknesses, the earlier you get treated, the better. Prompt treatment can make a significant difference in one’s diagnosis for recovery.

Are all strokes the same?

Not all strokes are identical and they can be of different seriousness. The impact of a stroke depends upon how much of the brain is affected and the location. Smaller strokes may lead to weakness on one side of the body, difficulty talking and incontinence. Larger strokes may result in paralysis. Some strokes can be deadly.

What risk indicators should I watch out for to prevent a stroke?

I sometimes use the acronym Cholesterol DISH to summarise the key risks factors that can end up in a blocked artery. “D” is for Diabetes; “I” for “I or myself”, which essentially means your genetics; “S” is for Smoking; and “H” is for Hypertension. As for the other major cause of stroke -bleeding, the primary risk factor to observe is hypertension.

Can anything be done to mitigate the incidence of a second stroke after a patient has suffered the first one?

You must first try and lower the risk factors. While you'll not be able to do something about your genetics, you can help yourself by making lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking and choosing a healthier diet. It's also important to get correct medical attention and medicine, for instance an anti-platelet agent could be prescribed by the doctor to open up the blocked artery. Regular medications may be needed to manipulate diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension.

What is the treatment for stroke patients?

The main target is to revive brain function and stop future strokes. Besides the utilising of an anti-platelet agent, surgery to remove a narrowing in the artery may sometimes be required. Post-stroke, rehab may be important to help the patient recuperate and recover mobility.

Last words of information

Hear your doctors and therapists, and follow their directions. It is important to manage the danger factors and don?t stop your medicine without debating it first with your doctor.