Cholesterol is a type of fat your body makes. Cholesterol can also come from the food you eat. As with so many things (shakes fists), too much cholesterol is not such a great thing. If not controlled, hyperlipidemia can cause heart disease. Hyperlipidemia shows no symptoms but is treatable and preventable when you know your risks, and you act.
What is Hyperlipidemia?
Hyperlipidemia is also known as hypercholesterolemia or just high cholesterol. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells. It occurs when there is too cholesterol in your blood, and it begins to form fatty deposits in blood vessels and arteries. As the deposits grow, it is harder for blood to get through and increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis may lead to heart attack, stroke, and loss of limbs.
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL.
- LDL– Noted as the “bad” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow. Hyperlipidemia is caused by too much LDL cholesterol.
- HDL– The “good” type of cholesterol. It picks up and transports the excess cholesterol back to your liver.
Who is at Risk for Hyperlipidemia?
The risk for this condition comes from both genetics and lifestyle. Although there is nothing you can do about changing genetics, you can prevent developing it by watching your levels early on. Remember, cholesterol also comes from what we eat, so other factors that increase your risk of developing hyperlipidemia include:
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
Common, but not Defined
More than 3 million are living with hyperlipidemia. In many cases, it is a life-long condition that requires management through medication and changing your lifestyle. Although common, you don’t have to let it control your life. You can lower your cholesterol by exercising moderately about 150 minutes a week, eating a heart-healthy diet, and begin a plan to stop harmful habits like smoking. Together, these will help keep your weight in check, which is one of the risk factors for this condition.
Current treatments continue to be controversial and have a lot of unresolved questions. Clinical research trials help us learn more about this disease, so prevention and potential treatment options can be found. Florida Institute for Clinical Research seeks participants in research studies for those diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, or high triglycerides. To learn more about studies enrolling looking into potential new options, call (407) 658-0966, or click here.