Cholesterol is an oil-based substance in your body that helps it build cells made by your liver. You have cholesterol in every cell of your body to help your organs do their jobs. You can also get cholesterol from eating meat, fish, and dairy. However, if you have too much cholesterol, it can jeopardize your health.
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol, which is often referred to as bad cholesterol, transports cholesterol from the liver into the bloodstream, where it can stick to your blood vessels. HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol, carries cholesterol from the blood back to the liver where it can be broken down.
Causes of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol puts you at risk for coronary heart disease and is a primary cause of heart attacks because a build-up of cholesterol narrows your arteries, restricting blood flow.
Some conditions that can lead to high cholesterol:
- Pregnancy and other conditions that can increase levels of female hormones
- Polycystic ovary symptom
- Liver or kidney disease
People that have high cholesterol often don’t have symptoms. With regular check-ups and blood tests, your physician will be able to detect high levels of cholesterol. Someone with high cholesterol that does not know may suffer an unexpected heart attack because they didn’t know and could have regulated it.
How to Prevent High Cholesterol
To reduce high cholesterol levels, you should:
- Have a healthy diet
- Incorporate more physical activity into your day-to-day routine
- Avoid smoking
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight