The Genetics of Hyperlipidemia – High Cholesterol
Hyperlipidemia is a condition where there is too much fat in the bloodstream. The body needs fat to produce energy and carry away waste. These fat particles are often fat from the natural fat cells of the body.
However, when there are too many fats in the bloodstream, these can interfere with the normal functioning of certain organs. This is the reason why people with hyperlipidemia are more likely to develop serious health problems than other people.
Hyperlipidemia has no specific symptoms, the only way you can detect the ailment is to have your doctor perform a blood test called a lipid panel or a lipid profile on you.
The lipid panel test will determine your cholesterol levels. Your doctor will take a sample of your blood, send it to a lab for testing, then get back to you with a full report. Your report will show your cholesterol levels
- Total cholesterol
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
Though hyperlipidemia is treatable, it is often a life-long condition. You will need to watch what you are eating and also do exercise regularly. You might need to take prescription medications too.
There are two general types of hyperlipidemias
- Genetic hyperlipidemia is passed on through genes, just as obesity and smoking are passed on genetically
- Non-genetic hyperlipidemias are usually caused by unhealthy lifestyles or diet, but may also be linked to particular genes
Some research suggests that there may be some hereditary predisposition to heart disease and other ailments, but more research needs to be conducted on this subject.
There are several kinds of risk factors for hyperlipidemia
Individuals who have very high levels of bad LDL cholesterol (LDL) in their bloodstream tend to have elevated triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats that are carried around the body by the fatty substances that make up your body’s fat cells. Too much triglyceride in your bloodstream can lead to clogged arteries, heart attack, and stroke.
Genetics may play a role in hyperlipidemia
If your parents or grandparents are considered to have this condition, you are probably at increased risk. You may be trying to lose weight, trying to control your blood pressure, or trying to control your diabetes, but have you considered your diet?
Your doctor may not be aware of the potential genetic links, so if you are concerned about your health, you should make an appointment with him or her to discuss your diet and your lifestyle.
There are many causes of hyperlipidemia but simply altering your diet can often help reduce the effects of your condition. Foods containing large amounts of simple sugars (white bread, rice, etc.) should be eliminated from your diet, as should foods that are high in fat, salt or saturated fats.
Reducing the amount of “bad” cholesterol that is in your bloodstream can help your body release more “good” cholesterol, which will do your heart a lot of good.
Many people suffer from this condition and don’t even know it
Unfortunately, many of these sufferers are very unwilling to make any lifestyle changes. The truth is, if you want to have a heart-healthy diet and live a long, happy life, you need to pay attention to your lifestyle.
Chances are that you are living a life that is literally thrown out of balance due to your poor diet choices and lack of exercise. If you want to get rid of your hyperlipidemia, you have to start modifying your lifestyle.
There are a number of genetic conditions that cause hyperlipidemia
Some of these conditions are minor: they are inherited, but the symptoms are so mild that they don’t get diagnosed. Others, however, are serious – hyperlipidemia can occur due to genetic abnormalities that can lead to serious medical conditions, such as coronary artery disease.
Your doctor may be able to help you determine what type of hyperlipidemia you have and recommend a diet and exercise program that can help you reverse it.
There are also other causes of Hyperlipidemia
One such cause is an excess of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels in your bloodstream. Because LDL is both fat and protein-soluble, it carries cholesterol back out of your arteries, where it is removed from your body before it can cause many health problems.
HDL, on the other hand, is a type of good cholesterol. If you have too much of one type of cholesterol in your system, you can actually build up a build-up of it that will clog your arteries, leading to heart problems and other serious medical conditions.
Best Treatment for Hyperlipidemia
Changing your lifestyle and eating habit can lower your cholesterol level by including a healthy diet, weight loss, and exercise. You will need to
- Choose foods low in trans fats and saturated fats
- Have fish twice a week
- Limit your alcohol
- Avoid sugary drinks and added sugars
- Eat more fiber-rich foods, such as oatmeal, apples, bananas, pears, prunes, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, and lima beans
- Avoid fried and processed meats
Stepping up your exercise habits,and aiming for about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, like a brisk walk, most days of the week. You do not have to do all this activities at once. Even just 10 to 15 minutes at a time can make a difference in your lifestyle
You can also take statins to prevent your liver from making cholesterol. They are a popular choice drug to lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
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