What is Cholesterol?
- Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance found in the body cells. Cholesterol comes from two sources. Our body makes the needed cholesterol. However, cholesterol also is found in some of the foods that we eat.
- Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream by the way of lipoproteins. Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout our body: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
- LDL is often known as the “Bad” cholesterol. A high level of LDL leads to a build-up of cholesterol in the arteries. This may lead to stroke.
- HDL is known as the “Good” cholesterol, carries the harmful cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver. Our liver then removes this harmful cholesterol from our body.
What is Hypercholesterolemia?
- Hypercholesterolemia is a condition characterized by very high levels of cholesterol in the blood. In this case, there’s excessive LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. This increases fatty deposits in the arteries and increases the risk of blockages.
- High levels of cholesterol may be inherited also. This condition is known as Familial Hypercholesterolemia.
Causes of Hypercholesterolemia
- Foods high in saturated fats
- Other diseases like Diabetes
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Avoiding tobacco smoke
- Losing weight (if you’re overweight or obese)
Healthy Cholesterol level chart (optional)