Hypercholesterolemia can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels . Eventually ,these deposits grow making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries , sometimes ,those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke .
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that occurs naturally in the body. It performs several vital functions. It is needed to make the surrounding walls of body’s cells. Your body makes all the cholesterol you needed. You need only a small amount of fat in your diet to make enough cholesterol to stay healthy. The fat and cholesterol you eat are absorbed in the intestine and transported to the liver. The liver converts fat into cholesterol and releases cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Most people with hypercholesterolemia don’t have any symptoms until cholesterol related atherosclerosis causes significant narrowing of the arteries leading to their heart or brain.
The result of hypercholesterolemia can be heart related chest pain (angina) or other symptoms of coronary artery disease as well as symptoms of decreased blood supply to the brain .A blood test is the only way to detect if you have hypercholesterolemia.
Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. There are two types of cholesterol based on what the lipoprotein carries –
• Low density lipoprotein ( LDL ) Cholesterol –
It transports cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL Cholesterol build up in the walls of your arteries ,making them hard and narrow.
• High density lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol –
It picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver. A lipid profile also typically measures triglycerides ,a type of fat in the blood . Having a high triglycerides level can also increase your risk of heart disease.
Factors you can control – such as inactivity ,obesity and unhealthy diet – contribute to high cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol.
Factors beyond your control might play a role too.e.g. your genetic makeup might keep cells from removing LDL cholesterol from your blood efficiently or cause your liver to produce too much cholesterol which we call hypercholesterolemia.
Risk Factors –
Following are the risk factors of hypercholesterolemia-
• Poor Diet –
Eating saturated fat ,trans fat in baked cookies and microwave popcorn,dairy products increases cholesterol.
• Obesity –
BMI of 30 or greater puts you in risk of high cholesterol.
• Lack of exercise –
Exercise helps boosting your body’s HDL.
• Smoking –
Smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels , making them more prone to accumulate fatty deposits.
• Age –
With growing age your liver becomes less capable to remove LDL cholesterol.
• Diabetes –
High blood sugar damages the lining of your arteries and also contribute to higher levels of dangerous cholesterol called Very low density lipoprotein ( VLDL) and lower HDL cholesterol.
Hypercholesterolemia can cause a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries (Atherosclerosis). These deposits (plaques) can reduce blood flow through your arteries ,which can cause complications such as –
• Chest pain
• Heart attack
• Eat a low salt diet.
• Limit amount of animal fat.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Quit smoking and alcohol.
• Practice yoga and Pranayam for atleast 30 minutes a day.
• Try to reduce stress.
A blood test can be done to check cholesterol levels called lipid profile that gives information about –
* Total cholesterol
* LDL cholesterol
* HDL cholesterol
• Statins e.g. Atorvastin
• Bile acid binding resins e.g. Cholestyramine
• Cholesterol absorption inhibitors e.g. Ezetimibe
Ayurvedic Perspective –
The body needs cholesterol for supporting and lubricating the body channels , known as srotas. Lubrication is needed to keep the srotas flexible , elastic and functional. Untill meda dhatu is balanced and healthy it helps to maintain balance of cholesterol.
The principal factor behind the balance in the digestion and consequently in the body is balanced Agni. Digestion is the key for health and disease for the body.
As per Ayurveda ,ama or toxins in the fat tissue, causes the harmful kind of cholesterol.Ama the sticky foul smelling waste products of improper digestion can block the channels of the body e.g. as in arteries. When ama mixes with the fat tissue ,it damages the channels of the body and leads to problems such as high cholesterol ,heart disease ,stroke,high BP.
Beneficial herbs –
• Arjuna – Its bark can be used as powder form or ksheerpaka.Arjuna is really a boon to heart.
• Guduchi – It rejuvenate the body and pacify all the three aggravated doshas.
• Bhumiamla – As cholesterol is produced by liver so liver has to be fit for Cholesterol balance which is perfectly done by this herb.
• Haridra – It has anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties.
• Rasona – It helps to get rid of high cholesterol in the form of Rasona ksheerpaka.
• Triphala – It improves digestive fire.
• Arjuna kwath
• Kaishore gugglu
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