What is hypercholesterolemia?
Good and bad cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) lipoproteins transport cholesterol from the tissues to the liver for elimination, making this cholesterol the "good cholesterol". LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) lipoproteins carry cholesterol from the liver to the tissues, which when conusmed in excess accumulates in the blood; this is called "bad cholesterol".
Complications for the arteries
LDL cholesterol is called atherogen, which means that it promotes the formation of atheroma plaques responsible for atherosclerosis (a loss of elasticity and a narrowing of the arteries). High LDL cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke. Conversely, HDL cholesterol is said to be non-attractive. High levels of HDL cholesterol reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Too much cholesterol in the blood is causing it to be deposited on the walls of the arteries and promotes the formation of atheroma plaques, leading to stenosis (narrowing of the diameter of the artery). Blood circulation is, thus, reduced and a risk of blood clot formation is increased, particularly in the case of a myocardial infarction.
Treatments for high cholesterol
The treatment of hypercholesterolemia involves a change in eating habits with a reduction in the consumption of bad cholesterol-rich foods such as fatty meats, deli meats (sausages, rillettes...), pastries, and certain cheeses. Regular exercise and activity, adapted to your physical condition, is recommended. Alcohol and tobacco consumption must be reduced.
Medication treatment can be set up by a general phyisician or specialist, such as a cardiologist. The drugs used aim to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Statins are the most frequently prescribed drugs.
Control your cholesterol level
It is important to regularly monitor cholesterol levels, especially if the patient has associated risk factors such as obesity, diabetes or smoking. Do not hesitate to consult with your doctor for more information. You can join the Carenity cardiovascular disease community to share your experiences and communicate with others who understand and can relate to your condition.
Published Apr 21, 2018