When LDL cholesterol is present in excess it can cause serious health problems
Cholesterol affects both men and women equally
Cholesterol can be controlled to a great extent through lifestyle changes
Broadly, cholesterol is of two types: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. The former is known as bad cholesterol as it goes straight to your arteries. When present in large quantities, it forms deposits on arterial walls, constricting them. These deposits can also morph into clots, causing serious medical events such as strokes or heart attacks.
HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is referred to as good cholesterol because it aims to clean up after LDL cholesterol. It carries LDL cholesterol to the liver, from where it can be disposed from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol also translate into lower risk of heart disease.
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As this illness can trigger lots of problems, it is important that you familiarise yourself with facts about HDL and LDL cholesterol.
Cholesterol is actually indispensable for functions such as cell membrane formation, vitamin D production, digestion and even hormone production.
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Cholesterol only shows up physically once the levels in your body are extremely high, in the form of a heart attack, stroke, gangrene or a kidney dysfunction. Only in a handful of cases are yellowish cholesterol pockets visible on the skin.
Cholesterol affects both men and women equally. Certain conditions that are exclusive to women, such as pregnancy and menopause can negatively impact cholesterol levels.
Age has little to do with cholesterol. Once you cross 20 years, check cholesterol levels every few years. Do the same for a child with a family history of early heart disease.
A score falling within the LDL cholesterol range of 100–129 is considered to be normal, while a score of 130–159 is borderline high. Should your score be 160 or more, your report is likely to state ‘LDL cholesterol high’. Remember that this is a standard, but what is ideal cholesterol for one person may not be ideal for another. For instance, if you have suffered from a heart attack or stroke, your ideal cholesterol levels will be different from someone who hasn’t.
On the contrary, doctors recommend making lifestyle changes to control high LDL cholesterol levels as far as possible. These measures also help prevent the incidence of high cholesterol in the first place, so it’s important to know what they are.
As heart attacks and strokes are complications caused by high cholesterol, it’s best to consult with a doctor regularly to check your cholesterol levels.