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Hypercholesterolemia and Hypertriglyceridemia

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High cholesterol and high triglycerides are very common among the general population.  Most of the time having high levels of lipids is due to a diet high in fatty foods, lack of exercise, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, being overweight and hereditary components.

What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a type of lipid (fat) that runs in the bloodstream. We need a certain amount of cholesterol for certain body functions, but having a high level of cholesterol increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, renal failure,  and other complications since cholesterol can clog your arteries from any site in your body. Normal cholesterol levels should be less than 200 mg/dl.

Is it true that there is good and bad cholesterol? Yes, HDL or high density lipids are called “good cholesterol” and should be over 40mg/dl. Also there are LDL and VLDL cholesterol which are low density and very low density lipids respectively and these are called “bad cholesterol”. LDL should be less than 100mg/dl, and VLDL less than 30 mg/dl. Having a low HDL and high LDL level increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

What are triglycerides? Triglycerides are another type of fat created in your body, and levels should be below 150mg/dl. An excess of this type of fat puts you at an increased risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) which is usually a medical emergency and requires hospitalization. Triglycerides can be increased by a diet very high in carbohydrates (sugars), excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and having other diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.

How can I lower cholesterol and triglycerides? Cholesterol and triglycerides can be lowered through a healthy diet, exercise and for higher levels medicine may be necessary.

Exercise and a healthy diet can prevent or delay the appearance of high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

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