A disease caused by the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the thickness of the vascular walls is called atherosclerosis. Pathology is generalized, but the degree of damage to different parts of the vascular bed is not the same. This is related to the division of systemic disease into separate nosological units.
The most dangerous complication of atherosclerotic lesions of the vascular bed is tissue necrosis due to the cessation of blood supply: myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, gangrene of the limb or intestines. In order not to cause such a pathology, it is necessary to periodically be examined for the content of LDL and HDL in the blood, as well as other indicators of lipid metabolism.
Among patients, it is customary to distinguish between cholesterol as “bad” or “good.” Among specialists – on LDL and HDL. What is the difference between the fractions?
Lipophilic alcohol is not soluble cholesterol, so its molecules circulate in the bloodstream packed in protein coatings. Such biological compounds are called lipoproteins.
- Low density lipoproteins (LDL) are the main transport complexes that deliver cholesterol to tissue and organ cells for their needs. They are slightly soluble, tend to lose cholesterol crystals during transportation, which attach to the walls of veins and arteries and form atherosclerotic plaques. Because of their atherogenicity, they were called “bad” cholesterol.
- High density lipoproteins (HDL) are dense, are not inclined to lose cholesterol, but rather, pick up its excess from the bloodstream and carry it to the liver for subsequent disposal from the intestines with bile ac >
Age, Total cholesterol LDL HDL 60 – 65 4,4 – 7,6 2,5 – 5,8 0,9 – 2,3 60 – 70 4,4 – 7,8 2,3 – 5,7 0,9 – 2,4 70 and older 4,4 – 7,2 2,4 – 5,3 0,8 – 2,3
The norm of total cholesterol in the blood of women after 60 years should not exceed 7,6-7,8 units. However, these values do not reflect the exact clinical picture. The risks of complications from the cardiovascular system are evaluated taking into account the level of individual fractions of cholesterol:
- an increase in the number of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) more than 5,7-5,8 mmol / l against the background of a low content of high molecular weight seriously increases the risk of complications;
- an increase in high-density lipoproteins (HDL) above 2,4 units, even with low-density borderline indicators, gives a favorable prognosis.
The deposition of cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels as a result of its high concentration in the blood.
For a long time, high cholesterol in the blood may not make itself felt: obvious clinical signs appear when the lumen of the blood vessels is already narrowed by two-thirds of the original.
The result of a small intake of nutrients and oxygen to organs and tissues can be:
- malignant angina pectoris;
- intermittent claudication;
- heart attacks – brain, myocardium, intestines, kidneys;
- sudden cardiac arrest.
Chronic pathologies and provoking factors can lead to an increase in blood cholesterol in the blood:
- bad habits – alcohol abuse, smoking;
- unbalanced diet with a predominance of saturated animal fats or low-fat foods;
- high body mass index;
- abdominal obesity;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- low stability;
- the use of certain medications: diuretics, hypotensive, hormonal;
- diabetes mellitus type I and II;
- renal or hepatic insufficiency;
- hypofunction of the thyroid gland.
Women in the postmenapausal period are especially susceptible to hypercholesterolemia: in their body, the production of estrogen that inhibits cholesterol synthesis is stopped.
Therapy includes several main areas: adjusting the diet and principles of nutrition; lifestyle in general; the use of lipid-lowering drugs.
The need to adhere to a diet with elevated cholesterol in women after 60 years is due to the exchange-food theory of the formation of atherosclerosis, where cholesterol, which is ingested with food, is the main culprit in the formation of fatty plaques.
Healthy and unhealthy fats.
Correction of the diet implies the limitation of LDL-forming products:
- trans fats (margarine, spread, mayonnaise);
- fatty meat and saturated broths;
- fatty dairy and dairy products;
- fast food;
- offal and semi-finished products;
- smoked products;
- bakery, pastry shops.
To determine the level of cholesterol and its binding proteins, it is recommended to take blood from the cubital vein for biochemistry once a year. After the appointment of therapy, the results of drug exposure are examined every 3 months. With long-term treatment, you can purchase a special device for measuring cholesterol at home, saving on regular blood tests in the laboratory.
In women, an increase in cholesterol is observed during pregnancy. Therefore, expectant mothers do not need to worry, even with a cholesterol level of 6,9 mmol / L.
The most common reason for increasing sterol concentration is an unhealthy lifestyle. If a person moves a little, is overweight, smokes, abuses alcohol, his cholesterol level will be guaranteed to be increased.
An increase in sterol is typical for some diseases: diabetes mellitus, thyroid hormone deficiency, growth hormone, liver pathologies, and bile duct obstruction. There are hereditary diseases accompanied by impaired cholesterol metabolism. The most common are familial heterozygous, homozygous hypercholesterolemia. However, these pathologies are most often accompanied by an increase in sterol levels above 10 mmol / L.
High cholesterol in young women most often develops with oral contraceptives. Some other drugs can trigger an increase in sterol: diuretics, androgens, cyclosporins, vitamin D, amiodarone.
Cholesterol is a lipid substance that is part of the cells of our body. It can be formed directly from food, but is mainly produced by the liver. Performing many functions in the body, it is vital, but its excess is a threat to life.
The development of a pathological condition can be affected by the concentration of “bad” and “good” lipoproteins.
- Bad cholesterol or LDL. It can accumulate on the vascular walls. Dangerous is the increase in this indicator, which indicates the development of atherosclerotic vascular lesions.
- HDL They contribute to the removal of cholesterol from the lumen of the vessels and prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. These substances should be more than 1,42 mmol / liter in women and above 1, 68 for men. Pathology is a decrease in this indicator.
- Total cholesterol. It should not exceed 5 mmol / liter, and when it is higher, this indicates an error in the diet, which can provoke an imbalance of lipoproteins.
- Triglycer >Values of cholesterol by age and gender differences
Gender Age Normal value measured in mmol / liter General indicator LDL HDL Women Under 35 years old 2,9-6,3 1,8-4,3 0,8-2,1 36 years and older 3,5-7,3 1,9-5,4 0,9-2,5 Men Until 35 2,9-5,7 1,8-4,4 0,9-1,8 From 36 50 years up 3,4-7,8 2,05,4 0,7-1,8
The indicator of lipoproteins in the blood can increase if a woman has menopause.
The presence of such diseases or risk factors in a patient can provoke high cholesterol in the blood:
- smoking or drinking alcohol;
- frequent stress;
- excessive consumption of fatty foods;
- hypertonic disease;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- menopause in women;
- hormonal imbalance;
- advanced age;
- heart failure;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- hereditary predisposition.
Bad habits must pass away from a person’s life.
At a cholesterol level of 6, the patient is advised to change his lifestyle, get rid of bad habits and change his diet. It is necessary to abandon the use of fatty, fried and spicy foods, and preference should be given to fresh vegetables and fruits. It will also be useful to perform physical exercises and a full sleep.
Cholesterol of 6 mmol / liter and higher can cause complications such as:
- narrowing and blockage of arteries;
- ischemia followed by tissue necrosis;
- myocardial infarction;
- angina pectoris;
All these complications are caused by impaired blood flow in vital organs. This is caused by the accumulation of LDL on the inner wall of blood vessels with their subsequent fouling with connective tissues and the formation of blood clots on their surface. In this case, the blood flow in the affected vessel is disrupted or completely stopped, which leads to ischemia and subsequent tissue necrosis.
- How long does the treatment last and when will the first results be tangible?
- Characteristic signs of a violation
- How long does the treatment last and when will the first results be tangible?
- Low cholesterol
- Cholesterol – harm or benefit?
- How to control cholesterol
- What indicators, in addition to total cholesterol, should be considered
How long does the treatment last and when will the first results be tangible?
The first stage of interpretation is determining the norm of cholesterol by age and gender. The ideal option is to find out the normal cholesterol levels in the laboratory that conducted the study. The method of measuring the level of sterol, reagents can affect the normal values accepted by a particular center. If such a table is not at hand, use the averaged indicators.
Table. Normal cholesterol in women, men of different ages.
Let’s look at the breakdown of the analysis using an example. Cholesterol 6,7: what does it mean. Suppose you are a woman of 35 years old. According to the table, the sterol norm corresponding to a given age is 3,37-5,96 mmol / L. That is, the indicator 6,7 exceeds the norm of cholesterol by 12,4%. Such a deviation is unlikely to indicate serious problems in the present.
Most likely, high cholesterol is a consequence of malnutrition and / or lifestyle. However, one should not take lightly to a slight increase in sterol. According to statistics, people with cholesterol more than 6,5 mmol / l have a four-fold risk of developing myocardial infarction, stroke, compared with those whose cholesterol is normal.
The complex use of non-medical and medicinal methods already in the second week of using statins allows you to start the reduction process. Fully statins reveal their potential after three weeks of regular use and retain it throughout the course of therapy.
The first tangible results are noticeable after 2-2,5 months. And the duration of treatment depends on the clinical picture and how timely the therapy was started. It is possible to restore cholesterol in 8-36 months of regular use. In severe and advanced cases, treatment can last throughout life.
Characteristic signs of a violation
The initial stage of atherosclerosis is asymptomatic: according to statistics, 67% of patients with high cholesterol are unaware of their pathology.
Hypercholesterolemia can occur:
- apathy, drowsiness;
- mood swings;
- pain behind the sternum or in the right hypochondrium
- heaviness, feeling of stiffness in the legs;
- severe varicose veins of the lower extremities;
- swelling of the face, ankles, legs;
- rattling of the feet during physical exertion;
- coldness or numbness of the fingers and toes;
The presence of two or more symptoms indicates the need to check the level of cholesterol and lipoproteins. The neglected stages of hypercholesterolemia give themselves out as small subcutaneous adipose tissue – xanthomas (xanthelasms) around the eyes or on other parts of the body and require lowering its level.
The predominance of foods containing large amounts of animal fats in the diet. Not only butter, lard or eggs fall into the category of culprits, but also dietary meat.
The reasons for the high concentration of “good” or “bad” cholesterol.
Decreased cholesterol causes more concern than its elevated content. This is due to the particular seriousness of the causes that cause a low level of concentration of a substance in the blood:
- pathological changes in the liver caused by organic lesions or diseases;
- meals based on low-fat foods;
- fasting without prior consultation and medical supervision;
- the use of foods containing a large amount of fast carbohydrates;
- infectious diseases;
- poisoning caused by inorganic substances;
- genetic predisposition.
How long does the treatment last and when will the first results be tangible?
The problem of hypercholesterolemia is dealt with by local therapists and general practitioners. At extremely high rates, a woman is referred for medical advice to a cardiologist and gynecologist-endocrinologist.
However, if the causes of violations have passed into the category of chronic, the body requires timely treatment. Lack of any help will result in:
- decrease in reproductive function up to persistent infertility;
- obesity caused by the inability of cells to process fats;
- mental disorders (prolonged depression, panic attacks);
- chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- hemorrhagic stroke;
- vitamin deficiency (A, D, E);
- pathology of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), leading to increased production of thyroid hormones.
Each of these reasons, in turn, can provoke the development of malignant neoplasms. In addition, the risk of sudden death of a person in a dream increases.
Correction of cholesterol begins with the appointment of a diet, lifestyle adjustment – two main factors affecting the concentration of sterol. A person is advised to give up cigarettes, exercise moderation when drinking alcohol, go in for sports, or at least begin to move regularly. The diet should meet the following rules:
- Minimum saturated fat, maximum unsaturated. The first ones are rich in egg yolk, red meat, especially fatty varieties, cream, fatty cottage cheese, cheese. Good sources of unsaturated lipids are a variety of vegetable oils, except palm, coconut, nuts, seeds, fatty fish;
- No to trans fats. They increase the level of bad cholesterol, lower the content of good. Trans fats contain margarine, cookies, pastries. They can hide in other foods, so it is recommended to study the nutritional value of the product before buying;
- Vegetables, cereals, legumes – the basis of the diet. They are rich in dietary fiber, slow carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals. Fruits are not inferior to them in the content of fiber, vitamins, minerals, but they contain a lot of sugars. Because of this, it is recommended to control their quantity;
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids regularly. Cod, mackerel, sardine, herring, tuna, salmon must be present on a person’s table at least 2 times / week. Plant sources of omega-3 acids – chia, flax seeds;
- 1,5-2 liters of water / day. If the body does not receive enough clean water, it begins to produce more cholesterol, which protects cells from moisture deficiency.
The second important point in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia is the fight against concomitant chronic diseases: diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid insufficiency. Without their control, it is impossible to stabilize cholesterol. Typically, the treatment of these diseases involves life-long administration of drugs:
- insulin for diabetics;
- antihypertensive drugs – hypertension;
- thyroid hormones – for patients with hypothyroidism.
Usually, the problem of high cholesterol can be solved at the stage of diet, lifestyle correction, treatment of chronic diseases. Especially with slight increases. If these actions are not enough, the patient is prescribed lipid-lowering drugs that lower cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, which increase the concentration of HDL.
The first choice drugs are statins. However, if it is only necessary to slightly lower the concentration of sterol, omega-3 fatty acid preparations are more appropriate. They have weaker actions, but much safer. For example, cholesterol of 6,7 mmol / L is a slight increase for a woman of 30 years. It is not allowed to prescribe statins in such cases, and omega-3 fatty acid preparations are possible.
Higher medical education. Kirov State Medical Academy (KSMA). The local therapist.
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Last Updated: August 22, 2019
With a slight increase in cholesterol concentration, it is possible to normalize it through a healthy diet. A proper diet should include:
- Many sources of fiber, slowly digestible carbohydrates. The basis of the diet should be vegetables, fruits, cereals, bran. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, slow carbohydrates, minerals. It is useful to eat a tablespoon of bran daily. It contains a lot of fiber, vitamins of group B.
- A limited number of foods rich in saturated fats: red meat, animal fat, palm, coconut oil. They increase cholesterol. The use of food containing trans fats (snacks, fast food, store cookies, pastries, margarine) is desirable to completely eliminate.
- Foods rich in unsaturated fats: vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, flax seeds. Such lipids are called good. They cover the body’s need for fats, but do not contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Of course, with moderate consumption.
- Fatty fish or vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids: almonds, walnuts, seeds. They lower cholesterol, improve heart function.
- Adequate amount of water. If there is a threat of dehydration, the body reacts to it by increasing cholesterol synthesis.
Normalize weight, sterol concentration helps sports. It is advisable to give preference to aerobic exercise: walking, running, cycling, swimming. However, any kind of physical activity, including long walks, is suitable.
Drug correction for cholesterol 5.2-5.9 is extremely rare.
Controlling cholesterol is important from childhood. It is proved that cholesterol plaques are able to form in children from 8 years old. First of all, to prevent the formation of deposits helps a healthy diet, weight control of the child. If he is diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to achieve normalization of sugar levels.
All children 9-11, 17-21 years old are recommended to take prophylactic tests for cholesterol. A child who has several risk factors for developing atherosclerosis or a type of hereditary hypercholesterolemia should undergo the first test at an earlier age.
- Protein Enriched Diet Thanks to this nutrition, it is possible to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, preventing the formation of plaques in places of damage to the vascular wall.
- Timely supply of the body with vitamins and minerals contained in food. Additionally, vitamin-mineral complexes are taken. The duration of the course is determined by the doctor individually.
- A sufficient amount of physical activity.
- Eating foods rich in healthy fats (such as foods high in omega-3s).
- Weight loss in obesity.
The main condition in the process of normalizing the balance of LDL and HDL is not to supply your body with excessive portions of “right”, from the point of view of the person, components. It is enough to adhere to the rule of the “golden mean.” In gratitude, the body will make the originally laid functions work. Provided that treatment measures were started only after a thorough diagnosis.
- animal fat,
- sour cream,
- fat cottage cheese
- butter bread
Of course, dietary restrictions should be reasonable. Indeed, the same eggs and dairy products contain many useful proteins and trace elements for the body. So in moderation they should still be consumed. Here you can give preference to low-fat varieties of products, for example, dairy products with a low fat content.
Sometimes the opposite situation can also occur – lowering the level of cholesterol in the body. This state of affairs also does not bode well. Cholesterol deficiency means that the body has nowhere to take material to produce hormones and build new cells. This situation is dangerous, primarily for the nervous system and brain, and can lead to depression and memory impairment. The following factors may cause abnormally low cholesterol:
- malabsorption syndrome,
- extensive burns
- severe liver disease
- some types of anemia,
- taking drugs (MAO inhibitors, interferon, estrogens).
In order to increase cholesterol, some foods may also be used. First of all, it is the liver, eggs, cheeses, caviar.
Cholesterol – harm or benefit?
Thus, cholesterol lacks useful work in the body. And, nevertheless, are those who claim that cholesterol is unhealthy right? Yes, that’s right, and that’s why.
All cholesterol is divided into two main varieties – these are high density lipoproteins (HDL) or the so-called alpha-cholesterol and low density lipoproteins (LDL). Both varieties have their normal blood levels.
Cholesterol of the first type is called “good”, and the second – “bad.” What is the terminology related to? With the fact that low density lipoproteins tend to be deposited on the walls of blood vessels. It is from them that atherosclerotic plaques are made, which can close the lumen of the vessels and cause such severe cardiovascular diseases as coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
It is worth noting that the division of cholesterol into “bad” and “good” is rather arbitrary. Even LDL is extremely important for the functioning of the body, and if you remove them from it, then the person simply can not live. It is only about the fact that exceeding the norm of LDL is much more dangerous than exceeding HDL. Also important is such a parameter as total cholesterol – the amount of cholesterol in which all its varieties are taken into account.
How does cholesterol end up in the body? Contrary to popular belief, most of the cholesterol is generated in the liver, and does not enter the body with food. If we consider HDL, then this type of lipid is almost entirely formed in this organ. As for LDL, it’s more complicated. About three quarters of “bad” cholesterol is also formed in the liver, but 20-25% actually enters the body from the outside.
That is why it is important for a person to know what cholesterol he has, what norm he should have. And this is not only total cholesterol, HDL and LDL. Cholesterol also contains very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) and triglycerides. VLDL are synthesized in the intestine and are responsible for transporting fat to the liver. They are biochemical precursors of LDL. However, the presence of this type of cholesterol in the blood is negligible.
Triglycerides are esters of higher fatty acids and glycerol. They are one of the most common fats in the body, playing a very important role in the metabolism and being a source of energy. If their number is within normal limits, then there is nothing to worry about. Another thing is their excess. In this case, they are just as dangerous as LDL.
Lowering triglycerides can be associated with lung diseases, hyperthyroidism, and vitamin C deficiency. VLDL is a form of cholesterol that is also very important. These lipids also take part in the clogging of blood vessels, so it is important to ensure that their number does not go beyond the established limits.
How to control cholesterol
It is important to regularly monitor how much cholesterol is in the blood. To do this, you need to take a blood test for cholesterol. Usually this procedure is done on an empty stomach. 12 hours before the analysis, you do not need to eat anything, but you can drink only plain water. If drugs are taken that contribute to cholesterol, then they should also be discarded during this period. You should also ensure that in the period before passing the tests there would be no physical or psychological stress.
Analyzes can be taken at the clinic. Blood in a volume of 5 ml is taken from a vein. There are also special instruments that allow you to measure cholesterol at home. They are equipped with disposable test strips.
For which risk groups is a cholesterol blood test especially important? These people include:
- men after 40 years old
- women after menopause
- patients with diabetes
- having a heart attack or stroke,
- obese or overweight
- leading a sedentary lifestyle,
What indicators, in addition to total cholesterol, should be considered
The cholesterol molecule is poorly soluble and motionless. Therefore, for its delivery to the desired part of the body, in the blood, it binds to protein complexes – lipoproteins, in the composition of which it is transported.
All blood cholesterol is divided into a number of fractions, depending on what it transfers – chylomicrons, low, very low and high density lipoproteins (LDL, VLDL and HDL, respectively). Conventionally, all cholesterol is also divided into good and bad.
Good cholesterol is HDL. These molecules contribute to maintaining a healthy state of the heart and blood vessels, strengthen their wall and are antagonists of “bad” cholesterol. In turn, poor cholesterol is represented by LDL and VLDL – these fractions, with their excess, begin to adhere to the walls of the vessels and infiltrate it.
In order to timely reveal the debut of such a problem, you need to not only monitor the level of total cholesterol itself, but also monitor lipid profile points such as triglycerides, atherogenicity coefficient, and individual cholesterol fractions.
Insufficient cholesterol is a high risk of hemorrhage. Its lack of blood does not allow the vascular wall to recover, its elasticity is lost. Its fragility increases and, as a result, hemorrhages (hemorrhages) occur in tissues, sclera, and brain.
Also low rates are dangerous:
- serotonin deficiency, resulting in depressive states, suicidal thoughts, dementia and senility;
- osteoporosis – due to inhibition of vitamin D production;
- high intestinal permeability syndrome – reverse absorption of toxins and metabolic products from the intestine;
- obesity – due to impaired lipid metabolism;
- insulin resistance – the occurrence of type II diabetes mellitus;
The established norms of total cholesterol, high-density and low-density lipoproteins are not only one of the biochemical indicators, but an indicator of the ongoing processes of fat utilization in the body.
Cholesterol is an important compound for the body, its deviations from the norm to a greater or lesser extent, especially in old age, inevitably lead to pathologies of the heart and blood vessels – ischemia (heart attacks, strokes) or hemorrhages. Therefore, it is necessary to seek medical help not only with an excess of the substance but also with its deficiency.
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