High cholesterol problems: habits to avoid

If you are at least 20, you should measure your cholesterol levels at least once every five years using a blood test called a lipoprotein test.

Having high cholesterol problems poses a health threat that can strike without warning. In fact, you may only notice this because you have undergone a routine test or after some symptoms appear. How is it possible if you do not overdo it with fats or with sausages or red meat?

There are several factors that can have a decisive influence on bad cholesterol levels . Read on, take note and improve the situation!

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is necessary for the body, but if present in excessive quantities, it accumulates in the blood vessels and causes various cardiovascular diseases.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fatty substance found everywhere in the body and in the blood. It has numerous useful functions, which contribute to maintaining a good state of health. It helps cells function properly and plays a key role in the production of certain hormones.

Despite this, an excess of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident .

How are cholesterol levels measured?

If you are 20 or older, you should measure your cholesterol levels at least once every five years through a blood test called a lipoprotein test. This exam provides information regarding:

  • Total cholesterol : is the total amount of cholesterol present in the blood. It includes both types: low-intensity lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-intensity lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Bad cholesterol (LDL) : It builds up in the arteries and can clog them.
  • Good Cholesterol (HDL) : Helps eliminate excess cholesterol.

Habits that could make high cholesterol problems worse

1. Stress

Some studies associate stress hormones with increased blood cholesterol levels.

Stress is an increasingly frequent problem which, in the long term and in a lasting way, can cause significant consequences on our body. Is it also responsible for an increase in cholesterol?

Stress can raise blood pressure and cause insomnia , alter routines and impair cognitive performance, as well as mood. In addition to this, one study found that mental and emotional stress causes an 11% increase in cholesterol in some healthy males.

A link has also been found between cholesterol and cortisol, the stress hormone, which appears to play a key role in the relationship between cardiovascular diseases and dyslipidemia.

2. Alcohol

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol has been shown to regulate good cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Drinking too much alcohol, on the other hand, can be bad for blood lipid profiles and ultimately heart health. We therefore recommend a moderate consumption of alcohol to avoid endangering your health.

3. Tobacco is to be avoided if you have high cholesterol problems

Tobacco, in addition to increasing cholesterol levels in the blood, increases the predisposition to suffer from other cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Smoking damages the cardiovascular system in several ways, including through oxygen depletion and heart damage. Nicotine increases platelet aggregation, cholesterol and triglycerides present in the blood.

Carbon monoxide also increases blood cholesterol levels, which is why smoking light cigarettes is just as counterproductive. The smoker actually inhales more smoke to compensate for lower doses of nicotine.

4. Oral contraceptives

Contraceptives have several side effects for women’s health . These include an increase in cholesterol.

Gestagen birth control pills contain only one class of hormones and usually come in the form of minipills. These contraceptives offer numerous benefits and are very effective, as well as being able to be taken while breastfeeding. Unfortunately, however, they also exert a hypercholesterolemic effect.

This often leads to an increase in bad cholesterol, or LDL, and lowers good cholesterol, or HDL. Therefore, if you follow a gestagen-based therapy, you must regularly undergo control exams, after a few months.

Problems with high cholesterol? Remember

A balance in terms of cholesterol is required in order to prevent various cardiovascular diseases. A healthy diet and exercise are essential factors for living healthy and improving high cholesterol problems.

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