High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol in simpler term called as hyperlipidemia is considered as one of the major harmful phenomena and acts as supportive aid to many heart diseases.Other names of Hyperlipidemia are Hypercholesterolemia,HyperLipoproteinemia, Dyslipidemia, Lipidemia .

We need to understand few basic things for better understanding of high cholesterol.Let us have a quick look.

What is Lipid?

Our blood contains fat-like substances called as lipids(i.e:cholesterol,butter,vegetable oils and many more).Every body requires small amount of lipid to function properly.When lipid levels raises to more than required amount then it will start affecting internal organs mainly heart.

What are healthy lipid levels?

1)Total cholesterol should be less than 200mg/dL.
2)HDL cholesterol should be 40 mg/dL or higher.
3)LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL.

What is Lipoprotein?
In our body lipids are transported through bloodstream as macromolecular complex of lipids and proteins known as lipoproteins(Transporters).In simple it is a carrier of lipids through blood.

More about Lipoprotein
Lipoproteins  consists of  a central core of hydrophobic lipid covered  by hydrophilic coat of polar phospholipid,free cholesterol and apoproteins and identified by muscle cells through Lipoprotein receptors.

Lipoproteins can be classified into  four types

1)High Density Lipoprotein(HDL):This is a good cholesterol.Responsible for carrying extra cholesterol back to liver,where it is removed.
2)Low Density Lipoprotein(LDL):It carries mostly cholesterol, some protein, and less fat throughout your circulation.It builds up bad cholesterol in the blood.
3)Very Low Density Lipoprotein(VLDL):It carries less protein and mainly fat.
4)Chylomicrons:It is responsible for the transport of cholesterol and fats from the small intestine to tissues.

What is high cholesterol or Hyperlipidemia?

Hyperlipidemia is an abnormal raise of  Lipids  or Lipoprotein levels in the systemic blood circulation, mainly caused due to the genetic factors, habits(diet, alcoholism) or sometimes caused as consequence of other diseases like diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, chronic renal failure, liver diseases.

Hyperlipidemia Symptoms:

Although there are no direct symptoms,few signs can be noted in some cases:

  • Fatty nodules in the skin and eye lids
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fat deposits in palms and sometimes over joints


Types of Hyperlipidemia:

Hyperlipidemia  is generally of two types Primary and secondary.
Primary Hyperlipidemia also called as Familial Hyperlipidemia can be classified into six sub types based on raise level of different lipoproteins.This type of hyperlipidemia is caused due to genetic.

Below table can be read as follow.
Example(Type 1):If there is a raise in Chylomicrons then it is a Type1 hyperlipidemia.Person with Type1 would have Cholesterol,triglyceride,Atherosclerosis risk.There is no treatment available.Cause for Type1 hyperlipidemia is decreased lipoprotein lipase(LPL).


Type Type of Lipoprotein(Based on Raise level) Cholesterol Triglycerides Atherosclerosis risk Treatment Available Cause of raise level
1 Chylomicrons YES YES NO RISK NO Decreased lipoprotein lipase(LPL)
2 LDL YES YES HIGH YES LDL receptor deficiency
4 βVLDL YES YES MODERATE YES Defect in Apo E 2 synthesis
5 VLDL YES YES MODERATE YES Increased VLDL production and decreased elimination
6 Chylomicrons+VLDL YES YES MODERATE YES Increased VLDL production and decreased LPL


Secondary Type  also called as Acquired hyperlipidemia is mainly caused as associated disease for many acute and chronic diseases.The most common causes of acquired hyperlipidemia are:

    • Diabetes
    • Use of drugs such as Diuretics, Hormones ,Anti hypertension drugs
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Renal failure
    • Nephrotic syndrome
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Some rare endocrine disorders and metabolic disorders


Hyperlipidemia causes:

1)Familial hyperlipidemia is caused due to genetic factors.
2)Acquired hyperlipidemia is caused due to habits(diet, alcoholism) or sometimes caused as consequence of other diseases like Diabetes mellitus, Hypothyroidism, Chronic Renal Failure, Liver Diseases.

Hyperlipidemia Treatment :

After careful study of lipid profile along with risk factors,your doctor may suggest various medications to you.Most commonly prescribed medicines are:

  • Statins
  • Fibrates
  • Inhibitors of Cholesterol Absorption
  • Fish oil Derivatives


But greatest remedy to avoid  high cholesterol is controlled weight,proper lifestyle,good health habits and good diet habits.

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