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What is high blood cholesterol?

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Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is found in our blood. Cholesterol is naturally produced by our body and also found in some foods. While our body needs some cholesterol to maintain good health, having high blood cholesterol level may also increase your risk of heart disease.

High Blood Cholesterol

High blood cholesterol is a condition which is caused by the high levels of certain bad fats, or lipids, in our blood. When there is a high level of cholesterol in our blood, It starts to develop fatty deposits in the blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits may obstruct the natural flow of blood through our arteries. High blood cholesterol may lead to a lack of oxygen-rich blood for the heart to function properly, which increases the risk of a Heart Attack. Due to lack of blood flow to the heart, it might not be able to flow enough blood to the brain, which may also lead to Stroke.

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Different Types and Levels of Cholesterol

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): This is the right kind of cholesterol that helps reduce high cholesterol levels. The ideal range for HDL is >60 mg/dL.  

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): This is the wrong kind of cholesterol that causes plaque buildup on arteries. The ideal range for LDL is >100 mg/dL.

Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): This is a very unhealthy kind of cholesterol that contains a high amount of Triglycerides. The ideal range for VLDL is 2-30 mg/dL.

Triglycerides: This is a terrible type of fat. The ideal range for Triglycerides is <150 mg/dL.

How do you know if you have high cholesterol level?

To understand your high cholesterol level, you need to know your total cholesterol level number.  One can get the total cholesterol level number by going through a complete test to determine HDL, LDL, and Triglyceride. Once you get the numbers, divide Triglyceride count by five or multiply by 20 percent (0.20) and then add HDL and LDL count with it. Here is what your total cholesterol level means:

  • Less than 150 mg/dL is ideal cholesterol level
  • Between 150-199 mg/dL is elevated cholesterol level
  • Between 200-499 mg/dL is high cholesterol level   
  • Higher than 500 mg/dL is extremely high cholesterol level

High cholesterol can be genetic, but in most cases, it is the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as free diet, lack of physical activity, obesity, etc. Other than the genetic factors, most of the lifestyle-related risk factors of high cholesterol can be prevented and treated. All you need is a cholesterol healthy diet, regular physical activity and sometimes medication help reducing high cholesterol level.

For more, cholesterol related tips download CircleCare App and starting learning and experiences with people with similar health conditions.

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