Hyperlipidemia is the medical term for the condition of high cholesterol. Sometimes, this condition does not cause symptoms, but it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and can lead to death. Therefore, it is important for you to be aware of this condition.
Hyperlipidemia is characterized by high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides. Both are the main fat in the blood. Cholesterol is produced naturally in the liver and can be obtained from fatty foods, such as eggs, red meat, and cheese, while triglycerides come from extra calories stored by the body.
Cholesterol is divided into 2 types, namely good cholesterol ( high density lipoprotein or HDL) and bad cholesterol ( low density lipoprotein or LDL) . Well , hyperlipidemia is caused by too much bad cholesterol in the blood and not having enough good cholesterol to clean it.
This condition can then cause blockages or plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Over time, the plaque can expand and clog arteries, which can lead to heart disease and stroke .
Hyperlipidemia Risk Factors
There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing hyperlipidemia, including:
1. Unhealthy lifestyle
Obesity, consuming too many fatty foods, smoking habits , consuming alcoholic beverages too often, and being lazy to exercise can increase bad cholesterol levels and reduce good cholesterol levels.
2. Certain drugs
Birth control pills , diuretic drugs, and certain types of antidepressants are also known to affect your cholesterol levels.
3. Certain health conditions
Abnormal cholesterol levels can be found in pregnant women and people with certain diseases, such as diabetes , kidney disease , thyroid disorders, and polycystic ovary syndrome .
Hyperlipidemia can also be genetic or hereditary. Generally, people with hereditary hyperlipidemia have high cholesterol and triglyceride levels since their teens. This condition increases the risk of early coronary heart disease and heart attack .
Symptoms can be felt within a few years, such as chest pain, mild heart attack, cramps in the calf when walking, sores on the toes that do not heal, and symptoms of a stroke .
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Hyperlipidemia
Hyperlipidemia shows almost no signs and symptoms. However, in hereditary hyperlipidemia, symptoms such as the growth of yellowish fat around the eyes and joints may appear.
To confirm the condition of hyperlipidemia, a blood test called a fat profile or lipid panel examination should be performed. The results of this examination will show total cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, good cholesterol levels and bad cholesterol.
Cholesterol levels of each person can vary depending on history and health conditions. However, normal cholesterol levels are as follows:
- Total cholesterol levels are below 200 mg/dL, and can be said to be high when above 240 mg/dL
- LDL levels are considered normal when they range from 100–129 mg/dL, and are included in the very high category when they exceed 190 mg/dL
- Triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL, and are categorized as high if they exceed 200 mg/dL
How to Overcome Hyperlipidemia
Hyperlipidemia can actually be overcome in a simple way, namely by changing and improving lifestyle. However, in some cases, hyperlipidemia must be treated by taking medical drugs.
The following are some ways to lower the risk of high cholesterol:
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet with a low-fat and high-fiber menu, maintaining your weight, exercising regularly, quitting smoking , and limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages can lower your cholesterol levels.
There are several types of drugs to treat hyperlipidemia conditions, namely:
- Statin drugs, such as simvastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin. This drug is proven effective for lowering cholesterol levels in the blood.
- nicotinic acid. This drug can lower bad cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.
- Fibrates, which are other types of drugs to lower triglyceride levels and increase good cholesterol levels.
To overcome hyperlipidemia, in addition to living a healthy lifestyle, you need to have regular blood tests regularly so that fat levels in the body are monitored. You can also consult a doctor to determine the right steps for treating hyperlipidemia according to your condition.