Health and Wellness

Cholesterol: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

cholesterol causes symtoms and treatments
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Cholesterol Causes, Symptoms and Treatment are a matter of concern because it causes many cardiovascular problems, even heart attack. But it gives hardly any symptom initially.

You will find this waxy, fat-like substance in all the cells of a human body. A human requires this cholesterol to a certain extent. You will also get it in the foods which we take from animal sources like meat, egg, cheese and etc.

If you have excess cholesterol in your blood, then it may form plaque combining with other substances in the blood. These plaques narrow the arteries as they stick in the wall of the arteries. Even, they may block the arteries. This process is called atherosclerosis which may lead to coronary artery disease.

Cholesterol: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment:

Generally, it is an important substance for the body. In fact, it is waxy and fat-like substance. We will find it in every cell of our body. It is both good and bad for human health. The human body produces it. But, people consume it with their food also. The essential natural functions of cholesterol are

Cholesterol HDL and LDL

source google image

  • Producing hormones.
  • digesting foods.
  • Generating vitamin D.

If its concentration level increases in our body, then it becomes a silent killer. Because it then throws us in the danger of heart attack.

What is cholesterol?

To begin with, it is a vital substance, produced in the human liver. We also get it from our food. As plants cannot create it, therefore we get it only in animal products such as dairy, cheese, egg yolks and meat. ( may read chicken korma curry).

Also, try a very tasty recipe: Indian spicy prawn masala.

As it is oil-based, waxy substance, therefore it never mixes with blood. Our blood is water-based. It travels throughout the body in lipoproteins.

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Cholesterols are two types:

  • Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol.
  • High-density lipoproteins (HDL) or ‘good’ cholesterol.

(Lipoproteins are particles that help to transport them as they do not mix-up with blood).

Fast facts on cholesterol:

  • Generally, a high level of it hardly gives any symptom.
  • At first, our body produces it. Moreover, we get it from our food.
  • The risk of it may develop due to family history.
  • However, our liver produces 75% of it and the rest 25% we get from our food.
  • Further, it may be the variable lifestyle choices of food and exercise.
  • When its level is very high, then the doctor usually preferred statin, a lipid-lowering drug.
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Types of cholesterol:

They are two types:

What is  Low-density lipoproteins or LDL?

It carries cholesterol particles in our entire body. In the first place, these build up in the walls of our arteries. As a result, they make the arteries hard and narrow. As a result, it hampers oxygen-rich blood circulation and may lead to the blood clot.

Why LDL is Bad?

See the above. Therefore, it is bad.

What is High-density lipoproteins or HDL?

It picks up the unnecessary cholesterol throughout our body and brings them back to our liver. Here, they are broken down and removed from our body. As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is better if our HDL level is 60mg/dL or more. It can protect our body in many ways. In case, it goes below 40mg/dL, then there are chances of heart diseases.

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Why HDL is Good?

See the above. Therefore, it is good.

What is Triglyceride?

Moreover, triglycerides are one sort of fat in our blood. Like LDL, this fat molecule can also narrow and harden the arteries. High level of triglycerides increases cardiovascular complications as well as diseases. It may be even a heart attack.

Why Triglyceride is Bad?

Read the above. Therefore, triglycerides are bad.


In fact, there is another bad cholesterol which is very low-density lipoprotein or VLDL. It also contributes to developing plaque in arteries. It mainly carries triglycerides.

Why VLDL is bad?

See the above. So, it is bad.

A lipid profile also measures them along with LDL and HDL. Rise of triglycerides in the human body increases the risk of several heart problems.

Functions of Cholesterol:

Functions of Chloesterol

source google image

It performs four major functions which are extremely necessary for our survival.

These functions are:

  • At first, they play a vital role in the formation of cell walls. Indeed, it provides strength and flexibility to our cell membranes.
  • Secondly, they help the body to produce vitamin D.
  • Thirdly, they allow the body to create certain hormones.
  • Further, they are building blocks of human tissues.
  • Besides, they make up digestive bile acids in our intestine.

How to calculate total cholesterol?

If we know how to calculate it, then it will essentially help us to understand how to maintain a healthy heart. We will show a doctor.

Cholesterol test:

When a doctor sees any below-mentioned symptoms, he can suggest for a cholesterol test. It is popular as a lipid profile or lipoprotein profile. Here, we can know the level or count of

  • LDL
  • HDL
  • Total cholesterol.
  • Triglycerides
  • VLDL

In fact, this test is very easy. Experts or doctors will take some blood. This is so simple. Only we have to fast for around 9-12 hours for an accurate result before the blood is drawn in the morning.

Recommended levels of cholesterol for adults:

At first, there are three categories for counting.

  • Total
  • LDL
  • HDL

It tends to increase in men with age. Whereas, women’s level of it increases at the period of menopause. Generally, men tend to have a higher level of it than women. Normally children do not contain a high amount of cholesterol. Their count remains a little low than adults.

Total count:

It is a sum of LDL, HDL and one-fifth of triglycerides.

So. Total count=LDL+HDL+triglycerides/5.

If anyone’s LDL is 100, HDL is 60, Triglycerides is 150, then

total count of cholesterol will be 100+60+150/5

or 100+60+30

or 190

LDL Level:

Normally LDL level shall remain below 100mg/dL. The LDL level for a healthy person without any medical condition will be

  • Ideal: 100 mg/dL
  • Slight optimal: 100-129 mg/dL or may be ok for those who have to the health issue. But it is dangerous for them who have heart problems.
  • Borderline high:130 to 159mg/dL .
  • High: 160-189mg/dL.
  • Severely high: Anything more than 190mg/dL.

HDL Level:

As HDL is good for our health, so we need it in optimum quantity for our better health.

  • High risk: When the count is below 40 mg/dL, it may be dangerous for our heart.
  • Borderline Risk: If the count is between 41-59 mg/dL, then it is borderline low.
  • Ideal: If the level is 60 mg/dL or more, then it is good for us.

Cholesterol Total count level:

  • Ideal: Desirable level of total count for an adult is 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
  • Elevated: From 200-239 mg/dL, it is borderline high.
  • High: If total count passes the count of 240 mg/dL or more, then it is high.

Triglycerides level:

Ideal: However, Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL is good or desirable.

Borderline: From 150-199 mg/dL is borderline levels.

High: Anything above 200-499 mg/dL is high levels.

Extremely high: Higher than 500 mg/dL. It is dangerous.

VLDL level:

Normal VLDL level is 2-30 mg/dL. (0.1 to 1.7 mmol/l).

Cholesterol foods:

foods for lowering chloesterol

source google image

The following foods are highly effective to maintain cholesterol. We may add these foods to lower the LDL.

  • Eggs:
  • A large egg contains 211 mg of it or 70% of RDI. In fact, eating whole eggs is helpful to increase the HDL level. A healthy adult can eat up to 3 eggs daily. Apart from this, it is a rich source of highly absorbable protein. Additionally, it is high in B vitamins, vitamin A and selenium.
  • Barley and other whole grains.
  • Vegetable oils: Using safflower, canola, avocado, sunflower or olive oil instead of butter or shortening can aid to lower LDL.
  • Beans: Kidney beans, black beans, lentils contain rich amount of soluble fibre that helps to remove the cholesterol out of the body. Recent studies revealed daily 4.5 ounces of beans lowers LDL levels by 5%.
  • Oats: Oats along with banana or strawberries.
  • Fatty fish.
  • Apples, strawberries, grapes, citrus fruits, pears are rich in pectin. It is a soluble fibre that can lower LDL.
  • Some fibre supplement. We will get it in apricot. Another fibre rich item is superfood coconut.
  • Soy: Soy milk, edamame, tofu and etc. are a good source of protein. If we can eat 25 grams of it daily, then it may help to reduce cholesterol by 5-6%.
  • Nuts: Eating 2 ounces of nuts, walnuts, almonds, peanuts and others can lower LDL. Furthermore, in many ways, they are good for our heart health.
  • Fish: Fish like sardines, salmon, halibut, albacore tuna and etc. are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce triglycerides in the blood.
  • Tea: Both green and black tea contain powerful antioxidants that may lower cholesterol level.

However, fast food, fried foods, desserts, processed meats are rich in cholesterol but harmful to us. Therefore, we will try to minimize them or if possible stop them. ( may read mangoes as well as lemons).

 Cholesterol diet:

If we can follow the below diet chart, then it can help us to reduce the level of it from our body. The diets are as follows.

Eat fruits and vegetables:

Intake of Fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to lower LDL level. Many studies also revealed this.

Honey also works well to control cholesterol.

Use herbs and spices:

In fact, they are nutritional powerhouse as they contain a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If we use them in our cooking, then they help to lower LDL level and effect.

Foods rich in soluble fibre:

At first, we will find a high amount of soluble fibre in whole grains, oats, beans, apples, barley, flax, citrus fruits, legumes, carrots, potatoes and etc. In fact, our body cannot break it down due to lack of a proper enzyme. Therefore, it moves through our digestive tract. In the process, it absorbs water as well as bile.

Our liver pulls the oily substance from our blood in order to form bile. Therefore, it lowers the total count. Around 5-10 grams of soluble fibre daily can lower both total count and LDL by 5-10% in one month

Eat unsaturated fats:

These foods contain a high amount of unsaturated fat-nuts, avocados, fatty fish, olives, cheese, coconut oil and etc. Research shows that it is helpful to lower LDL level. At the same time, we will avoid artificial trans-fat.

Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids:

In fact, it has no effect on LDL. But, these foods are very good for our heart. These foods include mackerel, tuna, salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts and etc.

Some other diets:

  • Limit salt as well as sugar in order to control cholesterol.
  • Limit cold drinks along with alcohol. If possible, totally stop them.
  • Reduce both saturated fats and trans fat. Ensure more monounsaturated fats.

Foods rich in monounsaturated fats are:

  • Avocados.
  • Canola oil.
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans and etc.

Further Mediterranean-style diet and healthy eating habit can also help us to lower cholesterol.

If we can follow the above food and diet chart, then it may be in control. As a result, we can check the bad effect of it to a great deal.

Cholesterol symptoms:

Generally, there is hardly any symptom of a high level of cholesterol in our blood.

  • If someone has a family history of cholesterol, then he should undergo a frequent check. Moreover, he should check in case he is overweight or has high blood pressure or smoke.
  • Someone may face familial hypercholesterolemia. The reason behind it is genetic conditions or genes. Under this condition, the total count is around 300 mg/dL or even higher. They may face a yellow patch above the skin or a lump underneath the skin.

Stroke: Symptoms of stroke are as follows.

  • Sudden dizziness.
  • Slurring words.
  • Blurred or blackened vision as well as double vision.
  • Sudden loss of balance and coordination.
  • Inability to move, especially one side of the body.
  • Facial asymmetry.
  • Numbness in the face, leg, arm or one side of the body.

Coronary artery diseases:

Some coronary artery diseases may be a symptom of high cholesterol. These include

  • Nausea.
  • Pain in the neck, back, jaw or upper abdomen.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Angina, chest pain.
  • Numbness or coldness.

Heart attack:

Signs of heart attacks may include

  • Breathing problem.
  • Excessive fatigue.
  • Pain, tightness, aching or squeezing in the chest or arms.
  • Heartburn, nausea or indigestion.

Causes of high cholesterol:

The causes of high cholesterol may be:

  • Family history or heredity.
  • Diabetes.
  • Eating too many fat-rich foods mainly saturated fat or trans-fat.
  • Overweight and inactive. (Also read lose weight in a healthy and natural way).
  • Liver or kidney disease.
  • Underactive thyroid gland.
  • Smoking.
  • Older age.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Pregnancy and other conditions when female hormones increase.
  • Drugs like anabolic steroids, progestins, corticosteroids and etc. can increase LDL and Lowers HDL.

How to lower cholesterol?

It also means

Preventing or prevention of cholesterol:

We will do the followings:

  • At first, we will follow that diet and food chart.
  • Secondly, we need to do some cardio exercise daily.
  • Thirdly, we should achieve and maintain our ideal (healthy) weight.
  • We may also use some food supplement available in the market.

High Cholesterol Treatment:

As a matter of fact, there are some very common medicines that can lower our cholesterol level. The doctor will prescribe the right type of medicine. These medicines are:

  • Statins.
  • Resins.
  • Fibrates.
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
  • Niacin.
  • Injectable medications.

In the first place, we will set our goals to lower our cholesterol level. For this, read this article. I think it will help us a great deal in setting our goals.

Moreover, it is a matter of concern if the level goes up. It can easily add to our stress. (Also read stress management technique).

After a test, if the doctor feels necessary he can prescribe medicines to get rid of the problem. Otherwise, we will do what is necessary. If we can keep it in control, then we will be able to minimize many physical problems. Therefore, we will be able to live with happiness.

We all want more and more success in life. For this, we require some attitudes which ultimately decides our success. Also, read the following topics to get success in life:

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Banani Chakraborty

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