You may have learned the terms lipids & cholesterol used correspondently, and found they meant the same thing. Cholesterol is the well-known lipid. Cholesterol is actually a part of lipid & part of the protein. So, the different types of cholesterol are called lipoproteins & another type of lipid is a triglyceride.
The function of lipids in your body. Your body requires some lipids to stay healthy. Cholesterol, for example, is in all your cells. Your body produces cholesterol, which in turn helps your body build:
Enzymes that help you digest food,
Reasonable levels of cholesterol in your body are okay. High levels of lipids, a condition identified as hyperlipidemia or dyslipidemia are the risk factor for heart disease.
LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol because it can form glistening deposits called plaques in your arteries. Plaque makes your arteries harder. It also bars your arteries, creating less capacity for blood to circulate. This method is called atherosclerosis. You may have also learned it referred to as hardening of the arteries.
Plaques can also burst, scatter cholesterol and other fats and scrap products into your arteries. In response to a crack, blood cells named platelets rush to the site & form blood clots to carry the foreign particles now in the blood circulation.
If the blood clot is large, it can totally block the blood circulation. When this appears in one of the heart’s arteries, termed coronary arteries, the issue is a heart attack. When a blood clot blocks an artery in the brain it can cause a stroke.
HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol because its main job is to sweep LDL out of your blood circulation & back to the liver. More cholesterol is then created in your liver, reforming the whole process.
When LDL return to the liver, the cholesterol is split & passed through the body. HDL serves only about 25% to 33% of cholesterol in the blood.
High levels of LDL are caused a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. High levels of HDL, on the other hand, are concerned with lower risks.
Triglycerides support store fat in your cells that you can apply for energy. If you overeat and don’t work out, your triglyceride levels can rise. Excessive alcohol use is also a risk factor for high triglycerides. Like LDL, high triglyceride levels are also concerned with atherosclerosis. That means they also increase your risk of heart attack & stroke.
A simple blood test can show your levels of LDL, HDL & triglycerides. The results are recorded in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Hereabouts the measurements of standard lipid levels:
HDL >40 mg/dL
LDL <100 mg/dL
Triglycerides <150 mg/dL
An essential lipid measurement, termed total cholesterol, is calculated by adding your HDL & LDL levels, and 20% of your triglycerides. Your whole cholesterol can help your doctor decide your risk for a future heart attack. In a healthy People, complete cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL.
It’s a great idea to have your cholesterol levels checked every month except your doctor recommends annual checks. If you have heart attacks risk factors like a history of smoking, high blood pressure, or a family history of heart disease, you may be advised to have your cholesterol checked monthly or even more frequently.
Your doctor may require doing a routine cholesterol check if you’ve recently started a medicine to help reduce your LDL, just to view if the drug is working.
Your LDL levels lead to rising as you age. The same isn’t right for HDL levels. An idle lifestyle can also cause your cholesterol labelled to increase.