What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a well-known factor that determines your heart health. While cholesterol is important for the body, which excess amount of cholesterol in the body can be harmful enough to affect the health. Not only the heart, but many other areas can get affected by high cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is present in two types, one is bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL), and a balance between the two is equally important.
What happens when LDL (Bad Cholesterol) is more in your body?
- When bad cholesterol is more than good cholesterol, the excess cholesterol and other substances get deposited as plaques on the inner walls of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
- This narrows the passage of the blood vessels and the amount of blood flowing through it gets reduced.
- Many parts of the body, they may get affected due to the improper blood supply, reduced oxygen, and nutrients.
Cholesterol increases the risk of:
- Gastric disturbances – Digestive problems, bowel irregularities, gallstones and blocked arteries can damage the stomach and kidneys.
- Angina – Reduced blood supply to the heart, causing chest pain. Arms, neck, shoulder, and jaw, may feel the pain.
- Stroke – Reduced blood supply to the brain, causing sudden changes in speech, movement of arms, face, weakness, and confusion.
- Peripheral artery disease – Reduced blood supply to limbs, causing numbness or pain in arms and legs.
- Gangrene – Persistent lack of blood flow and oxygen to a part can cause cell death and gangrene, making the part useless.
Ways to keep your bad cholesterol level at check.
- Avoid foods that contain high saturated fats.
- Choose whole grains that can prevent you from hight-blood sugar and makes you feel light.
- Substitute your diet with fruits and vegetables, and consume more of skimmed milk than full-cream milk.
- Consume more of Omega-3 rich foods and whey protein as a supplement.
- Quit smoking that will help you in improving HDL (Good Cholesterol level) in the body.
- Exercise daily to keep a track on your weight.
Cholesterol has varying effects on the body that will persistent high cholesterol levels can increase the risk for certain ailments. Understand your cholesterol levels, their possible effects on your body and seek medical advice in time.
Written by: S. Singh
Edited by: S.Ray