What is High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol are fatty substance that is found in our blood. Cholesterol is required by our body to build healthy cells. However, when high levels of cholesterol (also known as hyperlipidaemia) is found in our body, it can increase the risk of getting heart disease and stroke.
Hyperlipidaemia is usually caused by sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, diabetes and/or poor diet (eating saturated fats such as fatty meat, deep fried food, full-fat diary products).
There are 2 types of cholesterol in our body, namely high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL are “bad” cholesterol that clogged up arteries and cause heart attacks and stroke. On the other hand, HDL are “good” cholesterol that helps remove excess cholesterol from our body.
Symptoms of Hyperlipidaemia
There are no symptoms when a patient acquire hyperlipidaemia. This is detected through blood test. Ministry of Health recommends the following patients to have their cholesterol checked:
- Any men or woman aged 40 years old and above.
- Previous history of heart attack or stroke.
- History of hypertension, diabetes, or kidney diseases.
- Family history of hyperlipidaemia.
Complications of Hyperlipidaemia
Hyperlipidaemia causes accumulation of cholesterol in our blood vessels. These cholesterol deposits can hence prevent blood flow to vital organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys and even liver. This can lead to major complications including:
- Ischemic heart disease.
- Kidney diseases.
Therefore, it is strongly encouraged to treat hypderlipidaemia upon diagnosis.
What can I do to reduce my cholesterol levels?
Being active, losing weight and avoiding high fat food can help to reduce cholesterol levels. Abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes can also help.
- Exercise at least 150 minutes per week.
- Reduce weight if your BMI is more than 23.
- Maintain a low-fat, high fibre diet.
- Reduce salt and sugar intake.
- Abstain from alcohol and cigarettes.
If the above lifestyle changes do not work, there are medications that your doctor can prescribe to help.
Feel free to drop by our clinic for more information or a comprehensive assessment.