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Cholesterol Checks

Cholesterol in heart health

Cholesterol plays a significant role in heart health, serving as a critical component of cell membranes and playing a role in various physiological processes. However, imbalances in cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart diseases, such as coronary artery disease, angina, heart attacks, and strokes.

There are three main types of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), often termed “good” cholesterol and two “bad” cholesterol components, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides. 

HDL cholesterol plays a protective role in heart health by removing excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and transporting it to the liver for excretion. 

LDL cholesterol can accumulate in the walls of arteries, forming plaques that narrow the blood vessels and restrict blood flow to the heart and other vital organs. This process, known as atherosclerosis or furring up of arteries increases the risk of developing angina, heart attacks. and strokes. 

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are influenced by various factors, including genetics, diet, lifestyle habits, and underlying medical conditions. Diets rich in saturated and trans fats, as well as excess consumption of unhealthy foods, can contribute to increased LDL cholesterol levels. On the other hand, adopting a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Triglycerides serve as a source of energy for the body, but elevated levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. High triglyceride levels are associated with atherosclerosis and pancreatitis, posing a significant risk factor for heart attacks. and strokes.

Lifestyle modifications such as regular physical activity, quitting smoking, and weight management also play crucial roles in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and promoting heart health. 

For individuals with persistently elevated LDL cholesterol levels despite lifestyle modifications, pharmacological interventions such as statins may be prescribed. There are also other medications that can help with reduction of “bad” cholesterol levels and therefore mitigate the risk of heart problems. Careful evaluation, face to face discussion with a cardiologist and frequent reassessment are often necessary in maintaining long term positive outcomes in patients with high cholesterol levels. 

Cholesterol level check can be performed at our clinics at the same time as a clinical consultation.

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