What is High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a form of lipid in the body. It is a waxy substance that is naturally secreted by the liver. The body also gets its share of cholesterol from the food one consume, such as eggs, meats, and dairy products.
Cholesterol is important for the generation of cell membranes, hormones, and vitamin D. Normally, as cholesterol is a sticky substance, it can travel in the blood without any assistance. To help the cholesterol move normally in the blood, the liver also produces lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are particles made up of fat and protein. They are helpful in the transmission of cholesterol and triglycerides throughout the body.
There are two types of lipoproteins:
- Low-density lipoprotein
- High-density lipoprotein
Having a high LDL cholesterol level usually indicates high cholesterol. Keeping cholesterol in control is necessary to prevent the risk of multiple health problems, inclduing stroke or heart attack.
It is important to consult your doctor on a regular basis because high cholesterol does not come with definite alarming signs.
LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol”
Low-density lipoprotein is also named bad cholesterol. It is meant to transport cholesterol to the arteries. But if your LDL cholesterol level is high, it may stick to the walls of the arteries. This buildup is called cholesterol plaque. This plaque can restrict blood flow in the arteries and may lead to blood clots that cause life-threatening health issues.
HDL cholesterol, or “good cholesterol”
High-density lipoprotein is named “good cholesterol.” It helps return bad cholesterol to the liver for removal. They are very helpful in preventing plaque buildup in the arteries.
When you have subsequent levels of HDL cholesterol, your risk of blood clots, heart failure, and heart attacks decreases.
Triglycerides are the third type of lipid. They are different from cholesterol because they are used as a source of energy, unlike cholesterol which is used in the formation of cell membranes, and hormones.
When you consume more calories than your body can actually use, it stores the calorie in the form of triglycerides. Triglycerides are stored in the fat cells, and with the help of lipoproteins, they are circulated to the entire bloodstream.
Your level of triglycerides may rise if you consume more calories than your body actually uses. This may result in an increased risk of potential health issues to your heart.
In most cases, high cholesterol is a “silent” condition that does not typically come with alarming signs. They do not know about it until they develop serious complications due to it, such as a heart attack or stroke.
So, it is important to understand that screening is necessary. If you are an adult, you can ask your doctor for a routine cholesterol checkup.
Certain factors that can cause high cholesterol levels to rise include:
Unhealthy Diet: Eating a diet rich in foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats may elevate the risk of developing high cholesterol.
- Cholesterol: Find in animal foods such as meat and cheese.
- Saturated fat: Sources include dairy products, some meats, chocolate, baked, deep-fried, and processed foods.
- Trans fats: Trans fat can be found in some fried and processed foods.
Excess Weight: Excess weight or obesity can also cause too much LDL in the blood.
Sedentary Lifestyle: Living an inactive lifestyle can also contribute to cholesterol buildup in the blood.
Smoking or exposure to smoke: If you are a habitual smoker or stay exposed to smoke for a long time, it will lower your HDL level or good cholesterol.
Heredity: Genetics can also affect your chances of developing high cholesterol. Genes instruct your body on how to process cholesterol and fats. In the case of genetic mutations in the parents, your risk of developing high cholesterol also increases.
Medical conditions that can result in high cholesterol
- Chronic kidney disease
Cholesterol levels can also be triggered by some medications you may be taking for other health problems, such as:
- Irregular heart rhythms
- High blood pressure
- Organ transplants
Ayurvedic treatment for high cholesterol
In Ayurveda, the disease or illness has a different viewpoint. It talks about the life energies, channels when it comes to recovery from medical conditions.
The lipid tissue or Meda dhatus are responsible for too much cholesterol in the blood. The digestive fire or Agni is responsible for the healthy digestion of food. If your digestive fire is good, toxins do not accumulate in the blood (Aama), and the life energies also remain stable.
This, in turn, also aggravates the Medha Dhatu. An unhealthy diet rich in fatty and oily food and a sedentary lifestyle also contributes to imbalanced cholesterol levels in the body. Subsequently, this also disturbs the functioning of the other organs.
The core of ayurvedic treatment is to help patients suffering from high cholesterol using natural herbs. The treatment procedures work to balance the fat metabolism in the body. We at AyuKarma, aim to work on the underlying pathology of the disease and offers therapies and procedures to help eliminate the root cause of the problem.
Followed by ayurvedic medicines are the Satvik diet and yoga, which aid in successful stress management practices. You are less likely to fall ill if your body’s self-healing capacity works to its best and your immune system is healthy.
If you need any help, let us know.