Some advice given to people suffering from high cholesterol includes avoiding excess alcohol, following a balanced diet, and keeping active. If only it were that simple!
With the NHS stating that more than two in five people in England are living with high cholesterol, it appears that some aspects of our daily lives are impacting our cholesterol levels that either we are unaware of or are simply out of our control.
No apparent signs or symptoms are associated with high cholesterol levels, so keeping an eye on your cholesterol levels is a good idea.
Here are some of the most common causes of high cholesterol:
Our cholesterol levels begin to increase from the age of 20 steadily. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a negative impact on your health, but it would be wise to keep a close eye on it every 4 to 6 years after this age.
Much research has shown a connection between high-stress levels and high cholesterol. Monitoring your stress levels may positively impact your health, including your sense of wellbeing.
If you are living with diabetes, you are at greater risk of developing high cholesterol. Excess glucose levels cause diabetes in the blood and poor control of this level by the hormone insulin. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels may contribute to more elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and lower HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
# Excessive alcohol
Alcohol is processed by the liver, which is where cholesterol is produced. So, if you drink alcohol regularly or binge drink, this can affect your cholesterol levels – depending on the alcohol you drink and how often you drink.
Having a family history of high cholesterol can impact your cholesterol levels in two ways:
- If you have a family member who has high cholesterol, you may suffer from high cholesterol levels if you follow the same lifestyle.
- You may suffer from a genetic condition, familial hypercholesterolemia, caused by a gene defect, meaning you may have an increased level of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
The incidence of obesity is increasing daily in the UK and on a global scale. If your BMI is over 30, you have a waist measurement of above 40 inches in men or 35 inches in women; then you are at a greater risk of developing higher cholesterol. Excess weight can cause higher levels of triglycerides in the blood, decreasing the level of HDL in the blood.
Cholesterol is present in certain foods, so eating a diet with processed foods such as full-fat dairy products and red meat can increase your blood cholesterol levels. Reducing saturated fats and increasing the number of healthy fats in your diet can positively impact your cholesterol levels and overall heart health.
#A sedentary lifestyle
Having a sedentary lifestyle isn’t just bad for your cholesterol levels. It can harm all aspects of your health. A sedentary lifestyle promotes the production of LDL particles, which can cause larger LDL particles and makes it easier for LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol to lodge in the artery walls.
Smoking cigarettes damages blood vessels, decreasing the effectiveness of blood circulation, which will reduce any transportation of HDL or LDL. It can also impair HDL’s ability to transport excess lipids from the body.
If you are worried that you may be suffering from high cholesterol, Test2Go offers an at-home cholesterol test so you can better know your health from the comfort of your home.