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High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is defined as abnormally high levels of cholesterol in the blood often associated with high triglycerides.

Total blood cholesterol levels consists of several lipoproteins: VLDL, LDL and HDL.

Signs and Symptoms

High cholesterol initially is a silent disease with no symptoms until plaque formation of the arteries begins to affect circulation. Problems associated with high lipid levels:

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Angina Blood Sugar imbalances
  • Liver, spleen and/or pancreas problems

Causes

Genetic predisposition has a role of about 1 in 500. Dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are the two main etiology factors often discussed when referring to elevated cholesterol and lipoprotein levels. These are important issues; however we should also ask ourselves why the levels are high in the first place.

Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Once glycogen stores are met, the liver converts excess glucose into triglycerides and cholesterol. These fats are then transported by LDL and VLDL to be deposited in the arteries. When the liver needs more glucose HDL transports cholesterol from the arteries back to the liver. As can be seen from the above explanation, the typical diet of excess consumption of refined carbohydrates has the effect of elevating cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Other common factors associated with high cholesterol:

  • High saturated fat intake
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Poor live function
  • Low thyroid function
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Reduced physical activity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Mental stress
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Treatment Considerations

  • Regulate hepatic cholesterol production
  • Enhance bile production and flow
  • Provide nutritional cardiovascular support
  • Increase fiber intake
  • Reduce saturated fat intake
  • Increase consumption of oily fish (3.g. salmon, sardines)
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Eliminate partially hydrogenated fats from the diet
  • Reduce excess glucose by avoiding or eliminating bread, pasta, potatoes and rice.

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