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The dangers of high cholesterol can arise from unhe althy habits that you may often do, such as eating fatty foods and rarely exercising. If high cholesterol is not treated, you will be at risk of serious he alth problems, such as heart attacks and strokes
Cholesterol is a type of fatty substance found in the bloodstream. The body actually needs this substance for the organs in it to function properly. However, this amount of cholesterol must be kept at the right level.
If it's excessive, cholesterol can actually block blood flow and cause various he alth problems.
Types of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is generally divided into several types and each has a different normal level. This cholesterol level can be known through regular cholesterol checks or checks, at least every four years.
The following are some types of cholesterol in the body:
High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
HDL is known as good cholesterol, because it plays a role in carrying excess cholesterol out of the body, either through urine, feces, or sweat. Normal HDL levels are 60 mg/dL.
The higher HDL levels in the body, the better for he alth. On the other hand, you need to be careful if your cholesterol test shows that your HDL level is below 40 mg/dL.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
Safe LDL levels are below 100 mg/dL. In contrast to HDL levels, the higher the better, the higher LDL levels can actually increase the risk of blockage of blood vessels. Therefore, this cholesterol is also referred to as bad cholesterol.
In addition to HDL and LDL, there is one type of fat called triglycerides. In the body, these triglycerides are carried by VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein), and are the most common type of cholesterol in the body.
Normal triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL. If the amount is excessive, triglycerides and LDL can build up in the blood vessels, causing obstruction to blood flow. This is the reason why LDL and triglyceride levels must be kept from getting too high.
Dangers of High Cholesterol
Increased cholesterol levels in the blood can be influenced by various factors, ranging from infrequent exercise, frequent consumption of foods with high saturated fat content, smoking, being overweight (obesity), to suffering from diabetes.
Without proper treatment, high cholesterol levels in the blood can increase your risk of experiencing various he alth problems, including:
1. Heart attack
The amount of cholesterol that is too much in the blood can cause blood vessels to harden or narrow (atherosclerosis). If blood flow to the heart is disturbed, it can cause heart disease. If left untreated, this condition can lead to dangerous complications, namely a heart attack.
If constriction occurs in the blood vessels of the brain, then brain function will be disrupted. Disrupted brain function will adversely affect the ability to think, memory, and mental condition. Worse yet, this condition can also lead to a stroke.
3. Peripheral artery disease
Peripheral arterial disease is a disease caused by blockage of cholesterol in the arteries in the legs or arms, causing several complaints, such as pain, cramps, to numbness.
This complaint is generally felt when the body performs various physical activities, such as walking, running, or lifting something. Peripheral artery disease can also cause the arms and legs to look pale, feel cold, have frequent tingling sensations, and sores that don't heal.
In the digestive system, cholesterol is needed to produce bile. Well, this bile serves to digest fat and absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
However, if the cholesterol level in the blood is too high, it can increase the risk of gallstones forming.
How to Prevent the Danger of Cholesterol Early on
No matter how old you are, it's not too late to free yourself from the dangers of cholesterol. Protect yourself from the dangers of cholesterol as early as possible through the following various ways:
- Consumption of nutritious food and low cholesterol
- Stop smoking habit
- Maintain ideal body weight
- Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Reduce stress
- Do exercise regularly for at least 20-30 minutes every day
High cholesterol levels can be harmful to he alth and need to be treated immediately. But unfortunately, this condition does not cause symptoms, so many people with high cholesterol only realize it after suffering from various diseases that have been mentioned above.
Therefore, make sure you check your he alth regularly to the doctor. In addition to checking cholesterol levels, doctors can also give advice on how to maintain cholesterol levels so that the body remains he althy.