Elevated cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis, accumulation of cholesterol and other substances on the walls of the arteries. The mentioned deposits – called “plaque” – can reduce blood flow through the arteries or completely interrupt the flow. If arteries are affected, for example, the heart supplies oxygen (coronary arteries), as a result of which blood flow and oxygen delivery are reduced, you may feel it as chest pains (a condition called “anginapectoris”) or you may have other symptoms of blood vessel blocking, e.g. neck, such as loss of vision in one eye, weakness and weakness of the extremities.
Atherosclerotic plaques may be teared or broken. At a site where the plaque is damaged, it can create a blood clot that further blocks the flow of blood or can discharge, and somewhere lower, completely or partially, the artery is blocked. If, due to these events, the flow of blood to some part of the heart is interrupted, a heart attack occurs, i.e. myocardial infarction. Then the cells do not receive sufficient amounts of oxygen and nutritional elements and die out.
To determine the level of cholesterol in the blood, you need to give blood for analysis. Your doctor will usually recommend that you give the blood early in the morning, and a light evening supper, such as salad and fish, is recommended before giving blood. It is also recommended that you eat nothing and drink no water for 9 to 12 hours before giving your blood.
During the medical examination, your doctor will ask you if you have members with high cholesterol or diagnosed heart disease in your family, for the simple reason that these health disorders may be inherited.
If the values are elevated, the first approach is to change nutrition and physical activity.
A healthy lifestyle is the key!
Weight reduction if you are obese
A slight loss of excess pounds can help in the regulation of cholesterol and triglycerides. Of course, the only healthy weight loss is light weight loss, not more than 3kg to 4kg per month, with balanced diet. Going to the nutritionist can help.
Lower the grips
Free carbohydrates, sugar and white flour foods cause a sudden leap of insulin in the blood, due to a sudden increase in blood glucose, which accelerates the formation of triglycerides.
Limit cholesterol in your diet
Try not to enter more than 300mg of cholesterol a day or less than 200mg if you have a diagnosed heart disease. Avoid the most concentrated sources of cholesterol such as red meat, yolk and whole milk products, while the consumption of turkey, chicken and fish is recommended.
Choose healthier fats
Replace saturated fat for a healthier, monounsaturated fat, which can be found in olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, oil from grape seeds and similar oils.
Remove trans fats
These fats are found in fried foods and in most sweets, biscuits and various cookies, chips, etc. It is recommended that, before each purchase, you read the content on each package of such products – you will easily find out that the food contains trans fats if it says on the label that it contains hydrogenated fats in whole or in part.
Avoid alcoholic drinks
Alcohol is rich in calories and sugar, and has a very potent influence on the formation of triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels over the allowed values. For the same reason, naturally cut juices are recommended, and carbonated drinks are avoided.
Regular exercise increases good and lowers bad cholesterol. Take an energetic walk every day, swim a few lanes into the pool, or join an exercise program. If your pace of life does not allow you to be an active/ regular athlete, take a short walk, go down and climb stairs at work.
It is also extremely important to control blood pressure and diabetes. If you have elevated cholesterol and triglycerides and you are suffering from these chronic conditions, you should regularly control it for 3 months, Hol, LDL, HDl, TGL.
If your doctor prescribed teraphy, take it regularly, in the manner is prescribed. Also, try to adjust your diet and turn on physical activity. Drugs contribute to a better state of the organism, but the key factors of health are healthy life, nutrition and physical activity, which should not be neglected or replaced with drugs. A common approach is the way to better health.
dr Jelena Dojčinović Mihaić
General medicine doctor