There may come a time when you question what causes high cholesterol. This is a legit question that anyone including you needs to know. However, if you are looking to find the causes so that you can recognize the symptoms, you may be start it all a little bit off.
High cholesterol is the symptom itself. It is not something that has signs but it is something that has effects. Having high cholesterol is an indication of something else, other illnesses. In other words, high cholesterol is a risk factor by itself; it is a given state that leads to other conditions normally related to heart and blood vessels. High cholesterol itself is a condition affected by several other risk factors, which can be divided into two =
1. Risk factors cannot be controlled.
– Men of age 45 or older and women of age 55 or older.
- Family history.
– Father/brother affected by heart disease before 55 years old; mother/sister before 65.
2. Risk factors can be controlled.
- Physical inactivity,
- High blood pressure,
- Quitting smoking,
- Low HDL (good) cholesterol.
It is these risk factors that often lead to you developing high cholesterol. When it comes to what causes high cholesterol, here are some pointers to keep in mind =
Saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol-laden diets are the source of elevated cholesterol levels. Both saturated fat and cholesterol can be traced back to animal-based foods, for example: cheese, butter, egg yolks, whole milk, and meats. Trans fat can be found in foods that are fried and prepackaged, for example: chips, crackers, and cookies.
Obesity results in increased triglyceride levels and decreased HDL levels.
Those who remain inactive physically for a long time have lower level of HDL.
- Age and gender.
Cholesterol levels rise as you reach the age of 20. Men are at risk after 50 while women are after menopause.
Liver-related diseases, chronic kidney-related diseases, and hypothyroidism may lead to elevated cholesterol levels.
- Family history.
If even one family member had had history with high cholesterol level, one may be at risk.
Tobacco has been observed to have effects in lowering HDL levels.
Corticosteroids, estrogen, beta-blockers, and thiazide diuretics may lead to elevated cholesterol levels.
Now, after finding out what cases high cholesterol, you need to know about what constitutes as high when it comes to counting cholesterol level. Cholesterol is categorized into two types of lipoprotein (High-Density Lipoprotein, the good cholesterol, and Low-Density Lipoprotein, the bad one) and one triglyceride. The total sum of numbers resulting from a test for each determines if you have high cholesterol.
For HDL, less than 40 mg/dL and 50 mg/dL (men and women, respectively) may increase risk of heart disease. Above 60 mg/dL is enough to protect against the disease. Desirable total cholesterol level for both men and women would be less than 200 mg/dL, with 200-239 being borderline and 240 and over being high risk.