Increased Blood Levels - Cholesterol

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Increased Blood Levels - Cholesterol
Increased Blood Levels - Cholesterol
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Video: Cholesterol, LDL, HDL & Lipid Profile Facts! 2023, February
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Elevated blood lipids: what is it?

Fats that are ingested through food and produced in the body itself are subject to a metabolism. Since fats are not water-soluble, they are transported in the blood in various small fat droplets, which are called, for example, LDL (low-density lipoproteins) or HDL (high-density lipoproteins). Fats are stored or used, and some are also excreted. This can lead to disruptions.

Due to the division into these different fractions, there are various lipid metabolism disorders (dyslipidemias). On the one hand, there may be increased levels of single or multiple blood lipids (hyperlipoproteinemia), but also decreased levels (hypolipoproteinemia). Combinations with one another are also possible. So there is not just one fat metabolism disorder, but a variety of different forms.

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Risk to the vessels

Elevated blood lipids are closely related to deposits in the blood vessels. This can make blood flow difficult or even prevent it. Fat metabolism disorders are therefore (co-) triggers for various cardiovascular diseases. Chronically elevated blood lipid levels in particular favor arteriosclerosis and the associated:

  • Circulatory disorders, including in the legs (arterial occlusive disease)
  • Heart attack,
  • Angina pectoris or
  • Stroke.

For more information, see Cardiovascular Diseases.

Which factors influence blood lipids?

Genetic factors are often the cause of changes in blood lipid levels. These so-called primary lipid metabolism disorders often occur in families. However, they usually only break out due to lifestyle habits such as poor diet or lack of exercise.

In addition, increased blood lipid levels can occur as a concomitant effect of other diseases (secondary lipid metabolism disorder). The blood lipids are also influenced by age, gender and hormones. Women after menopause have a significantly higher cholesterol level than before.

Factors influencing blood lipids:

  • Genetics ("inheritance"),
  • Medication such as diuretics, cortisone, hormonal contraceptives,
  • Eating habits (e.g. high intake of sugar or animal fats),
  • excessive alcohol consumption,
  • Sedentary lifestyle,
  • Pregnancy.

Various diseases also have an influence, e.g

  • Diabetes mellitus,
  • Kidney disease,
  • Thyroid disease,
  • Liver disease,
  • Pancreatic disease,
  • severe overweight (obesity) or metabolic syndrome,
  • very underweight (anorexia).

Hypercholesterolemia and Co

The most common changes in blood lipid levels are:

  • increased (total) cholesterol level (hypercholesterolaemia),
  • high level of triglycerides (hypertriglyceridaemia)
  • decreased HDL cholesterol levels.

The health risk is particularly high with the combination of increased total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations paired with a decreased HDL cholesterol concentration.

Possible influence on blood lipids (secondary lipid metabolism disorders)

root cause Change in blood count

(↑ high, ↓ low, ↔ unaffected)

Obesity (very overweight) Triglycerides ↑, HDL cholesterol ↓
Sedentary lifestyle HDL cholesterol ↓
Diabetes mellitus Triglycerides ↑, total cholesterol ↑, HDL cholesterol ↓
alcohol Triglycerides ↑, HDL cholesterol ↑
Hypothyroidism Total cholesterol ↑
chronic renal failure Total cholesterol ↔, triglycerides ↑
Steroids (including anabolic steroids) Total cholesterol ↑
Diuretics (water tablets) Total cholesterol ↑, triglycerides ↑
hormonal contraceptives Total cholesterol ↑ and / or triglycerides ↑

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