What Should You Know about Cholesterol?

Your body works through a number of systems that all work together to help you function. Many of these systems have a number of different components. One such component used in digestion, production of hormones, cell growth, and more, is cholesterol. The body creates this waxy substance in the liver, but it can also be found in some of the foods you consume, like red meats and dairy. It is important to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. If you suspect your cholesterol levels are not at their best, it may be time to consult your health clinics in Downey, CA.

Cholesterol Types

The cholesterol in your body moves to and from your liver in your bloodstream via lipoproteins. Lipoproteins carry cholesterol in fat-filled packages encased in proteins. There are two main types of cholesterol found in your blood stream: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). HDL cholesterol is often referred to as good cholesterol, as it carries cholesterol in your bloodstream to the liver to be removed. LDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is known as bad cholesterol, as high levels of LDL can cause a buildup of cholesterol within the arteries of the body. When you have too much LDL in your bloodstream, the condition is fittingly called high cholesterol.

High Cholesterol

Generally, a person who has high cholesterol will not show any symptoms. The condition does, however, increase the individual’s risk for developing heart disease. Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries in your heart develop deposits of plaque. Plaque is a waxy substance composed of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. As the plaque amount increases, blood can begin to clot. If the clot grows large enough, it can potentially block blood flow through the arteries, causing a heart attack. Left long enough, the decreased blood flow to the heart can cause that portion of heart muscle to die, which can be fatal. Plaque can also buildup in other arteries within the body, which can potentially lead to stroke or other complications.

Your risk for developing high cholesterol can increase due to smoking, obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, diabetes, or having a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. Your health clinics in Downey, CA, will assist you in lowering your cholesterol levels by providing information on lifestyle changes such as better diet and regular exercise, as well as possibly prescribing medications that may help control or lower cholesterol levels.

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