BAD EFFECTS OF HIGH CHOLESTEROL: High blood cholesterol is a condition when the cholesterol exceeds the normal limit. Yes, the body needs it but as all the other things, in limits! It is a type of fat in the blood that the body needs to function normally. Cholesterol is used as a building block for many structures as well as other chemicals and hormones that are essential for the body’s activities. The body creates it and one also gets it from certain foods they eat.
]The body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat. But, only a small amount of cholesterol, and when there’s too much cholesterol in the bloodstream, it may be deposited along the walls of arteries, including the coronary arteries of the heart, the carotid arteries to the brain, and the arteries that supply blood to the legs and the intestines. Which in turn causes narrowing and blockage of the arteries, producing signs and symptoms originating from the particular part of the body that has decreased blood supply.
Side Effects of High Cholesterol
The mere definition establishes the fact that it is not good for the health and the following are the effects of the high cholesterol:
- High cholesterol can create a bile imbalance, leading to gallstones. According to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, more than 80% of gallstones are cholesterol stones.
- Very high cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits within your ligaments and skin, as well your liver and spleen. The enlargement of your liver or spleen due to fatty deposits places pressure on other organs within the abdominal cavity, leading to an unexplained stomach or abdominal pain.
- When plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the brain, the brain is deprived of oxygen. Brain cells quickly become damaged and start to die (stroke).
- As coronary arteries narrow due to the cholesterol deposit, it’s harder for blood to make it to the heart. And if an area of plaque breaks open, it can result in a blood clot, which can block blood flow altogether. This puts one at a great risk of having a heart attack.
- One of the main side effects of high cholesterol is a progressive narrowing of the arteries and hardening of the artery walls, a condition called atherosclerosis. This condition causes the arteries to narrow and harden, increasing the risk of an arterial blockage or blood vessel rupture.
- Plaque can also build up and interfere with blood flow to the arms and legs (peripheral arterial disease). If the blood supply to the limbs is blocked, there may be numbness or pain. There’s an increased risk of infection in those limbs. Lack of blood can cause tissue death (gangrene) too.
- Another potential long-term side effect of high blood cholesterol is an increased strain on your heart muscle due to the development of the cholesterol-linked vascular disease. When the arteries narrow the heart pumps harder to push blood through the blood vessels, often leading to an elevation in the heart rate. This puts a strain on your heart over time. Without the apt treatment, this heart strain may increase the risk of potentially fatal heart failure.
- Angina or chest pain is another effect of the choking arteries and a warning of the red flag to cholesterol.
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Foods that contain cholesterol incorporate dairy items, (for example, cheese or butter), rice and bread kitchen items. Beyond what many would consider possible, you should restrain the admission of these foods. Patients who have recorded critical levels of cholesterol are advised by doctors to stay away from these foods.
Cholesterol-lowering lowering foods deliver a good dose of soluble fibre and provide Polyunsaturated fats, And those with sterols keep the body From absorbing cholesterol.
- Oats contain a special type of natural soluble fibre called beta-glucan, found in the endosperm layer of the oat grain. Oats Choose oatmeal or an oat-based cold cereal breakfast for 1 to 2 grams of soluble fibre. Researchers have known for more than 50 years that eating oats can lower cholesterol levels and thus reduce a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- Beans are especially rich in soluble fibre. They make you feel for longer after a meal and a good choice for folks trying to lose weight. Beans are excellent for your heart. Beans are high in fibre and they contain a lot of protein i.e low in fat. “Studies have shown that beans can help to lower cholesterol by as much as 8% with one half a cup of beans eaten regularly”.
- Nuts eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, by as much as 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways. Studies showed that participants who ate a diet high in peanut products lower their total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels and maintained their level of HDL “good” Cholesterol.
- Fatty fish Eating Fish 2-3 times a week can lower LDL by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats, which reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream. Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which can improve cholesterol. Salmon, sardines, herring, trout and albacore tuna are oily fish
Stanols/Sterols are extracted from plants help the body to absorb cholesterol from food. Getting 2 grams a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.
- Plant stanol ester is oily substances found in plants. The scientist has discovered that these can stop the small intestine absorbing cholesterol, lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
- High Cholesterol levels are linked to a raised risk of heart disease.
- Plant stanols are now used in many foods such as yoghurt, drinks and spreads.
- There is clear evidence that they have an effect.
When it comes to investing money, experts recommend creating a portfolio of diverse investments instead of putting all your eggs in one basket. The same holds true for eating your way to lower cholesterol. A diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts is good for the body in ways beyond lowering cholesterol. It keeps blood pressure in check. It helps arteries stay flexible and responsive. It’s good for bones and digestive health, for vision and mental health.
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FATTY LIVER: WHAT IS IT?
The liver is the second largest and a very important organ in the body. The liver’s function is like that of a water purifier that is to process everything one eats and drinks. It then filters the harmful substances from the blood. This process is, however, hindered if there is too much fat in the liver. The liver although commonly repairs itself by rebuilding new liver cells whenever they are damaged. But, when there’s repeated damage to the liver, permanent damage takes place. And this is called cirrhosis.
Liver has some fat in normal quantity but when it makes up more than 5%-10% of its weight, there arises this condition, called fatty liver disease. And yes, drinking is one of the key causes! Fatty liver, or steatosis, is a term that describes the building up of excess fat in the liver. A fatty liver is the result of the excess fat in liver cells. Fatty tissue slowly builds up in the liver when a person’s diet exceeds the amount of fat that the body can handle. Fatty liver condition can be reversed and is often with no symptoms and can be completely benign does not leading to liver damage. However, once the simple fat starts building up, the liver becomes vulnerable, which may result in inflammation and damage of liver.
Experts don’t know exactly why some people accumulate fat in the liver while others do not. Similarly, there is limited understanding of why some fatty livers develop inflammation that progresses to cirrhosis. But, there are two types of fatty liver condition: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and both are linked to obesity, insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and high levels of fat. These health problems encourage the deposit of fat in the liver.
KINDS OF FATTY LIVER DISEASE:
There are two major kinds of fatty liver diseases. And they are:
- Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) – Alcoholic liver disease as the name suggests is caused due to excessive drinking and the period or duration of drinking does not matter, it can even happen after a short period of heavy drinking.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – Although the cause of this type of fatty liver disease is uncertain but it tends to run in the family. Moreover, the middle-aged and overweight people are at risk, along with people with high cholesterol and diabetes. It is also considered to be the manifestation of the metabolic syndrome.
- Acute fatty liver of pregnancy – It is another kind of fatty liver which is a rare complication of pregnancy which can be life threatening.
However there isn’t any medication or surgery to treat fatty liver but it is not incurable. Some lifestyle changes and fixes to reverse the condition before it is too late. For e.g., quitting or limiting drinking, managing cholesterol, weight loss, maintaining blood sugar levels. Moreover, healthy eating habits can also be adopted to cure it, like, reducing the number of calories intake or eliminating fatty foods and foods high in sugar from your diet.