Hyperlipidemia is a mouthful, but it’s really just a fancy word for too many lipids – or fats – in the blood.
It can cover many conditions, but for most people, it comes down to two better-known terms: high cholesterol and high triglycerides. Our bodies make and use a certain amount of cholesterol every day, but sometimes that system gets out of whack, either through genetics or diet. The “good cholesterol” – known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL – helps coat the arteries like a protective oil, helping to prevent blockages. The “bad cholesterol,” low-density lipoprotein, or LDL – can lead to blockages if there’s too much in the body.
What’s the treatment?
If you’re diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, your treatment will vary depending on the type of lipids are too high. In any case, making healthy diet choices and increasing exercise are important first steps in lowering your high cholesterol. Avoid fatty foods and lower your overall daily calorie intake. Medication is also an effective tool in managing the condition when used in conjunction with healthy eating and regular exercise.
The combination of diet and regular physical activity is important even if you’re on medication for high cholesterol.
Consulting a doctor is important, since each condition has it quirks. For people with high triglycerides, for example, alcohol can be particularly dangerous. But for those with high cholesterol, a daily glass of wine or other alcohol, along with healthy eating and exercise, may actually not have an adverse effect.
Once I have it, can I reverse it?
Hyperlipidemia can be reversible in many cases through healthy eating and regular exercise.
Here are some tips on how to manage your risk of high cholesterol.
- Read food labels and choose foods with low cholesterol and saturated fat levels. It is recommended to keep daily cholesterol intake between 250 and 300 milligrams and make sure to limit saturated fat intake.
- Limit your intake of red meat and eggs to reduce your saturate fat and cholesterol. Choose skim milk, low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Limit fried food, and use healthy oils in cooking, such as vegetable oil.
- Increase the amount of fiber you eat. A diet high in fiber can help lower cholesterol levels by as much as 10 percent.
- Check your family history of high cholesterol. Are you more prone to high cholesterol based on genetics? If so, take steps to minimize your risk through diet and exercise.
- Lose extra weight. A weight loss of 10 percent can go a long way to reversing, or lowering your risk of hyperlipidemia.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Hypertension is a condition in which your blood pressure is above the recommended normal range for a healthy person leading to an increase in the risk if developing cardiovascular diseases (heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye diseases etc.).
Hypertension is usually causes by a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle factors, but many times certain hormonal abnormalities triggered by some abnormalities in the adrenal glands or kidneys can also lead to cases of severely elevated blood pressure (malignant Hypertension).
One of the most important challenges at the early stage of hypertension diagnosis is identifying the underlying cause, if there is one. The next step is modifying and changing your lifestyle to support your efforts to lower your blood pressure and the final step is to come up with a treatment strategy that is most effective for you and your individual lifestyle.
By keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range, you are:
- Reducing your risk of the walls of your blood vessels walls becoming overstretched and injured
- Reducing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke; and developing heart failure, kidney failure and peripheral vascular disease.
- Protecting your entire body so that your tissue receives regular supplies of blood that is rich in the oxygen it needs