Bad Effects of Cholesterol on Body Health
Cholesterol is a fat found in the bloodstream or in body cells, which is actually needed for the formation of cell walls and as a raw material for several hormones. Total cholesterol examination consists of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein), HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), and Triglycerides.
LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is often referred to as bad cholesterol because it can stick to blood vessels. HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) or often called good cholesterol is a fat that can dissolve LDL content in the body.
High levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause several diseases, among others:
1. Heart attack
Too high levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause the blood vessels to harden or narrow thus disrupting blood flow. If the blood flow to the heart is interrupted, it can causeheart disease.
If the narrowing occurs in the blood vessels of the brain, brain function will be disrupted. Disturbed brain function will have a negative impact on the ability to think, memory, and mental condition. Even worse, this condition can also lead tostroke.
3. Peripheral artery disease
Peripheral artery disease is a disease caused by cholesterol blockage in the arteries of the legs or arms, causing several complaints, such as pain, cramps, to numbness.
High cholesterol has no symptoms, therefore it is necessary to do a blood test to determine cholesterol levels in the blood.According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), blood cholesterol screening can be done between the ages of 9 and 11 years, and repeated every 5 years after the first screening. For men aged 45 to 65 years and women aged 55 to 65 years, the examination is carried out every 1-2 years. For those over 65 years of age, the examination is carried out every year. In patients with high cholesterol levels, or have comorbidities (other diseases such as urinary, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.), cholesterol checks can be carried out more often according to doctor's recommendations
Several risk factors can cause high cholesterol levels (> 200 mg/dl), including:
Consuming high-fat foods causes an increase in total cholesterol levels in the blood. Therefore, it is important to balance it with foods high in fiber which can help reduce the absorption of fat and cholesterol in the blood
A bad lifestyle such as rarely moving or rarely exercising can increase the risk of high cholesterol
3. Smoking habits
Cigarettes can reduce levels of good cholesterol / HDL and cause fat accumulation in the walls of the arteries of the heart. The increase in total cholesterol levels can be influenced by the duration and number of cigarettes consumed each day, the chemicals contained in cigarettes can increase LDL levels and reduce HDL levels.
Lifestyle changes are important to prevent high cholesterol. Things that can be done such as:
Eat high-fiber foods
Limit consumption of animal fat
Maintain an ideal weight