Getting to Know Dyslipidemia and How to Prevent it
Dyslipidemia is a medical condition that affects the level of fat in the body, which is a condition in which the level of fat in the blood increases or decreases. This is at risk of causing heart disease and stroke. Dyslipidemia does not cause symptoms and is usually only detected during a blood test or medical check-up.
Definition of Dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia is a lipid metabolism disorder characterized by increased or decreased levels of lipid components/lipid fractions in plasma. Dyslipidemia is characterized by increased levels of cholesterol and/or triglycerides or decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The most important lipid fraction abnormalities are increased total cholesterol levels (> 240 mg/dl), LDL cholesterol (> 160 mg/dl), increased triglyceride levels (> 200 mg/dl) and decreased HDL levels.
Dyslipidemia Causes and Dangers
Based on the cause, dyslipidemia is divided into 2 types, namely primary and secondary dyslipidemia. Primary dyslipidemia is passed from parents to children, while secondary dyslipidemia is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or certain diseases eg nephrotic syndrome or hypothyroidism. Some habits that can increase the risk of dyslipidemia are:
- Rarely exercise
- Frequently consume alcohol
- Often consume foods high in sugar or saturated fat, such as fatty meats, cheese, fried foods, and butter.
Meanwhile, conditions that can increase the risk of dyslipidemia are:
- Liver disease, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and hypothyroidism
- Overweight or obesity
- Kidney disease, such as kidney stones and kidney failure
- Consuming beta blockers, corticosteroids, diuretics, HIV medication, or birth control pills
Too much cholesterol can accumulate on the walls of the arteries and form plaques (atherosclerosis). As a result, blood flow in the body, including to the heart and brain, is disrupted. This can cause a number of diseases, such as stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack and coronary heart disease.
Symptoms of Dyslipidemia
Some people who suffer from dyslipidemia do not show certain symptoms or signs. Usually a person is known to have high levels of bad cholesterol after undergoing an examination or evaluation because of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the symptoms detected are often related to cardiovascular problems, such as:
- Chest pain
- Cold sweats
- Hard to breathe
- Symptoms of clogged arteries are like stroke symptoms
Treatment of Dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia conditions need to be detected through examination to the doctor. The doctor will do a physical examination and blood tests to assess blood fat levels. If a friend of Hermina is diagnosed with dyslipidemia, the following steps can be taken to reduce blood fat levels:
1. Taking medication
Medicines are given if the level of one or more cholesterol has reached a severe level, namely:
- LDL cholesterol level more than 190 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol levels are less than 40 mg/dL in men or 50 mg/dL in women
- Triglyceride levels over 200 mg/dL
Doctors can also give medicine even though the patient's blood cholesterol level is not yet at a severe level. Usually this is done because the patient suffers from certain conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. But in general, blood cholesterol levels that are not too high can be treated by living a healthy lifestyle.
Diet for weight loss is often chosen as a step to lower LDL cholesterol levels. When on a diet, patients must limit their intake of foods that contain lots of saturated fat, such as cheese, butter, fried foods, and fatty meats. Limiting cholesterol intake does not mean abstinence from fat at all because cholesterol or fat is also very much needed by the body as a source of hormones, vitamin D, carrier of fat-soluble vitamins, etc.
Several types of food, such as avocados, whole grains, onions, fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber, and foods that contain omega-3, can be good intake to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can restore blood cholesterol levels to normal levels. Regular exercise for 20–30 minutes, which is done 5 times a week, can lower triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels, and increase good cholesterol. Sports to choose from include jogging, swimming, or cycling.
4. No smoking
Quitting smoking can increase your good cholesterol or HDL levels by 5–10%. In addition to quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake can also help reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Prevention of Dyslipidemia
How to prevent dyslipidemia is similar to how to treat it. If there is a genetic factor, at least this method can minimize the risk of complications due to high levels of bad cholesterol.
- Adopt a balanced nutritional diet
- Maintain ideal body weight according to body mass index limits
- Live a healthy and active lifestyle
- Quit smoking or stay away from secondhand smoke
- Control stress
It is recommended that Friends of Hermina routinely carry out health checks at Hermina Pandanaran Hospital. The doctor will tell you about the diet pattern, type of exercise, and the right medicine to lower cholesterol levels, according to the health condition of Hermina's friends.