Dyslipidemia denotes elevated levels of one or more types of lipids in the blood. The blood comprises three major types of lipids low-density lipoprotein (LD), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides. Dyslipidemia generally means that LDL and triglyceride levels are too high and HDL levels are low.
LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol and it builds up and form plaque in the arteries. Excess of plaque in the arteries can lead to a heart attack. On the other hand, HDL is the good cholesterol as it facilitates to get rid of bad cholesterol from the blood. Also Read: CHOLESTEROL: Is It Good Or Bad?
Triglycerides are fat that comes from excess calories you eat, and it is not burnt away. It is stored as fat cells and provide the body with energy as and when it needs. If the intake of calories is more than it is burned, it may result in a backlog of triglycerides.
Elevated levels of LDL and triglycerides increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, while a low level of HDL cholesterol is associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
Types Of Dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia is broadly classified into two types primary and secondary. Primary dyslipidemia is genetic and secondary dyslipidemia is an acquired disorder caused due to diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorder.
Hyperlipidemia is often interchanged with dyslipidemia however, hyperlipidemia is a condition when LDL and triglycerides levels are very high, and dyslipidemia is a condition when their levels are either high or low.
Primary dyslipidemia is further classified into familial combined hyperlipidemia, familial hypercholesterolemia and polygenic hypercholesterolemia and familial hyperapobetalipoproteinemia.
Familial combined hyperlipidemia is the genetic cause that leads to a high level of both LDL cholesterol and triglycerides which develops at a young age and increases the risk of early coronary heart disease.
Familial hypercholesterolemia and polygenic hypercholesterolemia are denoted with high cholesterol content. Familial hyperapobetalipoproteinemia is a condition with high levels of apolipoprotein B, which is part of LDL cholesterol.
Hyperlipoproteinemia may be caused due to a primary or a secondary condition which has trouble metabolizing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
There are no significant symptoms associated with dyslipidemia, blood tests are the best possible away to diagnose.
Some of the causative factors that lead to dyslipidemia are smoking, obesity, age, sedentary lifestyle, high intake of foods rich in saturated fat. Excess alcohol intake may elevate the risk of triglycerides. Women usually tend to have a low LDL until menopause and post-menopause LDL level starts to rise which elevates the risk of dyslipidemia. Type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism and chronic kidney disease are other conditions that may elevate the risk of dyslipidemia.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Dyslipidemia can be diagnosed by simple blood tests which include the complete lipid profile. It is determined bases on your results if LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels are high or low or in a healthy range. The number can change periodically so it is always good to get your blood work done annually if you are at risk.
Doctors generally suggest statin a type of cholesterol-lowering medication, which can lower LDL cholesterol by decreasing cholesterol production in the liver.
- Lifestyle modification is a vital component of treatment that assists you in bringing the lipid profile under control. Dietary restrictions include the intake of saturated fat, simple sugar and alcohol. Practices healthy eating habits include a rich array of fruits and vegetable, add lean protein and whole-grain to manage dyslipidemia. Also Read: Simple Lifestyle Changes To Control Cholesterol
- Regular workout and losing weight may also help to reduce the cholesterol level.
- Quit smoking