Understanding Cholesterol and the Possible Risks
The role of steroids in ensuring the smooth functioning of the human body is highly crucial. Cholesterol is such a steroid produced in the intestine. Also produced by the liver, these components promote the activities of hormones and thereby the functioning of the entire body. The cholesterol is classified broadly into three categories as low density lipoproteins, high density lipoproteins, and very low density lipoproteins. The LDL is considered as the bad cholesterol and its content in the body should be always low. HDL is good cholesterol and can enhance the proper working of the heart.
Cholesterol Levels and Diseases Associated with It
As mentioned before, the level of cholesterol in determining an individual’s health is crucial. The apt level can be determined by the presence of total cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL. It is estimated that an LDL level of 130-159 mg/dL is the margin and any level above this can be dangerous. Similarly an HDL content of 60 mg/dL is considered good as it is clear indication of a healthy heart. However if the level of HDL is below 40 then, it is not a desired level. VLDL level can be obtained by dividing the triglyceride content by 5. If the result is high, then this can be harmful and can cause hear disease and conditions like atherosclerosis.
The presence of these lipoproteins can lead to two types of ailments. One is hypercholesterolemia and the other is hypocholesterolemia. High cholesterol level in blood is known as the hypercholesterolemia. If the steroid is present in an excess level, then there are ample chances for these getting deposited to the arterial wall of heart and the surrounding arteries which supply blood to different parts of the body. This can further lead to the blockage of arteries with unwanted depositions and can cause difficulty for the heart to pump the blood through the narrow channels. Coronary Heart Disease or CHD is an after effect of this. The narrowing of arterial walls leads to further blood clots and thereby lead to stroke, chest pain and even death.
Causes and Symptoms of High Cholesterol
There are various reasons that cause the presence of cholesterol in an alarming amount. Heredity, excess body weight, over use of alcohol and drug, hypertension and mental stress, ageing etc. are some prominent causes. The problem can be hereditary and may be inherited from the genes of the previous generations. Possessing an excess body weight and obesity can be life threatening with an increased content of LDL. Over consumption of alcohol and other drugs can also result in the same condition. Stress is another key factor which can affect the cholesterol levels as there are chances for people to indulge in over eating for the sake of reducing stress. With advancement in age and the presence of other body weaknesses, high cholesterol levels can build up. Certain medications and having some other kind of disease can also result in high LDL content.
Looking for the symptoms, high cholesterol cannot be often detected with the presence of any indications except for conducting a blood test. However there are cases like coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease appearing because of the excess steroid contents. Most of these ailments may come with symptoms like weakness dizziness, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, fainting, nausea, mild fever etc.
Treatment and Medications
Different kinds of medications are administered in lowering the level of excess cholesterol. Statins are popularly recommended by the physicians in reducing the production of extra cholesterol in liver. Statin blocks the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme for doing this. Fibric acid is another medicine used in the treatment. Also known as fibrates, the drug reduce the triglyceride level in blood by lessening the amount of VLDL production. Another category of drug is the bile acid sequestrants. It lowers the LDL content. It is also combined with drugs like statin and niacin in producing a profound effect. The combination drugs are capable of reducing the level of LDL for about 50% rather than when it is used alone. Niacin or Nicotinic acid agent works by improving the level of good cholesterol and simultaneously reduces bad lipoproteins.
While consuming the cholesterol reducing drugs, patients should take care of certain aspects. First, never opt for self administration of drugs with limited knowledge. Always consult a physician and do as per the doctor’s advice. Inform the doctor about any kind of exiting ailments and the medications one is taking for such conditions. Have cholesterol checks periodically as this helps in effectively monitoring the level of steroid. Apart from consuming the drugs, one can prevent and reduce excess cholesterol by following a healthy life style. Avoiding high fat foods and engaging in regular and healthy exercises can readily help in reducing the obesity, high pressure, stress and other situations and thereby avoiding high cholesterol levels.