We commonly hear about lipid. What is lipid? Is lipid like fat? Fat is one of the macronutrients along with carbohydrate and protein. Fat is made up by three molecule of fatty acids and a molecule of glycerol. Don’t get confused with cholesterol. Cholesterol is not fat per se however, consume high fatty food could cause high cholesterol in blood.
What is hyperlipidaemia?
Word ‘hyper’ stands for over; excessive, ‘lipid’ is fat and ‘-aemia’ means present in blood. Thus, hyperlipidaemia is excessive lipid (fat) in blood. In medical term, hyperlipidaemia is a condition where there are abnormal level of lipids(fats) in the blood. Two major types of lipids are triglyceride and cholesterol (AHA,2018).
What are triglycerides?
When some individual eats too much, the calories that not been used will be converted into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in fat cells (MayoClinic,2015). When it happened frequently, the level of triglycerides in blood will rise.
What are cholesterol?
Cholesterol can be obtained by two ways. First, it is produced by liver and second from dietary sources like red meat, egg and seafood. Usually, cholesterol is divided into “bad” and “good” cholesterol. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good” one whereas Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is other way around. Cholesterol has its own functions. Like others, too much never bring benefits but harm.
What are High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)?
HDL is so-called as the good cholesterol because of its chemical structures and functions as well. HDL acts as scavenger where its bring LDL cholesterol away from arteries and back to liver to be metabolized (AHA,2018).
What are Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)?
LDL is “bad” cholesterol as its could build up plaque in the arteries which is later cause atherosclerosis (AHA,2018).
What are the indications of having hyperlipidaemia?
Someone who has elevated fat can be identified by looking at their lipid profile. In lipid profile, there are few parameters can be seen such as HDL, LDL, Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (VLDL), Total Cholesterol (TC) and Triglycerides (TG) (Healtline,2017).
If there are any abnormal values of any of these parameters, then the individual is consider as having hyperlipidaemia upon doctor’s confirmation.
Complications of having hyperlipidaemia
Hyperlipidaemia has many health complications. To name few are atherosclerosis, ischemic heart diseases and fatty liver.
What to concern after been diagnosed with hyperlipidaemia?
There are few things need to be concerned since abnormal level of lipid profile could affect overall health. It is not just lead to heart diseases only but other diseases as well. Plus more with other factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, having hyperlipidaemia has put someone’s life in danger.
What to do?
Been diagnosed with hyperlipidaemia is not like the end of life. Lots of changes can be done. First thing off, health consultant would suggest the individual for lifestyle changes. By doing lifestyle changes for 3 months, some patient indeed proves some improvement in their lipid profile. The aim is always to have all the parameters as normal as they could where HDL/LDL level need to be contradict each other. It is better to have low LDL level.
- Know the fats
Fat can be divided into three types which are saturated fats, unsaturated fats and trans-fat. Unsaturated fats can be further categorized into two types which are polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA). Trans-fat and saturated fats are type of fats that need to be aware because high intake of both fats increase LDL cholesterol level and lower the HDL cholesterol in blood.
- Know the high cholesterol foods
Since human liver already produce cholesterol hence cholesterol sources from dietary need to be controlled as prevention of hyperlipidaemia. Even some research has shown that by limiting dietary cholesterol only is not beneficial to improve heart health, still eating it too much bring no good.
- Healthy weight
Many obese and overweight people have more fat in their body. They are more prone to have lipid disorders. Thus, maintaining good weight is totally suggested. To maintain good weight, an individual need to consume a healthy balanced meal.
- Physical Activity
- Be physically active
To be active or not is individual decision. AHA recommends us to be engaged in physical activity with minimum 30 minutes 5 days a week. Doing physical activity can be increase sense of wellness. It helps to boost confidence and improve overall health. Brisk walking or jogging for 5 days for at least 30 minutes should be great.
- Take medication as prescribed
Lowering cholesterol drugs are given to the patients with hyperlipidaemia. The types of medicine gas been decided by doctors. Some common medicine used to treat high cholesterol levels are simvastatin, amlodipine and lovastatin. Thus, patients need to take medications as directed (Healthline,2017).