Cholesterol is an essential part of the body that produces hormones and cells to maintain it.
There are two types of lipoproteins that are responsible for the flow of cholesterol through the blood into the body, LDL and HDL. LDL is the bad cholesterol and the higher levels of LDL can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, chest pain, and heart attacks, which can also lead to sudden deaths.
Here are a few myths abut cholesterol and some facts that one must be aware of.
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All Cholesterol is Bad
Whenever you hear cholesterol, you might have a sense of fear that you might have to face some health complications. But the above mentioned statement is an absolute myth.
Cholesterol is important for the body as it is responsible for the production of hormones and the formation of cells. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two types of proteins responsible for carrying cholesterol through the blood:
LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein), also known as 'bad cholesterol'
HDL (High-density Lipoprotein), also known as 'good cholesterol'
Proper levels of LDL and HDL helps prevent heart diseases and chest pain. High levels of LDL can cause blockage of the arteries due to accumulation of plaque.
Only Men Get Affected by High Cholesterol Levels
According to Pubmed Central, there are 10.5 percent cases of men with high cholesterol and 12.1 percent cases of women affected by high cholesterol and this clearly shows that the above-mentioned statement is a myth and this should not make the women ignore their health and a healthy lifestyle that can be a contributing factor for their high cholesterol.
A Person With Healthy Weight Cannot Have High Cholesterol
This is a myth that if a person maintains a healthy weight and eats healthy, he can prevent the high levels of bad cholesterol. This is because cholesterol levels are also affected due to genetic mutations and your body might not be able to process the cholesterol effeciently.
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According to US NIH, this might be a one in 200 cases and the condition is known as 'hypercholesterolemia', which might be affected by other factors as well, like your eating habits, smoking, drinking, and the amount of physical exercise. At times, there might be people who are overweight but might not experience any complications related to cholesterol
There Are Symptoms for High Cholesterol
This is a misconception that if you suffer from high cholesterol, you might experience few symptoms. There might be cases where a person might have no signs or symptoms of high cholesterol and that is why it becomes important for us to get tested regularly and check the cholesterol levels through blood tests.
The frequency of tests depends on the overall health, preference and risk factors of an individual. According to MedicalNewsToday, a person affected by bad cholesterol may experience late symptoms like chest pain, heart attack, and sudden death due to the blockage and damage caused due to the accumulation of plaque.
Nothing Can be Done About High Cholesterol
People have a misconception that there is nothing they can do to manage their high cholesterol levels and it can only be treated through a special diet or medications.
According to CDC, a person can manage their cholesterol levels by replacing their unhealthy saturated food options with food high in fiber and unsaturated fats. You can maintain an active lifestyle, limit your alcohol intake and quit smoking. Other additional steps may require you to get tested every 5 years, know your family history and consult your health provider for any additional information or medicines that should be taken as prescribed.
Cholesterol Can Affect Only the Adults
According to the doctors of Mayo Clinic, even children can get affected by unhealthy cholesterol and there's no specific age for high levels of unhealthy cholesterol since genetics also play a major role.
According to American Heart Association, people should start regular tests and screenings as early as the age of 20.