What is hypercholesterolemia?
Good and bad cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) lipoproteins transport cholesterol from the tissues to the liver for elimination. We talk about "good cholesterol". LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) lipoproteins carry cholesterol from the liver to the tissues. When they are in excess, cholesterol accumulates in the blood. This is called "bad cholesterol".
Complications for the arteries
LDL cholesterol is called atherogen, which means that it promotes the formation of atheroma plaques responsible for atherosclerosis (loss of elasticity of the arteries). High LDL cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke. Conversely, HDL cholesterol is said to be non-attractive. High levels of HDL cholesterol reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Too much cholesterol in the blood is deposited on the walls of the arteries and promotes the formation of atheroma plaques, leading to stenosis (narrowing of the diameter of the artery). Blood circulation is reduced and there is a risk of clots forming, particularly in the case of myocardial infarction.
Treatments for high cholesterol
The treatment of hypercholesterolemia involves a change in eating habits with a reduction in the consumption of cholesterol-rich foods such as fatty meats, deli meats (sausages, rillettes...), pastries or cheeses rich in fat. Regular sports activity, adapted to your physical condition, is also recommended. Alcohol and tobacco consumption must be reduced.
A drug treatment can be set up by the cardiologist following a myocardial infarction. The drugs used aim to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Statins are the most frequently prescribed drugs.
Control your cholesterol level
It is important to regularly monitor cholesterol levels, especially if the patient has associated risk factors such as obesity, diabetes or smoking. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor for more information. You can join the Carenity cardiovascular disease community to share your experiences.
Published 9 Jan 2019