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Blood Pressure Cholestrol Diabetes        
  Overview  |  Diagnosis  |  Treatment
Overview

A waxy, fat-like substance found in the tissue of humans and animals is called Cholestrol. It is also known as lipid(blood fat). It is mainly found in foods derived from animal sources like eggs, meat, poultry and dairy products. Consuming excessive amounts of fats, particularly saturated fats in the form of cholesterol, can be damaging to one's health.

Cholesterol in the blood has three main components:
• Low density lipoproteins (LDL)
These lipoproteins deposit cholesterol and other fats throughout the body. High levels of LDL can cause the risk of hardening the arteries and heart disease.

• High density lipoproteins (HDL)
These lipoproteins eliminates cholesterol and other fats from the body. High levels of HDL protect against heart disease.

• Triglycerides
This kind of fat is commonly found in the body.

Cholesterol when in level is good for health, but when exceeded it increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The extra cholesterol in your blood may be stored in your arteries and make them narrow. This is called atherosclerosis. Large deposits of cholesterol can also block an artery completely, due to which blood can't flow through.

High cholesterol is caused due to:
   • Cholesterol
  • Inherited tendency to have high
  • High-fat diet
  • Overweight
  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Sometimes fatty deposits (plaque) are build up in the arteries, restricting and disrupting blood
flow. This is called as atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). This may lead to
a high level of cholesterol in the bloodstream is known as hyperlipidemia

When an artery that supplies blood to your heart becomes blocked, a heart attack can occur & when an artery that supplies blood to your brain becomes blocked, a stroke can occur.

Risk factors leading to high cholestero:
   • Age: cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older
  • High-fat diet
  • Obesity, Overweight
  • Sex: males and post-menopausal females
  • Family members with high cholesterol
  • Sedentary lifestyle

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Diagnosis

Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Knowing your total blood cholesterol level is the most important & first step in determining your risk to heart disease. However, the second step, which is critical is to know your HDL or "good" cholesterol level.


Your LDL cholesterol level

Your LDL cholesterol level has a great effect on your risk of heart attack and stroke. The lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk. Following are the LDL Cholesterol Levels in which you:

LDL Cholesterol Levels
Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
100 to 129 mg/dL Near Optimal/ Above Optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline High
160 to 189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very High

People with high triglycerides need to limit their carbohydrates intakes to not more than 45–50 percent of total calories. The reason for this is that carbohydrates raise triglycerides and lower HDL cholesterol. Use products with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. A laboratory blood test is necessary to give an accurate check of cholesterol levels. Generally, a blood sample is taken from the arm after the patient has fasted (gone without food) for at least 12 hours.

High cholesterol do show much symptoms, but if so then following symptoms are shown:
  • Angina (chest pain)
  • In people with an inherited form of high cholesterol, cholesterol deposits in the tendons under the eyes around     the cornea

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. High cholesterol is diagnosed through blood tests that measure:
  • The total level of cholesterol in your blood
  • The level of HDL-cholesterol in your blood
  • The level of LDL-cholesterol in your blood
  • The level of triglycerides in your blood

 
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Treatment

Following are the measures to overcome High cholestrol:
  
• Limiting the amount of fat and cholesterol you eat
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Eating a diet high in fiber
  • Increasing physical activity in your daily life, as recommended by your doctor
  • Losing weight if you're overweight
  • Beginning a safe exercise program recommended by your doctor
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink. Moderate alcohol intake is no more than 2 drinks per day for men and     1 drink per day for women

If the above measures do not lower your blood cholesterol, you may need cholesterol-lowering medication. They are:
   • Cholestyramine
  • Pravastatin
  • Nicotinic acid
  • Colestipol
  • Lovastatin
  • Simvastatin

Hormone Replacement Therapy
If you're a postmenopausal woman, your doctor may recommend estrogen replacement therapy.

To reduce your chance of having high cholesterol:
  • Eat a healthful diet, one that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit
  • Minimum Alcohol. Not to exceed 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women

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