High Blood Cholesterol is the 2nd top cause of deaths in Singapore and can contribute to high blood pressure readings which could increase your risk of serious illnesses such as stroke. Read on and find out if you are at risk of having high cholesterol and the type of treatments available if you or your loved ones are diagnosed with high blood cholesterol. Our expert nurses and doctors have included tips below to help you reduce high cholesterol to lead a healthier life.
High Blood Cholesterol 101
High cholesterol is a condition when there is excess fat built up in your blood vessels. This can be caused by genetics and lifestyle factors and can contribute to other serious medical conditions like high blood pressure readings, stroke, or coronary heart disease. This is why it is important to reduce high cholesterol levels so that you can lead a healthier life with a lesser chance of serious illness.
Who is at Risk?
Many factors can contribute to high cholesterol including:
- If you have a family history of high cholesterol.
- If you consume high amounts of fatty foods like red meat, deep fried foods, and highly processed foods.
- Obese individuals or those who have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 23.
- Individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
High cholesterol has no external symptoms and can only be detected via blood test. If you are at risk of high cholesterol it is important to see a doctor and understand your potential risk profile. Persons with high cholesterol readings can also manage their lifestyle and diet choices to try and decrease their cholesterol readings and strive to lead healthier lives.
Health Problems of High Cholesterol
When you have a high cholesterol reading, fatty deposits (or plaque) may start steadily building up in your blood vessels. These deposits can constrict the blood vessels and narrow blood flow through your arteries, affecting your heart health, blood pressure, and breathing.
If these deposits suddenly break off they can form a clot which travels through your bloodstream and can lead to a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can also cause other diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure which could lead to more serious conditions like organ failure.
Prevention Tips for High Cholesterol
It is important that you reassess your lifestyle choices and make healthy changes where possible to reduce high cholesterol. It’s a gradual process which needs consistent efforts and determination, but the earlier you adopt these healthy habits, the better your chances are of preventing heart attacks and strokes!
- Control your weight. Maintain a healthy BMI to ensure that you do not become overweight, which has been linked to high cholesterol and high blood pressure readings.
- Limit your intake of fatty foods and foods with high cholesterol.
- Adopt an active lifestyle. Get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week to improve your heart and overall health.
- Limit alcohol intake and smoking, as both can contribute towards increased blood cholesterol levels.
- Increase intake of healthy foods such as whole grain foods, vegetables and fruits. These foods help to prevent the build up of fats in your blood vessels.
Treatment of High Cholesterol
1. Prevention is the best cure.
Start with a home health screening to identify your health concerns. Whether you have a high cholesterol reading or not, you can start adopting the healthy lifestyle habits mentioned to reduce high cholesterol and help you avoid future medical emergencies.
2. Visit your doctor
If you have a high cholesterol or high blood pressure reading, schedule regular check ups, doctor house calls, or home teleconsultations to keep updated on your health condition. Our trained doctors can prescribe medications and provide advice on reaching and maintaining your personal cholesterol targets. Your doctor might also perform regular blood and urine tests to monitor for any cholesterol-related complications and check for other illnesses which can develop as a result of high cholesterol.
For the following consultation, your doctor may prescribe other treatments for high cholesterol or related conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. These treatments can vary in intensity and length depending on the severity of your condition.
Here at Jaga-Me our trained nurses and caregivers can provide excellent and cost-efficient diabetes care, high blood pressure care, and other medical care needs at home. Read more on our blog to find more expert tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.