What is dyslipidaemia?
If you have dyslipidaemia or high cholesterol, your blood contains abnormal levels of cholesterol – a fatty molecule. Cholesterol is important for keeping the body healthy but too much of it can deposit in your blood vessels causing problems. These cholesterol deposits are called plaques.
There are two main forms of cholesterol in our blood:
- High density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL mops up excess cholesterol molecules and helps keep cholesterol from depositing in the arteries. A higher level of HDL is considered healthy.
- Low density lipoprotein (LDL): LDL accumulates in the arteries causing plaque buildup. High levels of LDL can be dangerous.
Dyslipidaemia shows no symptoms.
A blood test can tell you the exact levels of cholesterol in your blood. Here are the normal values for cholesterol:
- Total cholesterol < 200 mg/dL
- LDL < 130 mg/dL
- HDL > 45 mg/dL
Complications of dyslipidaemia
High amounts of cholesterol can deposit in your blood vessels forming plaques or “blockages”. These plaques can cause chest pain and increase your chances of getting a heart attack.
Basics of dyslipidaemia management
As our intake of cholesterol is through food, reducing cholesterol-rich food can help in bringing down cholesterol levels. Here are some tips on reducing cholesterol:
- Eat a diet high in fiber-rich foods like oats, fruits and vegetables
- Flax seeds (alsi) and garlic are good in lowering the blood cholesterol
- Exercise vigorously for 40 minutes at least 3-4 times a week