You may feel curious when knowing that people develop hypercholesterolemia, known as high cholesterol, at a very early age, even though they are neither smokers, alcohol drinkers nor living with bad lifestyles.
In this case, they may get familial hypercholesterolemia. Unlike secondary high cholesterol developed from unhealthy living habits, familial high cholesterol is a rare autosomal dominant disorder and shows strong family aggregation.
Familial high cholesterol has a low incidence that is commonly reported as 1 in 500. People with familial high cholesterol show abnormally high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also called “bad” cholesterol) but normal triglycerides.
Hereditary high cholesterol can lead to health problems including cardiovascular diseases. When you are diagnosed with familial high cholesterol, you shall begin a health plan to reduce the risk. Here are some tips that are useful to help you control hereditary high cholesterol.
Do regular exercise
Physical activities can help increase insulin resistance and glucose tolerance, and reduce plasma triacylglycerol and “bad” cholesterol.
People with familial high cholesterol are advised to keep physical activities (brisk walking, jogging, swimming, skipping rope, cycling, etc) at least 3 or 4 times a week.
Smoking can raise plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (known as “good” cholesterol).
It has been reported that smoking quit significantly increased the good cholesterol levels after one year and reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. It is never too late to quit smoking.
Diet composition has a direct impact on blood lipid levels and plasma cholesterol levels are easily affected by the cholesterol intake from diet.
Eating large amounts of saturated fatty acids can increase cholesterol synthesis. Generally, foods like meat, eggs, and dairy products, etc. are rich in cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, and should be eaten in limited amounts.
Instead of animal oils, plant-based oils extracted from seeds are healthier and recommended 25 to 30 grams daily.
High blood lipid level is common in people with hereditary high cholesterol. When “bad” cholesterol is detected extremely high, people might be prescribed some medications from their doctors. Statins like Atorvastatin are commonly used to control cholesterol levels.
As a chronic disease, hereditary high cholesterol is difficult to get cured. However, a combination of scientific diet, lifestyles, and medications could help lower high cholesterol to a normal level to achieve better longevity.