Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hyperlipidemia



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Hyperlipidemia is when there are higher than normal amounts of lipids in the blood stream. Lipids, often called fats, are essential to the composition of cells.Generally
when an individual has hyperlipidemia they also suffer from high
cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and
atherosclerosis. There are no symptoms for hyperlipidemia so often times
it goes undetected for long periods of time. Some of the risk factors
are age (men over 45, women over 55), unhealthy lifestyle (poor diet,
sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and smoking), medical conditions
(diabetes, kidney disease, or pregnancy), and genetics. A blood test is
needed to diagnose hyperlipidimia. Because there are no specific
symptoms associated with hyperlipidemia a blood test will determine the
levels of lipids in your blood. These levels can help determine the
intervention necesarry to control lipid levels, if diagnosed with
hyperlipidemia. It is recommended as a precaution by The National
Cholesterol Education Program that everyone get a blood test every 5
years after the age of 20. 

Although the term fat generally has a
negative connotation, it is inportant to recognize that at appropriate
levels, lipids have important functions. However, if the lipid levels
exceed the functional level, health risks increase significantly. Lipids
are used to store large amounts of energy and to protect cells of the
body. Lipids are able to store more energy per gram than carbohydrates
and proteins. Activities lasting longer than one hour are fueled byt he
energy stored in lipids. Lipids make up the semi-permeable membrane of
body cells that regulate what is allowed to enter the cells of the body.
The lipid bilayer also protects the organelles within the cell,
contains sites for enzyme and hormone recognition and transports food
sources into the cell.  

Blood test results will give a
breakdown of different lipid levels. To have a low risk for heart
disease, lipid levels should be:

LDL <130 mg/dL

HDL >40 mg/dL

Triglycerides <200 mg/dL

Total cholesterol <200 mg/dL

75%
of blood cholesterol is in the liver and other cells in our bodies. The
other 25% comes from the foos you eat. LDL (low density liporpotiens)
and HDL (high density lipoprotiens) are special carriers that transport
cholesterol because of its inability to be dissolved into the blood.

LDL
the bad cholesterol is produced naturally in the body. Having increased
levels of LDL may be due to genetics or eating saturated/trans fats and
dietary cholesterol. HDL is the good cholestrol. Higher levels of HDL
seem to protect against heart disease. HDL carries cholesterol away from
the arteries and back to the liver to be disposed fromt he body.