Dyslipidemia is a condition in which the level of fat in the blood increases. This is at risk of causing heart disease and stroke. Dyslipidemia does not cause symptoms and is usually only detected during blood tests or medical check-ups. To treat dyslipidemia, consider the following explanation.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that breaks down food and produces hormones. There are three types of cholesterol in the body, namely high-density lipoprotein (HDL) good cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) bad cholesterol, and triglycerides.
A person is said to have dyslipidemia if his blood lipid examination after fasting shows a total cholesterol value above 200 mg/dL with details:
- LDL cholesterol above 100 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol below 40 mg/dL for men, or below 50 mg/dL for women
- Triglycerides more than 150 mg/dL
Causes and Dangers of Dyslipidemia
Based on the cause, dyslipidemia is divided into 2 types, namely primary and secondary dyslipidemia. Primary dyslipidemia is passed from parents to children, while secondary dyslipidemia is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or certain diseases.
Some habits that can increase the risk of dyslipidemia are:
- Rarely exercise
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- Frequent consumption of foods high in sugar or saturated fat, such as fatty meats, cheese, fried foods, and butter
Meanwhile, conditions that can increase the risk of dyslipidemia are:
- Liver disease, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and hypothyroidism
- Overweight or obesity
- Kidney disease, such as kidney stones and kidney failure
- Take beta blocker blood pressure lowering drugs, corticosteroids, diuretics, HIV treatment, or birth control pills
Too much cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries and form plaques (atherosclerosis). As a result, blood flow in the body, including to the heart and brain, is disrupted.
This can cause a number of diseases, such as stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and peripheral artery disease.
How to Treat Dyslipidemia
Because there are no symptoms, the condition of dyslipidemia needs to be detected through an examination to a doctor. The doctor will perform a physical examination and blood tests to assess blood lipid levels.
If you are diagnosed with dyslipidemia, the following ways you can do to reduce blood fat levels:
1. Taking medicine
The statin group of drugs, such as atorvastatin, livostatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin, are drugs that are often given to treat dyslipidemia. Not infrequently doctors also give other types of drugs, such as ezetimibe, nicotinic acid, and fenofibrate.
Drugs are given if the level of one or more cholesterol has reached a severe level, namely:
- LDL cholesterol level more than 190 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol levels less than 40 mg/dL in men or 50 mg/dL in women
- Triglyceride level more than 200 mg/dL
Doctors can also give medicine even though the patient's blood cholesterol level is not at a severe level. Usually this is done because the patient suffers from certain conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. But in general, blood cholesterol levels that are not too high can be handled by living a healthy lifestyle.
Diets for weight loss are often chosen as a step to lower LDL cholesterol levels. When on a diet, patients should limit their intake of foods that contain a lot of saturated fat, such as cheese, butter, fried foods, and fatty meats.
Several types of foods, such as avocados, whole grains, onions, fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber, as well as foods that contain omega-3, can be a good intake to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can restore blood cholesterol levels to normal levels. Regular exercise for 20-30 minutes, which is done 5 times a week, can reduce triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels, and increase good cholesterol. Sports that can be chosen include jogging, swimming, or cycling.
4. No smoking
Quitting smoking can increase levels of good cholesterol or HDL by 5-10%. In addition to quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake can also help reduce blood cholesterol levels.
To find out if you have dyslipidemia, you should see a doctor. The doctor will also tell you the diet, the type of exercise, and the right medication to lower cholesterol levels, according to your condition.