National Cholesterol Month

This month is National Cholesterol Month. For the Month of October HEART UK’s objective is to prevent premature deaths caused by high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels are extremely important having a healthy long life.

What is Cholesterol?

A fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the normal functioning of the body. It’s mainly made by the liver, but can also be found in some foods. Having an excessively high level of lipids in your blood can have an effect on your health.

High Cholesterol itself doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, but it increased your risk of serious health conditions.

Why should you lower your cholesterol?
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:

  • Narrowing of the arteries
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischaemic attack (mini stroke)
  • Peripheral arterial disease

Cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain and rest of your body. It also increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body.

What causes high cholesterol?

Many factors can increases your chances of having heart problems or a stroke if you have high cholesterol.

These include:

  • An unhealthy diet – eating high levels of saturated fat
  • Smoking – a chemical found in cigarettes call acrolein stops HDL transporting cholesterol from fatty deposits to the liver, leading to narrowing of the arteries.
  • Having diabetes or High blood pressure
  • Having a family history of stroke or heart disease

What to do if you think you have High cholesterol:

As your local GP about the situation and usually blood tests will be taken to indicate if you have High cholesterol or not.