Around 6% of adults in the UK have high levels of dangerous low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. In general, men tend to have higher levels of blood cholesterol than women prior to menopause. Although having high cholesterol isn't a disease in itself, it can be the cause of many arterial problems as well as heart disease. Many people aren't aware that they have a problem with high cholesterol until they develop complications.
Lifestyle changes such as more exercise and a better diet, are the best way to lower cholesterol levels. Sometimes this is not enough and you will be prescribed medications such as Simvastatin, Crestor and Lescol. These treatments, alongside others, are available to order from HealthExpress by completing our free and confidential consultation. To start the process, simply click on the link below.
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Cholesterol consists of lipids, a fatty substance produced by the liver and derived from the fat in the food we eat. These lipids perform a very important function in your body, as they make up a big part of all the cell membranes in your body as well as isolating nerve fibres. They are also vital in the production of sex and steroid hormones and bile acids which are important in digestion and the absorption of fats.
Cholesterol can't move in the bloodstream on its own, but needs to be transported by molecules known as lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins, namely high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). High levels of HDL are good for you, whereas high levels of LDL aren't good for you and can result in future health problems.
The reason for this classification is that LDL transports cholesterol to the cells to use. However, if there is too much cholesterol for the cells to use, it can build up in your blood and can cause your arteries to harden. HDL takes cholesterol away from the cells to the liver where it can be broken down and excreted.
There are various factors that can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol, most of which are treatable and even preventable.
One of the main causes of high cholesterol are lifestyle factors including eating foods containing high levels of saturated fats such as red meat, pork sausages, hard cheese, butter, lard, pastry, cakes, biscuits and cream, etc. If you are obese or overweight you are more likely to have higher levels of LDL in your blood. Not exercising can also cause in increase in LDL levels.
Existing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney or liver disease or an underactive thyroid gland can all result in a rise of high cholesterol. Treating these conditions can often be helpful in reducing LDL levels.
Some people may be genetically predisposed to high cholesterol, something that is known as hypercholesterolaemia, which affects every one in 500 people. Blood cholesterol levels also increase with age.
A high level of ‘bad' cholesterol isn't a problem on its own but can cause many other health issues such as the narrowing of your arteries (atherosclerosis), heart attack or stroke. If high cholesterol is allowed to build up and clog arteries it can prevent blood carrying oxygen from reaching your brain, heart and other parts of your body. It can also increase your risk of developing blood clots or coronary heart disease (blockage of blood supply to the heart).
"High cholesterol is becoming increasingly more common and can place a patient at risk of a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease. Luckily it can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication."Dr Hilary Jones
HealthExpress Medical Advisor
The best way to treat or prevent high levels of LDL in your blood is by watching your diet and exercise regimes – by becoming more active and eating foods that aren't high in saturated fat. Doing this can make a big difference in reducing high cholesterol levels by assisting the production of 'good' cholesterol in your system. Prescription treatments known as statins are also available to treat high cholesterol. These treatments work to lower the concentration of LDL in your blood, but should only be considered if you've already made adjustments to your lifestyle and had little or no success, or if you have cardiovascular disease.
Step 1 - Simply complete our online consultation which will be reviewed by one of our registered UK doctors. View the medical questions here
Step 2 - They will be able to recommend a range of beneficial treatments. You will receive a diagnosis in a secure email.
Step 3 - If deemed suitable, you will have the access to login, directly to your personalised member's area, from where you will be able to place your order and receive it the next working day.