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Causes and Treatment of Hypolipidemia

Causes and Treatment of Hypolipidemia

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is primarily produced in the liver, which makes approximately 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol per day. However, it can also be produced by the cells lining the small intestines and also by each cell present in the body. Abnormally low cholesterol levels would mean that the body is trying to shutdown and needs immediate medical attention.

What is hypolipidemia?

The term “hypo” means "low" and “lipidemia” means "blood lipid levels", which include cholesterol. Thus, hypolipidemia would mean low levels of cholesterol in the body. Hypolipidemia can also be a sign of being malnourished or when there is too much intake of high-dose cholesterol medications.

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Hypolipidemia is also called as hypolipoproteinemia. Having low levels of cholesterol in the body is often not much of a concern for most people. However, in certain cases, it can lead to serious medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases. There have been studies, which suggest that abnormally low levels of cholesterol negatively affect an individual's health.

Causes

Below are some of the causes that can lead to low levels of cholesterol in the body:

1. Hyperthyroidism

This has been identified as one of the major causes of low cholesterol levels in the body. The thyroid hormone, which has been excessively produced, circulates throughout the entire body and causes a lot of issues, which include abnormally low cholesterol levels, poor concentration, sudden weight loss, profuse sweating, and frequent fatigue

2. Liver Problems

One of the leading causes of low cholesterol levels is liver disease. This medical condition is an acute or a broad class of chronic medical conditions that have a negative impact on the health of the liver, which is the primary organ in the production of cholesterol in the body. Any kind of liver damage or dysfunction can lead to a sharp decrease or direct increase in the cholesterol levels.

3. Malnutrition

A simple case of low cholesterol levels in the body may be due to malnutrition. When an individual fails to consume a proper and nutritious diet, then it can cause a variety of symptoms and conditions. The body needs enough amount of food to manage as well as produce cholesterol. Thus, when there is a lack of proper food intake, there would also be a significant reduction of cholesterol levels in the body. 

4. Malabsorption Syndrome

Even when a person consumes a sufficient amount of nutrients, his body would not be getting the proper and necessary nutrients from the food due to malabsorption in the intestines. It is known to be a chronic condition similar to celiac disease. Due to malabsorption of food, complications may arise including abnormally low levels of cholesterol in the body. 

Diet

Include fats and organic oils in your daily diet such as nuts, seeds, cold-pressed fats, meat fats, organic butter, and eggs. However, avoid chemically processed fats and oils since they negatively affect your liver and brain. They include canola and vegetable oil, margarine, mayonnaise, peanut butter, and salad dressings. 

As much as possible, eat whole foods or organically grown foods to avoid consuming harmful chemicals. When it comes to fish, avoid getting farm-raised fish since they are usually fed an unnatural diet. Choose sardines or Alaska salmon instead. You can also choose other fish that are safe to consume such as tuna, halibut, or salmon.

Treatment

Low levels of cholesterol are most likely caused by certain changes in the diet as well as the physical condition of the individual. Therefore, to properly treat the condition, modifying one's diet is not enough. Certain blood tests and a mental health evaluation from a doctor can help assess the issues of low cholesterol levels.

If low levels of cholesterol affect the mental health of an individual, then the doctor can prescribe certain antidepressants. It has also been seen that statin medications can lead to a significant drop in cholesterol levels. In such instances, the doctor can make certain adjustments in the dosage of medications to bring back the normal levels of cholesterol.

  • Remain Physically Active: Physical activity is often associated with increased levels of good cholesterol. There is no need to carry out intense forms of exercises since moderate forms of exercises such as jogging or brisk walking can already help people become active. If you are one of those people who constantly sit at work, then ensure to stand up and walk around the office for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Exercising five times a week is recommended.
  • Fish Oil: Fish and fish oil are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which help balance the cholesterol levels in the body. Studies suggest that consuming fish or fish oil supplements three times a week is ideal. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor first before taking any kind of supplements. 
  • Green Tea Consumption: Green tea is very good for the overall health of the body. It contains compounds, which are beneficial when it comes to maintaining the cholesterol levels in the body. Green tea extract capsules are also known to be effective in reducing bad cholesterol in the body.

Below are various food items that can easily cause hypolipidemia:

  • Oats: Oats are known to contain rich amounts of linoleic acid, which is said to account for a total of 35 percent of unsaturated fatty acids. It is also enriched with vitamin E and saponins. Oats also play an important role in reducing plasma cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Onion: The lipid-lowering efficacy of onions along with diallyl disulfide and small amounts of sulfur amino acids are said to be quite relevant when it comes to lowering blood pressure and preventing atherosclerosis. It also has a protective effect on the arteries. It also contains prostaglandin A, which helps dilate blood vessels improves blood pressure.
  • Almonds: Almonds are said to contain cholesterol, saturated fats, and seven percent of fatty acids. Patients suffering from high blood pressure are recommended to replace foods that are high in saturated fatty acids.
  • Chili: Chili peppers are known to contain vitamin C, which helps improve the body's microcirculation, reduce the fragility of the capillaries, and good in balancing the cholesterol levels in the body. 

Outlook

Having low levels of cholesterol in the body is often linked to a number of serious health problems. It is a significant risk factor of bleeding within the brain tissues called primary intracerebral hemorrhage in the older population. Pregnant women with low cholesterol levels are also at risk of having babies with low birth weight or preterm birth. Moreover, being suicidal along with violent behavior is also attributed to low cholesterol levels. Thus, symptoms of mental instability, anxiety, and depression could be due to low cholesterol levels. 

When your cholesterol levels are low, consult and talk with your doctor if there are certain things that you should be concerned about.