Hypolipidemia is one of the two cholesterol disorders, namely, hyperlipidemia and hypolipidemia. Cholesterol is very essential for life, in the right quantity. When the level of fat and cholesterol in the blood grows to extremely high levels it is called hyperlipidemia. Hypolipidemia is a state where the fat level in the blood of a person falls to unusually low levels. It is also known as low blood cholesterol. Hypolipidemia is found in various forms and in many diseases including hepatitis, cancer, liver diseases and severe malnutrition. Hypolipidemia can be caused by a number of disorders including hyperthyroidism, malnutrition, starvation, disorders in the absorption of food by body, various liver disorders, Tangier disease, genetic disorders including abetalipoproteinemia and hypobetalipoproteinemia. Testing for hypolipidemia includes examining the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Normal total cholesterol level in person's blood should be below 200 mg/dl.
Cholesterol, a waxy substance, is a type of fat your body makes. It can also definitely come from what you eat. Foods that have cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fats can raise your blood cholesterol level. These include:
- Egg yolks
- Fried and processed foods
- Ice cream
- Red meat
Don't exercise much? That can lead to putting on extra pounds, which can raise your cholesterol. As you get older, your cholesterol levels often increase, too. Hyperlipidemia can run in families. People who inherit the condition can get very high cholesterol. That means they have a much greater chance of having a heart attack, even if they're young.
Symptoms and Risks
Most people with hyperlipidemia can't tell that they have this condition at first. Of course, it's not something you can feel, but you'll notice the effects of it someday. Cholesterol, along with triglycerides and other fats, can build up inside your arteries. This makes the blood vessels narrower and makes it more difficult for blood to get through. The buildup can also cause a blood clot to form. If a blood clot breaks off and travels to your heart, it can cause a heart attack. If it goes to your brain, it can cause a stroke.
Hypolipidemia is asymptomatic and it is diagnosed on lipid screening when the total cholesterol found in the blood is only below 120 mg/dL or when the low density lipoprotein LDL is lesser than 50 mg/dL.
Lifestyle changes that can lower your cholesterol include a healthy diet, weight loss, and plenty of exercise. You should:
- Choose foods low in trans fats
- Eat more fiber-rich foods, such as oatmeal, apples, bananas, pears, prunes, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, and lima beans
- Have fish at least twice a week
- Limit your alcohol, too. That means no more than one drink a day if you're a woman or two if you're a man.
Make sure to step up your exercise habits. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, like a brisk walk, most days of the week. You don't have to do it all at once. Even 10 to 15 minutes at a time can often make a difference. For some people, diet and lifestyle changes may be enough to bring their cholesterol levels into a healthy range. Other people may need more help.
Drugs that prevent your liver from making cholesterol are known as statins. They're a popular choice to lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Nicotinic acid also affects how your liver makes fats. It lowers your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raises your HDL cholesterol. Fibrates are another kind of drug that works on your liver. They lower triglycerides and may boost HDL, but they aren't as good for bringing down your LDL. Keep up the healthy lifestyle to decrease the risk of getting hypolipidemia.