Causes of high cholesterol can be determined by a physician based on a patient’s medical history, family medical history, and a variety of tests that may show a lack of nutrient or vitamin, or may reveal poor eating habits. Ways to lower this need to be established and followed as early as possible. High blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. This factor in the blood is determined in part by genetic (inherited) factors, which cannot be changed; and in part by lifestyle factors which can be used as ways to lower cholesterol. There are some relatively rare conditions that can be blamed as causes of high cholesterol. People who have inherited these conditions need a thorough examination by a specialist doctor followed by lifelong drug treatment.
In most people, high blood levels are only partly determined by their genes, and primarily determined by their lifestyle factors. The most important dietary factor is fat. The diets prescribed for blood-cholesterol lowering are low in fat (particularly saturated fat), high in carbohydrate, and high in fiber. Body weight also affects blood cholesterol. In some people, being overweight has a significant effect on their levels, so attaining a reasonable weight can be helpful. The blood also contains triglycerides, another type of fat that is particularly elevated after meals. High triglycerides may be linked with increased risk of heart disease in some people can be causes of high cholesterol. Since high cholesterol is the leading factor in developing heart disease, the idea is to get the levels down.
Ways to bring this down include the loss of body fat by diet and exercise. Exercise has multiple benefits for the heart. Cardiovascular fitness is improved by regular strenuous exercise and the blood supply to the heart may be improved. Exercise is also important in maintaining body weight and has effects on metabolism and some factors related to blood clotting. Getting regular exercise one of the clearly important ways to lower cholesterol. One of the culprits here can actually be a lack of exercise. Simple consistent walks and regular stretching routines can do a world of improvement for a healthy way of life. Normally, those that exercise frequently tend to eat healthier diets as well, because their body requires more natural food to sustain energy while they exercise.
Smoking is also confirmed as one of the reasons for elevated cholesterol. Smokers tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables than nonsmokers (and thus eat less of the protective antioxidant plant compounds). Smokers tend to eat more fat and more salt than non-smokers. These characteristics of the smoker’s diet may be caused by a desire to seek stronger food flavors as a consequence of the taste-blunting effect of smoking. While these dietary differences may make a smoker at greater risk and causing of high levels, the only piece of advice for lower cholesterol as a result of smoking is to quit smoking. Many people have found that certain prescription drugs and certain acupuncture techniques greatly aid in helping the smoker quit, or at least help them to lower their smoking habit to an absolute minimum amount.
High blood pressure can also be one of the reasons for high cholesterol. It causes changes in the walls of the arteries. The muscle layer (a muscular tube, which when healthy can change its size to control the flow of blood) becomes thickened, and atherosclerosis is more likely to develop. Treatments for blood pressure have become more effective over the last three decades, but it is only now becoming clear which types of treatment for blood pressure are also effective at reducing heart disease risk and other causes of high cholesterol. Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance accelerate hardening of the arteries. When glucose levels are raised, even temporarily (such as after eating), oxidizing reactions are accelerated and antioxidants such as vitamin E and C are soaked up. Discovering ways to lower cholesterol is mandatory when a person suffers with diabetes.
With diabetes, the blood fats are oxidized, making them more damaging to artery walls. The walls become inflamed, thicken, and gradually lose their elasticity. The constriction of the arteries results in increased blood pressure which is a known factor as one of many causes of high cholesterol. High insulin levels increase the tendency for blood clots to form. The resulting increased risk of heart attack is a major reason why so much effort is put into discovering ways to lower cholesterol and helping people with diabetes achieve a normal level of blood glucose. In order to use the methods mentioned, a Christian must faithfully pray to God for healing and strength to change many habitual lifestyle practices. God hears every prayer, and if the prayer request is in His will, he shall heal them. “Thou I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.” (Psalm 138:7)