1) HDL Cholesterol Information
HDL (high- density lipoprotein) cholesterol (alternately known as “good cholesterol”) is often spoken of in contrast with LDL (low- density lipoprotein), or “bad,” cholesterol; it carries about thirty percent of the blood cholesterol in a healthy individual. Actually, particles of the two types of cholesterol are identical; though it is true that people with higher HDL- C levels seem to have fewer heart problems than those with higher LDL- C levels. However, it has never been proven that one’s health can be improved by increasing one’s level of HDL- C. The signs, symptoms, and treatments that I will discuss in this article will apply to abnormally low levels of good cholesterol, which can be every bit as dangerous as having abnormally high levels of bad cholesterol; and the two are connected, too: HDL cholesterol helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood stream and transport it to the kidneys. Such an unhealthy balance can result from obesity, lack of exercise, and heavy smoking and alcohol consumption. (A healthy HDL cholesterol level is a minimum of 40 to 50 mg / dl in men and from 50 to 60 in women.)
2) Low HDL cholesterol symptoms
Low HDL cholesterol does not produce true “symptoms” as such; only a blood test can diagnose the condition. But one of the most dangerous results of low HDL is blood clotting. A fatty plaque builds up in an artery and hinders the flow of the blood; and may develop into an atherosclerosis calcification. Red and white blood cells become trapped in the vessels, which is what causes clotting, and if the buildup becomes too great, the walls of the vessels can burst. This can lead to kidney failure, a stroke, or a heart attack— or even to internal bleeding, according to a recent study undertaken by the Mayo Clinic. Erectile dysfunction is also a common consequence of low HDL cholesterol, as the flow of blood to this and other body parts is reduced.
3) Low HDL cholesterol signs
Signs of abnormally low HDL- C can include mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorder caused by the failure of the brain cells to communicate normally. Another disease that commonly accompanies low HDL is known as Tangier disease, which can reduce good cholesterol to only five mg / dl. Many body parts show outward signs of Tangier disease; the tonsils, for instance, often turn orange.
4) Low HDL cholesterol treatment
Treatment is naturally aimed mainly at increasing the level of good cholesterol and decreasing the level of bad cholesterol. This consists in large part of reforming one’s lifestyle. Some foods (those containing too much trans fat and hydrogenated oils, such as fried foods and cookies) increase LDL and should be reduced; others (fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, and beans) increase HDL, so plenty of these should be eaten, as should dishes containing large amounts of niacin and vitamin C. Patients should also get plenty of vigorous exercise, which can include taking a walk for at least fifteen minutes a day.
There is no medicine that will work specifically to raise levels of HDL cholesterol. Some drugs, however, are known to decrease LDL cholesterol. And every five years, anyone over the age of twenty should have a fasting lipoprotein profile done. The patient eats and drinks nothing for nine to twelve hours, after which physicians measure his level of all types of cholesterol.