You may have heard about cholesterol from many fitness geeks now and then.
Cholesterol has been a hot topic for a long time by many fitness trainers and people looking forward to shedding some fat.
All of them have the same question but millions of different answers. Before we break the answer down to you for how long does it take to lower cholesterol, we will give you a quick overview of why cholesterol is important and why our body accumulates it.
All of us need cholesterol in our bodies but in small amounts. It may be considered harmful to human health; however, a normal amount is necessary as it performs essential functions in our bodies.
Cholesterol works as a structural element for the cell membranes. It contributes to the formation of hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and adrenal hormones, which are very important for the human reproduction system.
Besides, cholesterol is vital for efficient metabolism as it produces vitamin D. Contrary to what is associated with cholesterol, it helps the body in fat digestion and nutrient absorption.
The right question to ask here is how a person can maintain a healthy amount of cholesterol in the body. How long can you live with high cholesterol levels if the cholesterol increases before attracting major health concerns like heart-associated problems?
We have made a comprehensive guide for you to understand cholesterol, its presence in the body at healthy levels, and how to keep it in control. Reducing cholesterol is not overnight; it is a steady and months-long process.
What Is Cholesterol?
The liver manufactures cholesterol, a waxy, fatty molecule. In the body, cholesterol aids in the breakdown of some kinds of fatty acids and the operation of cells.
All of the cholesterol required by the body can be self-produced. The other source of cholesterol is dietary cholesterol, which comes from the meals a person eats.
Meals obtained from animals contain cholesterol, including meat, egg yolks, and full-fat dairy items. Regular consumption of these meals elevates blood cholesterol levels and adds additional cholesterol to the body.
Some fats and oils may also encourage the liver to produce more cholesterol, raising levels even more.
What Are The Effect of Cholesterol on Health?
Cholesterol is of two types:
1. Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): Many people believe this sort of cholesterol to be the “bad” form. The risk of cardiovascular disease, blocked arteries, and other heart health problems can increase with high levels of LDL.
2. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): The liver receives the cholesterol removed from the body with this “good” cholesterol. Increased HDL levels may reduce one’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
The total amount of cholesterol in the body is the sum of HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. The liver is the body’s primary organ for digesting dietary fat and cholesterol.
When we consume animal fats, the liver releases the fat and cholesterol into our bloodstream through lipoproteins. Fatty deposits form in the arteries when the bloodstream has too much cholesterol in the form of LDL.
The vessels become constricted as a result, and they may eventually block. Stroke and heart problems may result from this.
What Are Cholesterol Levels?
According to American Heart Association (AHA) research, about 38% of Americans aged 20 or older have total cholesterol levels that are at least borderline high, between 200 and 239 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)—according to the report, having a blood total cholesterol level of 240 mg/dl or over is considered to be high. The risk of heart disease and catastrophic incidents like heart attacks and stroke rises with high cholesterol levels. Several variables influence a person’s disease risk, but reducing high blood cholesterol may help minimize that risk.
How To Lower Cholesterol Levels?
If you are wondering how long can you live with high cholesterol, you must know how to lower cholesterol levels. You can incorporate new habits or change previous ones to come on the steady path of LDL decrease over time. The following changes can help reduce cholesterol levels:
1. Balance Diet
A wide variety of meals contain cholesterol, and some foods, like eggs, have a high cholesterol content. However, numerous studies have revealed that consuming cholesterol does not significantly raise human blood cholesterol. Instead, consuming a balanced diet that contains a range of nutrients is important. One may attempt the following:
- Eat nutrient-dense food like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Avoid trans-fat (chemically processed) and food high in saturated fat.
- Minimize intake of foods with added sugars
- Eat low sodium diet
- Quit tobacco
- Increase fiber intake (plant-based food)
People do not need to steer clear of foods containing cholesterol because cholesterol intake and cholesterol levels in most people do not directly connect.
Most people should instead concentrate on eating a balanced diet low in saturated and trans fats. However, for some individuals, dietary cholesterol intake significantly impacts blood levels, and they should check their dietary cholesterol intake accordingly.
2. Maintaining Weight
Moderate weight is when you achieve weight within your Body Mass Index (BMI) range. BMI range is calculated by taking the height and weight of a person.
Maintaining your BMI range weight can help reduce cholesterol levels which in turn decreases the risk of any heart disease. Moderate weight can only be obtained through a healthy diet, physical activity, and lifestyle.
3. Physical Activity
Exercise strengthens the heart, lowering the risk of heart disease. Additionally, it can aid in the body’s more efficient removal of cholesterol from the blood, gradually decreasing bad cholesterol.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise walking or moderate-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes weekly. People who are not active should begin gradually.
A small increase in physical activity can positively impact health and make it simpler to exercise more vigorously.
4. Lifestyle Changes
In addition to lowering cholesterol, cutting back or quitting bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking can improve general health.
For some people, the fastest option to lower cholesterol is with statins, which typically take 6 to 8 weeks to work. This enables one to cultivate a healthy lifestyle and quickly lower their risk of developing heart disease.
A person might concentrate on decreasing cholesterol by making dietary and lifestyle adjustments. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology suggest statins for several groups of persons with high LDL cholesterol since high cholesterol is a risk factor for major heart health concerns.
One could require extra drugs if LDL cholesterol does not decrease sufficiently after making dietary and lifestyle modifications and taking statins.
How Long Does It Take to Lower Cholesterol?
Statins (a medication) lower a person’s cholesterol levels swiftly. Medicines like this typically work more effectively than lifestyle changes. How long does it take to lower cholesterol with medications? They may start to work in as little as a few weeks.
Doctors frequently advise patients to adjust their food and lifestyle in addition to taking drugs because nutrition impacts the body’s cholesterol levels.
Simple dietary and lifestyle adjustments can lower cholesterol. These modifications can differ depending on how rigorously a person follows their diet. Other elements, like physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight, are also important.
Some dietary adjustments may result in small drops in cholesterol in as little as four weeks. Most people can anticipate noticing the effects of a heart-healthy diet in a few months.
When to See A Doctor?
High cholesterol can be diagnosed with a blood test as it has no symptoms. For this reason, if you are 20 or older, you should regularly visit a doctor and check your cholesterol levels every five years.
If you are given a high cholesterol diagnosis, your doctor will develop a treatment plan that specifies how frequently you should have checkups.
But if your lifestyle or medical history changes, or if you believe the project is no longer effective, contact them immediately so they can assist you in making modifications.
Summing It Up
High cholesterol contributes to the risk of heart disease due to plaque accumulation in the arteries. To avoid this, doctors may recommend medicines for managing cholesterol levels.
However, doctors urge patients with increased cholesterol to make lifestyle changes and improve their diet and exercise habits. The latter is risk-free and has lasting, healthier changes for everyone.
One of the easiest approaches to detecting high cholesterol levels is getting a screening test done. At times the person may seem healthy, with a lean body and no symptoms at all, and can still be on the brink of heart stroke due to high cholesterols levels.
Did you know HG Analytics offers primary care diagnostic packages at affordable prices?
The HG Analytics screening program comprises various diagnostic procedures that allow us to detect potential heart strokes due to high cholesterol levels.
This screening program aims to reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease that causes sudden deaths.
You will receive a thorough report detailing your results and any recommendations for additional testing or treatment that may be required. So, book your consultation now.