A healthy lifestyle and a healthy heart are undoubtedly a true blessing. Today’s world is suffering from an unhealthy lifestyle leading to a deranged lipid profile especially cholesterol levels which is proving to be harmful to the heart and eventually affects the quality of life. Cholesterol is a form of lipids, which is normally present in the blood and its levels are monitored to assess the status and risk of cardiac issues.
Cholesterol is an organic molecule present normally in human blood. It is a modified steroid also known as a sterol. It was first identified in the gall bladder in 1979. Cholesterol is an essential steroid in the body used for the manufacture of other substances and hormones.
Functions of cholesterol
Cholesterol makes up around 30% of the cell membranes present in the human body. Being present in the cell membranes, it takes an active part in the transport of materials in and out of the cells. Lipid-soluble substances easily pass through the cell membrane making sure necessary transport for different cellular functions is taking place normally. Water-soluble substances are not able to pass through as easily because cholesterol reduces the permeability of the cell membrane.
Cell signaling and nerve conduction are other well-known functions of cholesterol. The myelin sheath present on the myelinated nerve fibers has cholesterol as a major component ensuring better nerve conduction than myelinated nerve fibers or demyelinated fibers in diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
High levels of cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol are always associated with disease and are one of the prime risk factors for cardiac diseases in affected individuals. Hypercholesterolemia is a term used for high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Atherosclerosis as a result of hypercholesterolemia leads to serious cardiac issues like cardiac arrest, perivascular diseases, and stroke.
Low levels of cholesterol are also known for some clinical manifestations. Since it is a component of normal brain tissue, its low levels may cause depression in patients. Cerebral hemorrhage and cancers are also associated with hypercholesterolemia.
Cholesterol level charting
For the above-mentioned many reasons and the significance of cholesterol and its levels, regular monitoring is recommended in high-risk patients according to the American Association of Heart Diseases.
Lipid profile test
A lipid profile is suggested in the targeted population and already-diagnosed cardiac patients are regularly monitored for cholesterol levels.
- Components of the lipid profile are cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins, very low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides.
- Cholesterol levels and other lipids are tested ideally every four to six years according to the AAHD guidelines.
- In a cholesterol chart, all the levels are regularly monitored according to the guidelines given by the published paper. Out of all these components of the lipid profile, triglyceride levels, and cholesterol levels are given prime importance because the manifestations of the abnormal levels of these two are always adverse and show early signs.
- This charting is efficiently utilized to manage patients of hyper or hypercholesterolemia.
- If someone gets high levels of cholesterol, he is advised to undergo further evaluation for cardiac diseases.