Cholesterol is fat-like substance your body needs to stimulate hormones, support cell membranes, produce vitamin D, and promote fat digestion. Some of your cholesterol is produced by the body, while some other is resulted from the diets you consume. In the bloodstream, cholesterol travels inside the lipoproteins. Hence, two different characteristics of cholesterol are found, based on the lipids they use for traveling all over the bloodstreams. The LDL (low-density lipoprotein) carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells and thus, become the “bad” cholesterol for in high level it may cause blockage and organ malfunction, while the HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is considered a “good” cholesterol, which brings cholesterol to the liver for disposal. Cholesterol level inside the body is not fixed, since there are some risk factors causing it to fluctuate in number.
Causes of cholesterol fluctuation
Various risk factors lead to cholesterol level fluctuation. You can do something about some risk factors, but couple others might be impossible to modify. Some of the adjustable risk factors are:
There are many concerns about diets which contribute to fluctuation of cholesterol level in our body. Some kinds of diet can lower cholesterol level—or rising the “good” cholesterol level, while some kinds of foods are well-known for boosting up cholesterol level.
- Saturated fat and cholesterol-containing foods, such as in butter, fatty meat, white flour, bacon, cheese, and cream contributes to elevating cholesterol level. To lower it back, consume foods which increase your HDL, such as fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts.
- Body weight
Weight also contributes to your cholesterol fluctuation. As you gain weight, you are likely to elevate your cholesterol level consequently.
- Pregnant women are also prone to cholesterol fluctuation and thus, might be susceptible to gestational diabetes. To restore cholesterol level, cardio exercises, such as walking, running, jogging, and light cycling are recommended. Expecting mothers who do not have serious pregnancy complication are also allowed to do light cardio exercises to control fluctuation of cholesterol.
Certain medications—usually prescribed ones, also holds control on your cholesterol level. In women, contraceptive pills are known to cause cholesterol level fluctuation. Steroids used by body builders and athletes also elevate cholesterol level.
- In most cases, cholesterol fluctuation caused by medications are temporary. Once the consumption of cholesterol-inducing drugs is stopped, the level of cholesterol should be back to normal.
Some risk factors of cholesterol fluctuation, however, are things you seem unable to change. These include:
Cholesterol fluctuation is affected by how old someone is. The older the person is, the higher the cholesterol level is. Body weight is also affected by age, and this might lead to rising cholesterol level.
Both men and women experience cholesterol fluctuation. Women tend to have higher cholesterol level compared to men after the age of menopause. Hence, diet at the age should be closely watched to keep cholesterol level moderate.
Your genes determine how much cholesterol your body make. Hence, high cholesterol level, or easily-fluctuated cholesterol level may run in some families. This is one of the reasons why people tend to think that diabetes is hereditary.
Effects of fluctuating cholesterol
While some genetic factors cannot be controlled, you can control external risk factors to minimize cholesterol fluctuation in your body. Controlling cholesterol level is important, since it prevents you from catching diseases caused by high cholesterol level, which unfortunately, does not give a lot of significant symptoms. Fluctuation of cholesterol may lead to some health problems, such as:
- Cholesterol build ups in blood will cause excessive build ups in arteries walls. These build ups are going to harden, causing limited oxygen-rich blood supplies to the heart. Eventually, this supply will be blocked completely, causing a heart attack.
- Foods high in cholesterol may raise the level of triglyceride and lower the level of HDL—the good lipoprotein for cholesterol disposal through the liver, resulting in the narrowing of the arteries and lead to type-2 diabetes.
- When cholesterol narrows down or blocks the arteries, the heart needs to struggle in pumping the blood through these vessels. As the result, blood pressure may become extremely high in level.