Cholesterol fluctuation is not an uncommon thing. In fact, cholesterol inside one’s body might fluctuate in daily basis. However, some fluctuations can be easily controlled, since it tends to be temporary, and some others might be life-threatening, since it is major and unnoticed. Since cholesterol level fluctuates overtime, a single check on its level does not necessarily tell its definite level in the body. Many people experience different results on cholesterol level from time to time.
Variations of cholesterol level
In fact, there are some different factors influencing variations in cholesterol level. These risk factors might cause temporary fluctuations, while some others might build up cholesterol inside the body and rise its level without you noticing. Some common fluctuations of cholesterol level are found as:
- Biological variations
Inside the body, cholesterol level fluctuates into slightly different numbers, depending on some triggers. Biological variation of cholesterol level is defined by human metabolism. In daily basis, although cholesterol is produced by the body, what we consume may cause difference in its level. Eating thus, is the top risk factor of cholesterol daily fluctuation. The higher the fat level in what you are eating, the higher the level of increase in the blood cholesterol level. This fluctuation happens several times in a day, especially after you eat.
Because this biological fluctuation happens every day, it is important to do fasting prior to blood sample testing to check cholesterol level. It is recommended to fast for 9 to 12 hours before you get cholesterol level checked to avoid food-inducing fluctuation.
- Dietary variations
The level of saturated fat contained by your diet also determine longer-term cholesterol fluctuation. Your cholesterol level might raise in a significant number within a month after you constantly consume fat-rich foods, and this fluctuation is more permanent than the biological one. In order to lower the level caused by dietary fluctuation, you need to decrease certain food intake, with the result which cannot be instantly seen in daily basis.
- Seasonal variations
Cholesterol fluctuations can also happen in four to eight months basis, where the seasons also change. Studies show that cholesterol level decreases in fall and winter, and increases during spring and summer months. Hence, cholesterol checks done in different seasons might show slightly different results. This fluctuation is believed to be caused by different blood volumes between the seasons and the change in physical activities.
- Hormonal variations
This cholesterol fluctuation happens more in women than men, as hormonal variation of cholesterol level is caused by menstruation cycles and pregnancy. In a month, cholesterol fluctuation may happen to women at least twice, following their monthly cycles. Menstrual cholesterol fluctuation is affected by estrogen level in women’s body. In the time of ovulation, when estrogen levels peak, cholesterol level drops, and its lowest level happens just before menstruation begin. Hence, cholesterol level test which is done before menstruation might show different results with the one done afterwards.
Cholesterol fluctuation happens overtime, and the result can be either short or long term. This fluctuation is a reason why doctors often need more than one blood sampling tests to determine someone’s cholesterol level and whether or not treatments should be performed immediately.
Balancing cholesterol level
Although cholesterol level tends to fluctuate from time to time in daily or monthly basis, significant fluctuation will not be good for your entire health. Hence, preserving balanced level of cholesterol—lower level of LDL, higher level of HDL, and lower level of triglycerides is important. To do this, there are some things need to consider, such as:
- Do cardio exercises at least 30 minutes a day.
- Eat only healthy foods, which are low in saturated fats, which contribute to LDL and triglyceride rise. Fruits and green vegetables are the best foods for raising the level of HDL—the good cholesterol which is responsible for disposing cholesterol through the liver.
- Reduce smoking and alcohol intake, which may lead into artery plaques and blockage.
- Get your cholesterol level checked at least every 5 months to maintain its balance.
- Discuss prescribed cholesterol-inducing medications with your doctor.
- Drink a lot of water to help hydrating your entire body.