Studies show there is a strong relationship between lifestyle and cardiovascular diseases. This emphasizes that what we consume has a significant contribution toward our health. How often we exercise might also either increase or decrease the possibility of catching the diseases. Besides lifestyle, cardiovascular diseases are often related to the level of cholesterol in blood. Its level may determine how high our chance is in developing cardiovascular diseases.
What is cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease refers to a disease which is related to the heart or blood vessels. In specific, cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease, stroke, arterial disease, and aortic disease. Commonly, cardiovascular diseases are caused by blockage in arteries which is generally referred as atherosclerosis. There are several factors which increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as age, hereditary, exposure to tobacco, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, unhealthy diets, and alcohol dependency. Among all these cardiovascular disease risk factors, high cholesterol in blood might be the most complicated one, since this is something you are unable to see through. High cholesterol level does not give you any visible symptoms, so that you may not be able to cut down its level.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is often referred as fat. In fact, cholesterol is different from fat. It is a wax-like substance which is produced by the liver and is found in all cells of the body. Our body needs cholesterol to promote proper digestion. Formation of hormones, production of vitamin D, and digestion process need the existence of sufficient cholesterol. However, cholesterol level of more than 150 mg/dl may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What contributes to high cholesterol level?
The level of cholesterol in our bloodstream is affected by various factors. Some of those factors include:
- Fats contained in the diets you take will affect cholesterol level inside your bloodstream. Saturated and trans fats are two kinds of substances which boost cholesterol level. Therefore, reducing the intake of these two substances is important in preventing ourselves from cardiovascular diseases.
- Gaining weight excessively will contribute to the increasing amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) in your blood. Higher concentration of LDL compared to HDL may increase the risk of developing heart and blood vessels diseases.
- Older people possess higher cholesterol level, which increases their risk of being exposed to cardiovascular diseases.
Relationship between high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases
Different from other factors contributing to cardiovascular diseases development, high cholesterol is not easy to be self-diagnosed. There are no specific symptoms which may tell we might have high cholesterol level. Yet, this high level of cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol or what-so-called as LDL increase the risk of having heart and blood vessels disturbances. The relationship between these two is found in artery disease known as atherosclerosis. Smoking and poor diets are two most contributing factors of development of atherosclerosis. This is a condition where the arteries which are supposed to be elastic, strong, and flexible are blocked by excessive amount of cholesterol. The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the main source of this blockage. Increasing amount of LDL in the bloodstream is originated in excessive intake of saturated fats which can accumulate in arteries walls and therefore, slowing down blood flow to the heart. Restricted blood flow inhibit oxygen transfer to our brain and this is really harmful as in continuous period it may cause heart failure leading to death. High cholesterol which block arteries function also causes narrowed arteries. When blood is passed through these narrowed down arteries, it is possible that it cannot passed through well and causes arteries to blow up. This is what happens when someone is experiencing stroke. As a result, certain organs or body parts do not get sufficient blood flow and thus, cannot function the way they function beforehand. Hence, it is really important to keep consuming healthy diets and doing sufficient exercises in order to maintain proper LDL level and prevent the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases.