Are you familiar with the term dyslipidemia? It may sound like a tongue twister, but it is a common condition affecting millions worldwide, including Filipinos. Dyslipidemia is an abnormal lipid profile characterized by high cholesterol, triglycerides, or both levels. If left untreated, dyslipidemia can increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications.
At TeleCure, we provide comprehensive lipid screening and management services to help you prevent and manage dyslipidemia. This blog will discuss the types of lipids, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and lifestyle modifications related to dyslipidemia.
TYPES OF LIPIDS
Lipids are fatty substances that circulate in your bloodstream. The three main types of lipids are:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: Also known as "bad" cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol levels can increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: Also known as "good" cholesterol, high HDL cholesterol levels can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Triglycerides: A type of fat found in your blood can also increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
Several risk factors can increase your risk of developing dyslipidemia, including:
Age: As you age, your risk of developing dyslipidemia increases.
Family history: If you have a family history of dyslipidemia or cardiovascular disease, you may be at a higher risk of developing the condition.
Diet: A diet high in saturated and trans fats can increase your LDL cholesterol levels and contribute to dyslipidemia.
Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing dyslipidemia.
Physical inactivity: Lack of physical activity can contribute to dyslipidemia and other cardiovascular risk factors.
Dyslipidemia is often asymptomatic, meaning it does not cause any symptoms. However, some people may experience symptoms related to complications of dyslipidemia, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or leg pain while walking. Because dyslipidemia is usually asymptomatic, we recognize this disease only late during complications such as stroke and heart attack, in other words, a silent killer or ticking bomb.
WHEN SHOULD I START LIPID SCREENING?
The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) recommends lipid screening for all adults aged 20 years or older. However, if you have risk factors such as a family history of cardiovascular disease or other medical conditions, your doctor may recommend lipid screening at an earlier age.
DO I NEED TREATMENT?
Treatment for dyslipidemia depends on your lipid profile, overall cardiovascular risk, and other medical conditions. If you have dyslipidemia, your doctor may recommend lifestyle modifications, such as dietary changes and exercise, and medication therapy, such as statins, ezetimibe, or PCSK9 inhibitors.
Lifestyle modifications are the first line of treatment for dyslipidemia. This includes dietary changes, such as reducing your intake of saturated and trans fats, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, and regular physical activity. If lifestyle modifications are not enough, medication therapy may be necessary to help lower your lipid levels.
If left untreated, dyslipidemia can lead to severe complications such as:
Atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries)
Peripheral artery disease
Pancreatitis (in cases of extremely high triglyceride levels)
Making lifestyle modifications is a crucial component of dyslipidemia management. In addition to dietary changes and exercise, it is essential to avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Regular monitoring of your lipid profile is also essential to ensure that your treatment plan is working effectively.
MOTIVATION Managing dyslipidemia can be challenging, but it is essential for maintaining your overall cardiovascular health. Setting achievable goals and tracking your progress over time can be helpful. Don't be afraid to seek support from family, friends, or a healthcare professional if needed.
Here are some tips to stay motivated in managing dyslipidemia:
Set realistic goals and track your progress
Surround yourself with supportive friends and family
Find physical activities that you enjoy and make them a part of your daily routine
Experiment with healthy recipes and find new ways to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet
Stay positive and focus on the benefits of managing dyslipidemia
In conclusion, dyslipidemia is a common condition that can significantly impact your cardiovascular health if left untreated. TeleCure offers comprehensive lipid screening and management services to help you prevent and manage dyslipidemia. By making lifestyle modifications and following your treatment plan, you can improve your lipid levels and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other complications. Remember, taking care of your heart is an essential part of taking care of your overall health and well-being.