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7 Causes Of High Cholesterol That You Should Know!

By Saksham Bhatia +2 more

Cholesterol is essential for good health but high blood cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease. The body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones and bile acids, which help in the process of digestion.


Cholesterol is a wax-like substance. Hence, when there is too much of it in your body, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. This might hamper the blood flow to the heart resulting in chest pains and heart-related problems. High blood cholesterol has been one of the primary causes of Coronary Heart Disease and may necessitate bypass surgery Read about Bypass Surgery: Purpose and Procedure. 

Every once in 5 years, people of age 20 and above should have their blood cholesterol levels checked. It is recommended to take a blood test called a Lipid Profile Test.

There are mainly two types of Cholesterol – good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, based on their impact on our body. The bad one is called Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and the good one is called High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Triglyceride is another type of fat that is present in our body and abnormally high levels can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

High cholesterol may be a cause of heart disease, stroke, or atherosclerosis in other blood vessels, such as left-sided chest pain, pressure, or fullness, dizziness, unsteady gait, slurred speech, or pain in the lower legs. A person can combat high cholesterol by exercising regularly. Forms of exercise that help a person lower their total and LDL cholesterol levels include walking, running, cycling, and swimming.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

In my observation, high levels of cholesterol is usually due lifestyle, medication and disease related factors.. Some of the examples that may increase the level of cholesterol in your body are smoking, drinking alcohol, eating fatty food, PCOS, hypothyroidism, and use of hormonal pills and steroids. Avoiding these things may assist in bringing down the cholesterol levels in your body.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

7 Causes of High Blood Cholesterol

1. Unhealthy Diet: Diets high in carbohydrates, sugar, red meat, high-fat, deep-fried and processed foods, bakery items etc. make your blood cholesterol levels go up. 

2. Overweight: The extra flab in your body is an indication of possible heart disease in the future. Being overweight tends to increase cholesterol levels in the body.

3. Lack of sufficient physical activity: Lack of physical activity puts you at risk of gaining weight and having more fat in your body rather than muscle. Physical activity helps to improve your good cholesterol and hence it is advisable to exercise or keep the body active for a minimum of 30 minutes every day.

4. Age: This is not as much in your control, however in some cases, irrespective of age or gender, you might have high cholesterol levels.

5. Hereditary: Well, if it runs in the family, don’t be surprised if you suffer from high blood cholesterol.

Also Read: What is Spirulina: Understanding the Research-Based Benefits and Uses

6. Alcohol: If you are already suffering from high cholesterol, then alcohol does not help at all. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your triglyceride levels, damage the liver and heart muscle and cause high blood pressure.

Poor diet is the most important cause. Eating too much saturated fat or trans fats can result in unhealthy cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found in fatty cuts of meat and full-fat dairy products. Trans fats are often found in packaged snacks or desserts.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

7. Mental Stress: There is a popular saying ”I eat when I am stressed”; a lot of studies back this statement as it is proved that people who are stressed eat fatty and sugary foods and this can in the long-run lead to high cholesterol. Moreover, persistent stress can raise the levels of stress hormones which in turn impact your cholesterol levels in the long run. Read more on different relaxation techniques that can help with distressing.

Research has identified numerous factors that can result in elevated cholesterol levels in the body. It’s important to be aware of these causes such as an unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity, stress, etc. As you get older, genetic factors, specific medications, stress, and certain medical conditions, all are contributors to high cholesterol levels.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

The most effective way to manage high blood cholesterol is by modifying your lifestyle. Following a healthy diet can help you monitor calorie intake and also keep a tab on weight gain. Also, being physically active helps to keep cholesterol in control.

It is important to consult a doctor and follow their advice. For some individuals, doctors may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medicines as well. These medicines are very effective in lowering LDL and triglyceride levels and are safe for most people. However, remember, nothing will be effective until you bring a change in your lifestyle.

Must Read: 6 Simple Ways to Reduce Cholesterol

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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