Hyperlipidaemia is the condition of large volumes of lipids in the blood. Lips can include cholesterol, phospholipids and triglycerides. This disorder leads to the accumulation of excess of lipids that contain more of cholesterol in the blood; it is certainly a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, pancreatitis and arthrosclerosis.
Often hyperlipidaemia condition is caused by genetics but it can occur by having improper diet and by specific diseases or medical conditions. Certain types of immunosuppressant drugs, diuretics, anabolic steroids and retinoic acid and HIV protease inhibitors can increase serum cholesterol. People with hyperlipidemia are likely to get diabetes, hypothyroidism and chronic kidney diseases. Treatment is aimed in lowering the levels of lipids to reduce the risk of getting various heart problems.
Lipids are protein molecules and are divided into 5 categories based on its density in the blood.
- Lipoproteins with very low density VLDL
- IDL is Intermediate density lipoproteins
- LDL is the low density lipoproteins
- HDL is the high density lipoproteins.
Most of the triglycerides are transported in the form of VLDL or chylomicrons and cholesterol is transported through HDL and LDL.
Hyperlipidemia is classified into two types : Primary and secondary.
Primary type is mostly genetic based and are seen only in very few people. Secondary type of hyperlipidemia occurs due to diabetes, renal disease, thyroid problems and liver disease. It can also be caused due to overweight, consumption of alcohol and through medications that contain estrogen.
Hyperlipidemia can cause recurrent heart diseases in diabetic patients and hence it is necessary for them to check their lipid levels regularly to prevent stroke and heart attack.
Hyperlipidemia is caused due to hereditary factors. It is marked by moderate elevation of lipids and triglycerides. Familial hypercholesterolemia and familial Type III hyperperlipoproteinemia can also cause this disorder. Tangier disease, autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia, Woman disease and polygenic hypercholesterolemia can increase the levels of lipid proteins in blood.
Medications like protease inhibitors given for treating AIDS can increase the lipid levels in the blood. Norvir, Sustiva are some of the common protease inhibitors that can rise the blood lipid levels. Lack of physical activity, fatty diet and alcoholism are some of the other factors that can cause hyperlipidemia. Women who are using oral contraceptives for birth control will have increased chance of getting this disorder.
Generally this disorder will not produce any symptoms. It can be found only when blood lipid test is done for any other reason. Once the lipid levels are high, you have to monitor the levels at least once in 4 months to manage hyperlipidemia.
In case of any doubts, your doctor will have to check the lipid profile in the laboratory
The treatment for hyperlipidemia is based on the nature and type of lipids that is too high in your blood. The purpose of treatment is to lower the high cholesterol. Medications are effective when combined with healthy diet and regular exercises. You should avoid taking fatty foods and manage daily calorie level.
Lifestyle Changes :
You need to change your routine lifestyle for controlling the blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Avoid taking anything that is rich in fats. You can consult a dietician for taking right diet. Practice aerobic exercise regularly, which will decrease the cholesterol level in few months. Avoid smoking and taking alcohol. If you are having hypertension, take medications to control your blood pressure.
Your doctor will examine your age and health condition before giving any medicines for hyperlipidemia. He would prescribe drugs belonging to statin group. Atorvastatin and pravastatin are commonly given for controlling hyperlipidemia. Fibrates like Lopid and Tricor can be included in your list if statins are not effective. However you should take these drugs only under close supervision of your doctor since they may produce adverse effects. For people who are HIV infected hyperlipidemia can be brought to control by changing the routine medications after thorough analysis of their health condition.