The influence of the environment and food is preponderant. A diet too rich in saturated fats from animal fats, certain meats and fatty derivatives of milk has a direct influence on the cholesterol level.
Genetic and hereditary factors
The cholesterol is not systematically transmitted between generations (except some rare familial forms) but is often found in several cases in one family.
- Certain diseases of the liver, kidneys, or thyroid cause blood levels to rise.
- Certain medications such as diuretics, anti-acne medications, oral contraceptives, or cortisone can be directly responsible for high cholesterol levels.
HOW TO LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL LEVEL?
- The Mediterranean diet, another way to eat
People die of heart attacks much less in Mediterranean countries than in the rest of the world and this is largely due to food. The centuries-old eating habits of the Greeks and Cretans have been scrutinized by nutritionists and have become the symbol of healthy eating.
The strong point of the Mediterranean diet: plants, in particular fresh fruits and vegetables. Olive oil for seasoning, a wide variety of vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggplants, cucumbers, beans), fruit in abundance, fish (all varieties) two to three times per week.
Eat fresh cheeses and meat moderately, favoring white meats, and, if you drink wine, limit yourself to two glasses a day It will be understood that changing your diet is the first and essential step in successfully reducing an excessively high cholesterol level.
The right reflexes to adopt:
Eat lots of green vegetables and raw vegetables (at least one serving of each per day) and at least two fresh fruits.
Use vegetable oils (sunflower, olive, rapeseed …) for cooking and seasoning, to reduce the ingestion of harmful saturated fats. Avoid hard kinds of margarine (such as Végétaline), palm, and copra oils.
Eat lightly in the evening, preferring to catch up in the morning, at breakfast (it is during the night that the liver makes cholesterol ). Popular wisdom formalized this rule as follows: “At breakfast, a king’s meal; at lunch, a prince’s meal; at dinner, a beggar’s meal”.
Eat fish (including fatty fish) at least twice a week.
Reduce the intake of saturated fat (of terrestrial animal origin): avoid butter, cold cuts, and fatty meats, cheeses, pastries, pastries, and pizzas which often contain a large amount of fat. Prefer white meats: veal, turkey, and chicken.
Learn to read labels on foods and prepared meals. They often provide a lot of information on the amount and type of lipids. As far as possible, rediscover the pleasure of cooking, in which you can control exactly what you eat, to industrial food.
Diet is a treatment in its own right. In many cases, simply changing eating habits and resuming regular physical activity are sufficient.
Drug treatment and fatty acids
The so-called Omega 3 fatty acids are particularly good for the arteries. They thin the blood and prevent the formation of clots.
They are found:
- in soy, walnut, and rapeseed oils, as a seasoning,
- in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, etc.)
Cholesterol-lowering drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs are effective and well-tolerated. Their prescription must however remain exceptional in patients at low cardiovascular risk.
The priority is to treat high-risk patients, for whom LDL – cholesterol must be less than 1 g / l (patients with a history of coronary disease or stroke, or complicated lower limb arteritis ), as well as type 2 diabetics with renal complications and, finally, people with a high cardiovascular risk, i.e. who, at 10 years, have either a risk of having a cardiovascular event greater than 20 %, or a risk of dying from a cardiovascular event greater than 5%.
How to measure blood pressure correctly
Measuring blood pressure seems like an extremely simple thing – one would be tempted to think. But the impression is misleading. Here’s what to watch out for when it comes to blood pressure.
Do not drink coffee or alcohol and do not smoke 30 minutes before the measurement
Ideally, measure blood pressure for a week in the morning upon getting up (before taking medication) and in the evening before bedtime
Remain seated immediately before the measurement for three to five minutes. When measuring, with your back supported and relaxed, and your (bare) arm resting on a table or other support. Don’t cross your legs and don’t speak
Do not take measurements while watching a crime series or any other thriller on television
clinical validation of blood pressure
The blood pressure monitor must be “clinically validated”. But even this does not guarantee 100% correct measurement. In case of doubt, the best is to have the doctor make comparative measurements with his device.
Devices that measure blood pressure on the arm are generally more accurate than those that measure it on the wrist – but only if the size of the cuff is correct. The usual cuff, 12 cm wide, is suitable for wrapping an arm with a circumference of 27 to 34 cm. If the latter is larger, you need a cuff that is 14 to 16 cm wide. This should be positioned at heart height, two finger-widths above the crook of the elbow, and secured so that a finger can easily be passed underneath.
Regarding devices for the wrist, the latter should be positioned at the heart level, for example by resting the arm and bending it
Always take measurements at least twice at one or two minute intervals. In the event of heart rhythm disturbances, use a suitable device and take more frequent measurements
During the very first measurement, check the blood pressure in both arms. If the readings on the two arms differ, the readings on the arm with the highest blood pressure that count. If the values on the two arms differ markedly (higher value: difference greater than 20 and greater than 10 for the lower value), this should be checked by a doctor