Here Is A Guide To High Cholesterol And Your Treatment
What is High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol is defined in a few ways, such as testing Total Cholesterol (TC) as 240mg/dl or higher or having an low-density lipoprotein (LDL) of 160mg/dl. Having high high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is classified as being healthy, so high HDL as a risk factor of heart disease is classified as lower risk. Not all people with high cholesterol go on to develop heart disease, with indications showing that inflammation, metabolic health, oxidation, infections and immune system dysregulation all playing a role in the development of heart disease.
There are no specific symptoms of high cholesterol unless it gets to very high levels which is consistent with Familial Hypercholesteremia (FH) — is a genetic condition of high levels of cholesterol. In those cases where high cholesterol is contributing to heart disease then heart disease symptoms to watch out for are:
If you have any of these symptoms we recommend you try our short 5-minute questionnaire to assess your cholesterol risks.
Cholesterol’s Role in the Body
Cholesterol has many essential roles to play in the body. It is:
- a precursor to Vitamin D3, with cholesterol in the skin being converted to Vitamin D3 analogues upon exposure to UV light
- essential in the makeup of bile in the liver, which helps break down fats and absorb fat soluble vitamins.
- the backbone of steroid hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol.
- supportive of the immune system and helps to prevent infections taking hold in the body as it cleans up bacterial debris
- essential for brain health, in helping neurons function properly and assisting in memory and learning
What causes High Cholesterol?
There are many factors contributing why cholesterol goes up. Typically, it follows a linear pattern with aging, the older you get the higher your cholesterol, until about the mid-60s, where it peaks and then falls slightly into older age.
Ageing and poor lifestyle (sedentary, high glucose diet) causes oxidative stress to the blood vessels which increases cholesterol as a protective mechanism to limit the damage to the blood vessel walls. A low thyroid function and women going through menopause can also experience higher levels of cholesterol as changes in hormones impact the cholesterol metabolism.
How can Functional Medicine Help?
The objective of all patients is to get better, feel happier and healthier. The question is would patients like their disease ‘managed’ with medications which stabilises their condition, with risks associated with further progression, or would patients like to reverse their condition.
High cholesterol has been associated with heart disease, but at the same time low cholesterol has been associated with heart disease, with a study (2009) showing that 75% of heart attack patients having normal or low cholesterol. Functional Medicine helps to determine if high cholesterol is actually a risk factor or not to your heart health. Cholesterol comes in many forms, small dense and large buoyant LDL, HDL, lipo(a), ApoB and A1 cholesterol particles, and each of these cholesterol markers indicates different levels of risk. Our approach is to determine the risk and apply lifestyle and supplemental strategies to lower risk.
The Dietary Solution for HC: Mediterranean vs Keto?
The Mediterranean diet has long been celebrated as a heart-healthy diet, and its effectiveness in preventing heart disease is widely acknowledged. However, emerging evidence suggests that a lower-carb diet, commonly known as the Keto diet, can also offer comparable benefits.
Both diets have shown promising results in helping with high cholesterol levels, but it’s important to remember that individual needs and preferences vary. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalised guidance to determine if the Keto diet is a suitable choice for you.
Learn More about Keto
Your journey toward better health begins now
- A free 15-min initial assessment conducted by one of our functional medicine doctors or practitioners.
- Review full-health history, current symptoms, lifestyle practices, medication and laboratory reports.
- You’ll receive a customised diet and supplement plan, and epending on your condition we’ll optimise your hormones, improve your gut function, detox your body gently and give you specific life hacks to play with to feel great.
Life Changing Programs
Like any new experience or venture, you need guidance, you need that little reminder or encouragement that you’re doing the right thing. We have different packages according to your time commitments and availability. Our coaching packages are for 1, 3, or 6 months and are set up to provide continuous support where needed by our functional medicine coaches supported by our Doctors and practitioners.
Metabolic & Annual Testing Packages
How’s your metabolism? Get tested and find out, with either our core or comprehensive packages. (For Hong Kong residents only). For international inquiries, check-in with us and we can advise what best panel tests to ask your local doctor to check for.