Lipid Disorders: What Are They And How Can I Treat Them?
Do you have a lipid disorder, or are you at risk for one? People with high cholesterol or triglycerides have a lipid disorder. A lipid is a type of fat found in your blood. Lipid disorders are common, but many people don't know they have one. High cholesterol and triglycerides can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other problems. However, you can take steps to lower your risk. This blog will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of lipid disorders.
What is a Lipid Disorder?
Lipid disorders are conditions that prevent the body from properly metabolising fats. As a result, it can accumulate harmful fats in the blood, increasing the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. However, with proper treatment, many people with lipid disorders can manage their condition and live healthy lives. To the untrained eye, it might seem like all fats are the same. However, there are several different types of fats, each impacting the body differently. You should know the difference between these fats to make informed decisions about your diet and lifestyle.
What are The Causes of Lipid Disorder?
The causes of lipid disorders vary depending on the type of disorder. In general, however, these conditions are caused by an imbalance in how the body metabolises fats. In addition, it can be due to genetic factors, lifestyle choices, or other underlying health conditions. Some of the most common causes of lipid disorders include:
- High cholesterol: This is one of the most common causes of lipid disorders. Cholesterol is a type of fat found in the blood. Too much cholesterol can lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other problems.
- High triglycerides: Triglycerides are another type of fat found in the blood. Like cholesterol, too many triglycerides can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. It can increase heart disease, stroke, and other problems.
- Obesity: Obesity is a major risk factor for lipid disorders. People who are obese are more likely to have high cholesterol and triglycerides. Obesity can also lead to other health problems, such as diabetes, which can further increase the risk for lipid disorders.
- Unhealthy diet: A diet high in saturated and trans fats can increase the risk for lipid disorders. These types of fats can raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Lack of exercise: A sedentary lifestyle can also increase the risk for lipid disorders. Exercise helps to improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for lipid disorders. Tobacco smoke contains harmful chemicals that can damage the arteries and raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Family history: If you have a family history of lipid disorders, you may be at increased risk for these conditions.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition that can lead to lipid disorders. People with diabetes are more likely to have high cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Kidney disease: Kidney disease can also lead to lipid disorders. It is because the kidneys play a role in cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism.
What are The Symptoms of Lipid Disorder?
Lipid disorder symptoms vary depending on the type of disorder. In general, however, these conditions can cause a variety of problems. Some of the most common symptoms of lipid disorders include:
- Atherosclerosis is a common complication of lipid disorder. It is when your arteries harden and narrow, and it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Angina pectoris at rest and exertion (pressing pain, burning sensation in the heart region at rest or during physical work) can also be a symptom of lipid disorders.
- Other lipid disorder symptoms include sudden dizziness, noise and buzz in the ears, memory impairment, and a sharp decrease in concentration.
- Some people feel pain in the legs when walking. It can also be a symptom of lipid disorders.
- Fat deposits are formed in the skin (xanthoma) or the eyelid area (xanthelasma).
If you have any of these symptoms, it's important to see your doctor so they can run some tests and determine if you have a lipid disorder.
Lipid disorders are often detected by blood tests for lipid screening. This may be a part of Lipid Profile screening , Cardiac Risk Assessment or as part of regular whole body check up. Regular blood glucose level testing for Diabetes mellitus is also recommended as its a precursor for lipid disorders.
. Apart from these, some specific tests are also used to detect lipid disorders.These include::
- Biochemistry of blood and measuring lipid metabolism will give your doctor an idea of your current state and can start to see the effects of treatment.
- Determination of the coefficient of atherogenicity - determination of the ratio of high and low-density lipoproteins.
- Ultrasonic duplex scanning of colour vessels using an ultrasound machine. With its help, the doctor determines the foci of poor circulation and compares the blood flow in paired organs.
- Magnetic resonance angiography - allows you to evaluate the anatomical and functional features of blood flow.
- Computed angiography is used to visualise large blood vessels and identify their pathological changes.
Treatment for Lipid Disorder
With lifestyle changes, medications, and regular screening one can often manage the lipid disorders.
Not all tests and methods are required. They are prescribed at the doctor's discretion and in the absence of contraindications. The treatment of lipid disorders aims to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and its complications. To do this, you need to normalise your lifestyle and take medications. For example, it would help if you quit smoking, lead an active lifestyle, and eat right. In addition to diet and physical activity, you need to take drugs that lower cholesterol. These include statins, fibrates, niacin, and other drugs. The choice of drug and dosage is determined by the doctor individually.