Understanding Hyperlipidemia

Understanding HyperlipidemiaHyperlipidemia is a condition in which a person has elevated lipid levels in the blood. Lipids, also called fat molecules, refer in this case to cholesterol and triglycerides. Untreated hyperlipidemia is associated with a greater risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Obesity is one of the major risk factors of hyperlipidemia, along with smoking, diabetes and family history.

Diagnosing Hyperlipidemia

Diagnosis of hyperlipidemia is based on the levels of the lipids in your blood. These are the range of lipid levels that can determine whether or not a person has hyperlipidemia:

LDL Cholesterol – This is the “bad” type of cholesterol. This type may clog arteries and prevent blood flow.

  • Optimal: Under 100 mg/dL
  • Borderline Optimal: 100-129 mg/dL
  • Borderline High: 130-159 mg/dL
  • High: 160-189 mg/dL
  • Very High: Above 190 mg/Dl

HDL Cholesterol – This is the “good” type of cholesterol. This type is protective and can stop LDL cholesterol from getting lodged into artery walls.

  • Low: 40 mg/dL
  • Optimal: 60 mg/dL

Triglycerides – This is a fat that is used for energy and found in your blood.

  • Optimal: Under 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline High: 150-199 mg/dL
  • High: Above 200 mg/dL

Health Risks of Hyperlipidemia

Health risks associated with hyperlipidemia include:

  • Increased chance of developing coronary heart disease
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased chance of developing metabolic syndrome

Treating Hyperlipidemia

Treatment for Hyperlipidemia varies depending on your lipid levels, but generally, it involves weight management, including healthy dieting and regular physical activity. If weight control doesn’t seem to be affecting lipid levels, medication is often recommended. Many people experience improvement in lipid levels after weight loss success through medical weight loss.