Cholesterol is an essential component of cell membranes of our body cells. Fatty components from our food are modified into liver and transformed into cholesterol. This cholesterol is then released into blood so that it reaches to cells of all organs of body.
What is Atherosclerosis?
While travelling in blood, cholesterol may start depositing into the innermost layers of the blood vessels (endothelium) and may start forming a cholesterol plaque at one or several places. In the long run a gradual deposition of cholesterol leads to growth of the plaque and thus leading to smaller available lumen area for blood flow. This causes reduced blood supply to affected area giving rise to chest discomfort known as angina. This type of a situation is called Arthrosclerosis.
What are the risk factors of Heart Disease or Arthrosclerosis?
It’s important to know what makes cholesterol to deposit in the endothelium. It’s either the more than normal concentration in blood or there may be few factors which make it stickier. More than normal concentration of cholesterol is known as hypercholesterolemia or dyslipidemia and it occurs due to improper eating habits or because of genetic factors. Even with normal concentration, cholesterol can get deposited in presence of other factors such as: smoking, diabetes, hypertension lack of exercise and stress.
What best can be done to avoid Heart Disease?
- As it is evident from the above discussion, we should avoid getting more cholesterol in our blood and avoid factors which enhance its deposition into endothelium.
- Diabetes and hypertension need to be controlled to the optimum level.
- Smoking should be avoided.
- A daily exercise routine should be followed.
- Meditation may be useful to get out of stress.
- Food habits are important to be modified and more fruits, vegetables and fibre should be included in daily food.
- Oil, carbohydrate and salt consumption should be reduced to minimum.
- Taking all these measures reduces cholesterol and reduces chances of getting future heart disease.