What is dyslipidemia?


Dyslipidemia means that cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood are too high or too low. The most common types are: High levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL), low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) and high levels of triglycerides.

The “bad” cholesterol contributes to form a plaque in the inner wall of the arteries. The “good” cholesterol helps remove “bad” cholesterol from the arteries. Triglycerides are another type of fat, and they’re used to store excess energy from the diet.

High levels of “bad” cholesterol, low levels of “good” cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides are associated with atherosclerosis: the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. The arteries carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. If plaque narrows them, we are more likely to have heart disease, peripheral artery disease (reduced blood flow in the limbs, most often the legs), and stroke. Dyslipidemia is considered one of the top five risk factors for cardiovascular disease, along with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking and obesity.

Generally, abnormal lipid (fat) levels are partly due to an unhealthy lifestyle: overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and a diet very high in carbohydrates, but sometimes the cause is a disease or a genetic disorder.

We can improve our lipid levels with a healthy diet, weight loss, physical activity, and good blood pressure and blood glucose control. And we count on the help of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, which have showed excellent reductions in blood lipids in many studies (dose-related reductions), with very high safety profiles. DHA and EPA may have variable but always favorable effects on the lipid levels. Our doctor will decide what type of treatment is right for us based on our lipid profile.



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