What is dyslipidemia?

We analyze the causes and consequences of this lipid level disorder, which is related to cholesterol but is not exactly the same.

A good state of health is essential to age positively and to face life from a healthy perspective. However, the percentage of people suffering from pathologies derived from ‘bad habits’ is increasing, such as diabetes and cholesterol, related to a sedentary lifestyle and cases of being overweight. At this point, it should be explained that, beyond high levels of total cholesterol, there are other problems related to lipids that are often associated with the first one and have nothing to do with it.

This is the case of dyslipidemia, also known as dyslipidemia, a concept that is used to refer to the level of lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides or both) in the blood. In the first place, the difference is clear: having high cholesterol levels is included in this broader term. However, dyslipidemia contemplates other episodes also related to the amount of fat in the blood. For example, having a high level of triglycerides, which are the elements that the body releases into the circulatory system when it digests the fats ingested through food. They are as necessary for the body as cholesterol itself, but they are a problem if the energy they provide is not used and it accumulates in the arteries as fat.

If your usual check-ups register any of these two cases, as well as low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) or very high LDL (bad cholesterol), you would be facing episodes of dyslipidemia.

Causes and consequences of dyslipidemia

Dyslipidemia can be inherited (primary) or derived from an unhealthy lifestyle (secondary). A sedentary routine, excessive consumption of fats, especially trans or hydrogenated fats, a diet low in fiber or smoking are some of the causes that can favor the appearance of this pathology.

When there is a high level of lipids in the blood, they tend to accumulate on the walls of the blood vessels, which is highly dangerous, as it becomes a risk factor for cardiovascular health. In addition, cases of dyslipidemia are frequently associated with conditions such as myocardial infarction, diabetes, or hypertension.

Dyslipidemia symptoms

It is difficult to detect this dysfunction without going to a doctor, since a blood test is necessary to confirm it. It is an asymptomatic disease and, therefore, regular check-ups should be done. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be detected when the consequences (coronary heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis or acute pancreatitis) manifest themselves in an advanced phase of the disease. The recommendations of the professionals include promoting a healthy lifestyle, with a varied diet and physical activity.

In adults, it is recommended that, in total, the blood cholesterol level be less than 200 mg/dl, with high LDL (bad) being more harmful than HDL (good). Regarding triglycerides, values above 150 mg/dl could be considered abnormal.