Cholesterol level refers to the amount of lipoproteins present in the bloodstream. There are two types of lipoproteins present in our bloodstream. There are low density lipoproteins which are usually referred as “bad cholesterol”. LDLs are the main source of blockage in arteries and thus can induce a heart attack.
The other type of lipoproteins is high density lipoproteins which make up the “good cholesterol”. HDLs can be vital in removing bad cholesterol from the arteries.
Lipid disorders are the medical conditions which cause abnormal levels of lipoproteins in the bloodstream. Lipid disorders are dangerous because they lead to other fatal disease such as coronary artery disease. The most commonly known lipid disorder is hyperlipidemia or high blood cholesterol.
Lipid disorders are very common and claim several lives around the world each year. A report on raised cholesterol by WHO shows that high blood cholesterol contributes to one third of all ischemic heart disease around the world. This report also reveals that high blood cholesterol causes around 2.6 million deaths worldwide.
Pakistan is facing the epidemic of lipid disorders in its worst form. The leading cause of mortality in the country is the coronary artery disease which is a direct result of high cholesterol levels.
Recently a study which shed light on the prevalence of lipid disorders in Pakistan was published. 63% of the participants in this study had some type of lipid abnormality. The most prevalent lipid disorder was low HDL-C. It had a prevalence of 17.3%.
In this article, we take a look at some of the common lipid disorders and their symptoms. The symptoms are just a prompt to consult a cardiologist. They in no way diagnose the disease. Only a medical professional can confirm a diagnosis after a number of tests.
Dyslipidemia is a condition when there is an abnormal level of any type of lipoproteins in the blood. Usually there is an abnormal increase in the amount of triglycerides and LDLs. Very low levels of HDLs can also cause dyslipidemia.
Hypercholesterolemia is a condition where there is exclusively an increase in the cholesterol level in the blood. Coronary artery disease is the main consequence of this disorder. People with hypercholesterolemia may also experience accumulation of fat in their tissues.
3-Lipid storage disorder:
People with lipid storage disorder lack one or more enzymes that are needed to break lipids down. As a result they experience lipid accumulation in their cells and tissues. Lipid storage disorder is usually inherited.
Most lipid disorders have similar symptoms. They include fatigue, poor memory, depression and loose stools. A main symptom that all lipid disorders share is excessive weight gain. An overall sense of heaviness in the body can also be pointing towards a lipid disorder. In case of storage disorder, bumps on the body can be seen. These bumps are due to fat accumulation.
Some of the symptoms that are exclusively related to high cholesterol are heart palpitations and chest pain. The chest pain is the reflection of blocked arteries. Stomach pain and headaches can also occur due to lipid disorders.
Once the symptoms have presented themselves, it is time to consult an endocrinologist. He/she is likely to order following tests.
A blood test known as a lipid profile is usually the first step in the diagnostic test. This test is conducted in both normal and fast mode. Non-fasting will not work for people who have increased triglycerides and thus a doctor my order both.
2-Advanced lipid testing:
Advanced lipid testing is conducted if there is a chance that the heart might already be at risk. In advanced testing, the blood sample is not only checked for the amount of lipids but the size of lipoproteins is also examined.
3-Coronary Calcium score:
This test involves a CT scan of the area surrounding the heart and the heart itself. X-rays are passed to get a view of the arteries and the amount of calcium in the coronary artery is assessed. This test is important to determine the dosage and kind of medication that will be used during the treatment.
Lipid disorders are dangerous and can cause fatal conditions such as coronary artery disease. It is important to get tested once the symptoms have appeared so that an official diagnosis can be made. Testing and diagnosis also means that treatment and precautionary measures can be taken in time before the lipid disorders lead to other complications.
You can also book an appointment with a top Cardiologist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your child’s skeletal concerns.