What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance Tevida similar to fat made by the liver. Cholesterol helps to build cell membranes and is used in making hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone and vitamin D.

Most parents may not think about what cholesterol means to their children. But heart disease has its roots in childhood. So high levels of cholesterol in children can increase the chances of heart disease and stroke in adults.

Where does cholesterol come from?
The liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs. But cholesterol also comes from some of the foods we eat. Foods that contain high saturated fat and unsaturated fats can increase the production of cholesterol in the liver.

These foods of animals contain cholesterol:

Dairy products (including milk, cheese, ice cream)
Foods from plants, such as vegetables, fruits and grains, do not contain any cholesterol.

What are the types of cholesterol?
Cholesterol does not move in the body on its own. It combines with proteins to travel through the bloodstream. Cholesterol and travel proteins are called lipoproteins (lie-poh-PRO-teenz).

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are the lipoproteins most of us have heard of.

Low-density lipoproteins or “bad cholesterol” can accumulate on artery walls. Cholesterol and other substances in plaque form blood (plak). Plaque accumulation can make blood vessels more rigid, narrower or clogged. Makes plaque easy to form blood clots. A blood clot can block the narrow artery and cause a heart attack or stroke.

Hardening of the arteries (ah-theh-roe-skleh-ROE-siss), or atherosclerosis, leads to decreased blood flow to vital organs, including the brain, intestines and kidneys.

High-density lipoproteins, or “good cholesterol”, carry cholesterol away from the arteries and return to the liver. In the liver, cholesterol is broken and removed from the body.

High levels of LDL and low levels of HDL increase the risk of heart disease.

What causes high cholesterol?
Three main things contribute to high cholesterol levels:

Diet: Eat a diet rich in fat, especially saturated fats and unsaturated fats
Genetics: Having a parent or close family member who has high cholesterol
Obesity: A weak diet and lack of exercise
People who are physically active, eat healthy foods, have no family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, and are not overweight. They have a high risk of high cholesterol.

How is high cholesterol diagnosed?
All cholesterol should be checked in children between 9 and 11 years and again when they are between the ages of 17 and 21.

Children over 2 years of age should be tested if:

To be a parent or relative close to total cholesterol is higher than 240 mg / dL
They have a family history of cardiovascular disease before age 55 in men and age 65 in women
They have some types of medical conditions (such as kidney disease, Kawasaki disease or idiopathic juvenile arthritis)
They are overweight or obese
You have diabetes, high blood pressure, or cigarette smoke
Your doctor can order a blood test to check your child’s cholesterol. Your child may have to fast (nothing to eat or drink, except water, for 12 hours) before the test.

According to the principles of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), LDL and LDL ranges for children and adolescents from 2 to 18 years are:

Classification of total cholesterol (mg / dL) LDL cholesterol, (mg / dL)
Acceptable Less than 170 Less than 110
Border 170-199 110-129
Height 200 or greater 130 or greater
mg / dL = mg / dL

How is high cholesterol treated?
If your child has an LDL level of 130 mg / dL or higher, your doctor will talk to you about lifestyle changes or refer you to a nutritionist. The objectives are:

Reduce fat (especially saturated fats and unsaturated fats) and cholesterol in the diet
Increase exercise
Lose weight, if necessary
Your doctor may check your cholesterol again after 3 to 6 months of lifestyle change.

Medications for children aged 10 and older who have LDL cholesterol can be considered as 190 mg / dL or higher if no changes in diet and exercise occur. Children with risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, may need treatment at lower levels of LDL.

5 Ways to Lower Cholesterol
Check your cholesterol level – if high, ask for your child’s levels.

Here are 5 ways to help maintain cholesterol level control in your family:

Provides a healthy diet for the heart, including:
– Vegetables, fruits and whole grains
– Fat-free meat, poultry, fish, nuts, beans and soy products
– Milk and nonfat or low fat dairy products
Healthy fats, such as fats found in fish, nuts and vegetable oils
Limit beverages and foods with added sugars.
Read labels nutrition facts so that you can reduce your cholesterol, saturated fat and unsaturated fats.
Encourage a lot of exercise. Exercise helps

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