Medically Reviewed by Vincenta Faulkner, RD, CNSC, CCTD
If you aren’t all that familiar with the word “cholesterolemia,” you’re not alone.
Cholesterolemia is a term that just describes the presence of cholesterol in your blood. It breaks down like this; “cholesterol,” referring to cholesterol, and “lemia,” referring to blood, getting you cholesterolemia.
More commonly, you will hear cholesterol referred to as just that — cholesterol.
But for people who are actively concerned with their blood lipids levels — from your cholesterol to triglycerides and more — familiarity with cholesterolemia, and its meaning and impact, could have a transformative effect on how you manage your nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle choices in relation to your cholesterol levels.
If you are seeking a trusted resource to help you monitor your health, Zizi can help with commonsense care. Better healthcare starts with better access, which is why we are here today to help you better understand how cholesterol works.
When it comes to your health, knowledge is power.
Understanding cholesterolemia enables you to overcome risks to your health through the power of knowledge. Think about it in real terms: if you have a nuanced understanding of what cholesterolemia means, you’re equipped with a deeper level of knowledge about your cholesterol, your blood, and how they interact.
Let’s dive into cholesterolemia, how cholesterol affects our health, and how we can make the best of the knowledge we have.
What Is Cholesterolemia?
Blood is just one of the hosts of our bodies’ cholesterol. It makes sense that medical science would concoct a word devoted to the relationship between blood and cholesterol specifically, seeing as how they are interlinked. Our blood transports chemicals, nutrients, and fats — like cholesterol.
Cholesterolemia refers to the levels of cholesterol in our blood, which is a normal part of our bodily functions.
When we consume anything with calories, our bodies begin to break up those foods into fuel and storage — and fats are the most efficient storage system because they can hold twice as much energy as sugar. Fats get stored in our fatty tissues, and they remain there for extended periods of time.
What Is Cholesterol?
So, what is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is fat. Produced by the liver, cholesterol is a foundational building block to many areas in our bodies. From helping us synthesize our hormones, to being a central component in the construction of our cell membranes and tissues, cholesterol is an essential part of our daily functioning.
There are two primary types of cholesterol, commonly known as the “good” and the “bad'' cholesterol, or HDL and LDL cholesterol, respectively.
Good cholesterol is HDL or high density lipoprotein.
HDL cholesterol can help manage our overall cholesterol levels by working to transport excess fats out of the body.
In simplified terms, you can think of HDL as “anti-cholesterol.” HDL manages our cholesterol levels by maintaining a healthy, balanced fat level, identifying an overabundance of cholesterol in the body, and returning those fats back to the liver to be removed.
Low density lipoprotein is the “bad” cholesterol.
Whereas HDL cholesterol returns excess cholesterols and blood fats to the liver, LDL cholesterol is the means by which cholesterols and fats are transported throughout the body. LDL is the carrier that connects blood fats like cholesterols and triglycerides to where they are needed across the body.
LDL cholesterols themselves aren’t necessarily a bad thing, as they serve a crucial purpose to our bodily function.
The problem arises when we end up with an excess of cholesterol, which these low density lipoproteins flood the bloodstream with, resulting in health risk factors like plaque build-up in our arteries. Plaque build-up can result in major health risks like heart conditions, making it a serious health concern. Certain foods can increase our LDL cholesterol levels.
What Is Hypercholesterolemia?
While cholesterolemia simply describes the presence of cholesterol in the blood, hypercholesterolemia refers to an abnormally high amount of cholesterol in the blood.
An abnormal amount of cholesterol in the blood means that there is a flood of LDL cholesterol coursing through our bloodstream, despite the best efforts of our HDL cholesterol to prevent that from happening.
When that abnormal amount of cholesterol in the blood becomes a serious health concern, that’s when cholesterolemia evolves into hypercholesterolemia.
With etymology to help us understand the meaning of this word, “hyper” serves to amplify “cholesterolemia”, meaning that the normal presence of cholesterol in the bloodstream is now turning into a lot of cholesterol in our blood.
How Does Hypercholesterolemia Happen?
If hypercholesterolemia is the problem — too much cholesterol in the bloodstream — how can we solve it? How do we get so much cholesterol in our bloodstream in the first place?
With every bite of food you consume, every sip of a drink you take, you gain calories that your body uses for fuel. On a steady diet, our metabolic rate is able to effectively use these calories for energy. When they are not immediately needed, these calories are stored away for later usage.
If we consume more calories than we need, we’re building up those stored reserves of energy, more often than not in the form of stored fats, one of the most capable energy storage nutrients the body has.
Humans have thrived thanks to our body’s ability to store energy for later usage. Our prehistoric ancestors did not have the same consistency in their meal plans that we have, and as such, our bodies evolved to store energy in the event that we might be without a regular food source for an extended period of time.
Fats are, for the most part, stored energy that the body uses for later functions — like the building of cell membranes in the case of cholesterol, as an example.
Seeing that cholesterol is such a fundamental fat in our body, for better and worse, we need a steady supply of it in order to survive. However, when we consume too many processed, fatty foods, it can elevate our cholesterol levels, leading to hypercholesterolemia.
How Does Diet Impact Cholesterol?
We get most of our cholesterol from food. Cholesterol is fat, and we get many of our fats from the food we consume. Some foods contain more cholesterol than others.
Whether our diets are high in fats or not, being mindful of our food intake is crucial to mitigating our chances of developing blood cholesterol levels that would warrant hypercholesterolemia being brought up in your doctor's office.
It’s a matter of overconsumption of foods that build up cholesterol in the body. The more fat-heavy foods we eat, the more cholesterol we have coursing through our bloodstream, and as a result, we risk entering into the dangerous realm of hypercholesterolemia.
Why Is Cholesterol Management Important?
Cholesterolemia, and hypercholesterolemia more so, aren’t just words. They describe real-world conditions that can result in shorter life expectancies, health problems, and lower quality of life. Simply by understanding these clinical terms, you get a better grasp on how your body works, and by virtue of that understanding, more power of your life.
By deepening your understanding of your body and how it works, you gain the ability to take charge of your future and build a happier healthier life.
Your cholesterol levels play a significant role in your health, especially your heart health. Zizi offers monthly heart monitoring without the hoops because heart health starts at home.
Zizi Is Your Go-To Resource for Cholesterol
At Zizi, we are devoted to giving you the tools and resources you need to take charge of your cholesterol and live a heart-healthy life.
You shouldn’t have to live in fear of leaving your family too soon, nor should you worry about your family members' lives being cut short because of preventable conditions like hypercholesterolemia.
Zizi has a proven toolkit to keep you on top of your cholesterol levels. With at-home test kits that allow you to stay updated on your blood lipid levels, exercise routines that help you keep your heart pumping as it should, and more, you can overcome your high cholesterol with Zizi.
Our high-quality, all-natural and vegan supplements, biodegradable packaging, and 100% carbon neutral shipping methods help ensure that your health is taken care of without harming the health of our planet. Improve your health without even leaving your house. Care comes easy with Zizi.
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