Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance present in all parts of the body, including the nervous system, skin, muscle, liver, intestines and heart. It is both made by the body and obtained through the diet. Although it is manufactured in the liver for normal body functions such as the production of hormones, bile acid and vitamin D, its levels must be kept within a “normal” range for good health. High cholesterol can lead to increased fatty deposits, or plaques, in the blood vessels.
High cholesterol is defined as a total cholesterol reading of more than 240. However, some consider a total cholesterol reading between 200 and 239 to be borderline high. High levels of cholesterol can block blood flow and increase the risk of health problems such as arteriosclerosis and carotid artery or coronary artery disease, also called heart disease. These diseases increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Thirty-seven million American adults have high blood cholesterol levels, and 105 million have cholesterol levels that are higher than desirable, a condition called hypercholesterolemia.
How does high cholesterol develop?
Most doctors believe that high cholesterol is related to a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is present only in foods of animal origin, such as eggs, dairy products, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish. Some people, however, may have an inherited disorder in which the body cannot properly metabolize cholesterol. Others suffer from kidney and liver disease, hypothyroidism, an overactive pituitary gland or diabetes mellitus, any of which can also cause high cholesterol levels.
Many natural medicine doctors consider high insulin levels to be a major factor in the development of high cholesterol, as liver production of cholesterol accounts for as much as 90 percent of cholesterol metabolism in the body. Excess insulin, which is most often due to high carbohydrate diets, causes the liver to retain cholesterol, significantly contributing to these dangerously high levels in the body.
What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?
There are typically no symptoms associated with high cholesterol until the high levels in the bloodstream block blood flow. This is signaled by health problems such as arteriosclerosis or coronary artery disease, which can result in a heart attack or stroke. Narrowed or blocked arteries in other parts of the body can cause pain. For example, narrowed or blocked arteries in the legs may cause pain when walking.
Conventional medical treatments may help relieve high cholesterol, but they do not get at the root of the problem. By addressing the underlying imbalance of cholesterol metabolism, as natural medicine treatments can, high cholesterol may be avoided permanently.
At Sunridge Medical, our highly-trained physicians are experts in providing an integrated approach to the treatment of cancer and chronic disease. Our treatment plans are individualized, and involve both traditional and alternative medicines.
The physicians at Sunridge Medical have found that symptoms frequently can be improved and even reversed with our natural treatments. We take a holistic approach to patient care and strive not only treat the disease, but also alleviate symptoms, increase quality of life and, most importantly, address the underlying cause of disease.
For answers to your questions or to make an appointment, call us toll-free at 800-923-7878 to speak with a Patient Care Representative. Let us help you get your life back.