Generally, if the blood LDL cholesterol is elevated, doctors suppress it by giving any combination of cholesterol-lowering medication. Rarely, some doctor does investigate into the underlying cause for this elevation in the LDL cholesterol level. Once identified the root cause, then cholesterol medication is often unnecessary.
What are the causes of high cholesterol?
There are five primary causes for the LDL cholesterol raise, they are:
- Poor thyroid function – hypothyroidism
- Sub-clinical liver problems or fatty liver
- Food allergy or food toxins
- Leaky gut
- Kidney Disease
- Opting to lose weight
- Adopting to low-carbohydrate diet
Poor thyroid function
Decrease in thyroid hormone affects every cell in our body, specifically it lower the uptake of LDL cholesterol. Thus, LDL cholesterol level in the blood rises significantly. Most doctors may not be aware of the link between non-clinical hypothyroidism and LDL cholesterol raise. Due to this, undiagnosed undetectable hypothyroidism leads to depletion of the most essential lipid cholesterol. This in-turn affects the synthesis of cortisol, DHEA and testosterone; we need cholesterol to synthesis these steroidal hormones. If the raised LDL cholesterol level is due to hypothyroidism, and the doctor still prescribed a statin to lower cholesterol level, then instead of making better it only worsens the matter.
Liver problem, particularly fatty liver usually causes raised triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and elevated small dense LDL-P levels in the blood. Fatty liver is a condition characterized by excessive accumulation of triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver. Usually, this condition can cause by regular surplus consumption of alcohol or due to eating excess calories, and it is from refined carbohydrates. This will force the pancreas to release extra insulin into the blood stream, after consumption of glucose by the body cell, the remaining glucose is converting into fat and stored in the liver causing fatty liver. It is often associated with surplus abdominal fat (central obesity). Fatty liver with this similar lipid profile strongly linked with type2 diabetes with insulin resistance. Regular rigorous exercise can help burn triglyceride storage in the liver and heal fatty-liver. Do not forget to cut-down carbohydrate to stop further storage of fat in the liver and help faster recovery. Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, omega-3 fats (cod-liver oil), soluble fibers, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Pale or grey-looking stools may most probably due to liver and/or a gallbladder problem behind your high-cholesterol numbers.
Infections by bacteria or virus and their toxic byproducts trigger the body’s immune system to release high level of cholesterol to inactivate and clear these microbes and their toxins from the blood-steams. The atherosclerosis develops due to inflammation in the arterial wall. Nevertheless, even most healthcare professionals unaware that inflammation is causing by the microorganisms. The cholesterol (specifically LDL cholesterol) in the body act as a defense system by binding with microorganism and toxins, remove them, and protect us.
Food allergy or toxins
Food allergy is the body's immune system mistakenly thinks and reacts for a protein in the food as harmful. Thus, immune system triggers a fight against this food-protein by releasing toxins to kill bacteria. This toxins end up damaging instead of protecting due to false immune trigger. Allergy symptoms are dry, swelling, red and itchy-skin; abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, gas and cramps; running nose, sneezing, itchy-eyes, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Treat food allergy by stop ingesting allergic-foods and taking anti-allergy drugs.
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition with an increase in intestinal permeability allowing macromolecules such as toxins and partially digested food. Our body perceives this as antigens, the substances capable of triggering the antibodies' production. It provokes the immune system to produce antibodies; a lipoprotein to locate, and attack foreign objects. This lipoprotein is LDL cholesterol, which get elevated proportional to the severity of leaky gut syndrome. Treating raised LDL cholesterol with statin only worsen the condition instead of healing the condition. Thus, the preferred treatment is healing the leaky gut syndrome, instead of lowering the LDL cholesterol. Once healed, LDL cholesterol will automatically lower without any specific treatment.
Kidney disease & cholesterol association
The clinical study data reveals high triglyceride levels were probably associated with an increased creatinine level. This is an indication of decrease in kidney function. Similarly, lower level of HDL cholesterol was associated with greater risk. However, total and LDL cholesterol showed no association with the risk of chronic kidney disease. Creatinine is a breakdown product of muscle used to detect this condition. A rising level in creatinine in the blood indicates a decline in the kidney function. An increase of 0.4 milligrams of creatinine per deciliter of blood indicates a significant decline in kidney function.
Opting to lose weight
Losing weight may cause a short-term rise in your serum levels of cholesterol through the weight-loss process. Human body stores excess calories as fat in adipocytes (fat cells). When you are start-losing weight, the fat cells shrink by releasing LDL cholesterol into the blood stream. This has cleared through the gall bladder into the intestine. Mostly, this elevation in LDL-cholesterol occurs in some individuals after 30 to 50 pounds (13.6 to 22.6 kg) weight loss.
According to the Journal of Nutrition, losing weight through fasting can increase LDL levels. A study performed on 10 obese-adults over a period of a seven-day fast. However, this would go away after the stored fat reserves emptied and/or stop fasting.
If you are experiencing unintentional weight loss, then you should try finding the reason. This might be related to specific diseases include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Gastrointestinal disorders, Infection, Cardiac disease (Cardiovascular disease, especially congestive heart failure), Neurologic disease (dementia), Oral problems, Connective tissue disease, HIV, and Cancer.
Adopting to Low-carb diet
When you are new on low-carb diet, then there will be minimal blood-glucose spike after meals. Thus, only marginal blood insulin rise happens after food. The body has the same energy requirement, regardless of whether you are supplying it from carb. The body starts burning stored glucagon for energy until the reserve completes. Afterwards, the body breaks down fat stored in body cells. This temporally raises your blood cholesterol level.
Many health indicators usually improve on a low-carb diet (triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, waist/hip ratio, etc.). The impact of low-carb eating on LDL cholesterol is more variable, some experiencing a decrease and others an increase. Some people get alarmed on seeing the LDL-C number rise. Their physicians are prescribing for the statin. However, this elevation is temporary, until the weight drop stabilizes. There have been quite a few studies now tracking LDL on a low-carb diet. Some people have elevated LDL for first 3-4 month, after the month 6 or 8 it tends to drop back. This rise in LDL-C level is favorably shifting towards large fluffy LDL-P, which is considering harmless. Additionally, high-fat and low-carb diets are associated with higher metabolic rate, means to burn off more calories and remote chance to gain weight.