High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia /dyslipidemia) – contributes to blood vessel disease, which often leads to stroke.
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat that is made by the body. We also absorb some cholesterol from foods we eat such as meats, margarines and dairy products. The main cause of high cholesterol is a diet high in saturated fats (fats from processed and animal foods). High cholesterol may also be hereditary.
The 2 types of cholesterol you should be concerned about:
- Low-density lipoprotein (or LDL) is the ‘bad’ cholesterol that builds up on the inside artery walls.
- High-density lipoprotein (or HDL) is the ‘good’ cholesterol. It is called the good cholesterol because it removes cholesterol from the blood stream. It takes cholesterol from the cells in our body to the liver where it is broken down and removed safely from our body.
The ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol is the key measurement of your stroke risk.
- The more HDL you have the lower your risk for stroke.
- The more LDL that you have, the greater your risk for stroke.
The link between high cholesterol and stroke
Blood is carried to the brain through a series of large arteries in the neck and then by smaller arteries inside the head. Stroke is usually caused by a sudden blockage to the arteries carrying blood to parts of the brain.
Stroke can cause damage to the brain which can then lead to death or long term disability. When there is an excess of cholesterol in the artery walls, arteries can narrow or a complete blockage can occur in the artery. This disease in the arteries is known as atherosclerosis.
High Blood Pressure and Stroke
High blood pressure generally indicates that something is wrong, especially when arteries start to become narrower due the accumulation of cholesterol on the inside walls.
How to prevent a stroke when having high cholesterol and high blood pressure
- If overweight – lose weight and maintain a healthy weight by following the steps in the Manna Weight Loss Program.
- Get active – physical activity can help to increase blood flow and it will help you with the change of habits, like poor diet and cravings for the “bad” foods. Exercise also helps to de-stress, which is fantastic to counteract high blood pressure.
(* Note: some types of exercises should be avoided by people with high blood pressure – please ask your doctor about what is best for you)
- Quit smoking
- Cut down or stop drinking alcohol
- Drink enough water – the body needs about 1,5 litre of water per day to stay hydrated, because dehydration also cause blood pressure to rise.
- Supplement to help lower high cholesterol – the Manna Cholesterol Support can assist in lowering the “bad” cholesterol and increase the “good” cholesterol.