Hyperlipidemia, involves higher lipids or lipoproteins in blood,is one of the most observed conditions related to cardiovascular system (Hassan, 2013). This small paper focuses on outlining the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms and organs involved in the Hyperlipidemia. Further, this paper also proposes diagnosis and alternative treatment protocols and their success rate for Hyperlipidemia.
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The pathophysiology of the Hyperlipidemia
The pathophysiology of the Hyperlipidemia can be classified into primary hyperlipidemia and secondary hyperlipidemia. Whilst genetic factors cause the primary hyperlipidemia, the metabolic disorders cause the secondary hyperlipidemia. The secondary hyperlipidemia can be caused due to diabetes mellitus, high usage of drugs such as beta blockers and estrogens, renal failure, high alcohol consumption etc. (Brown, 2003).
Genetic hyperlipidemia can be categorized into disorders such as familial hypercholesterolemia, familial hypertriglyceridemia, familial dysbetalipoproteinemia and familial combined hyperlipidemia etc. The familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic disorder caused due to high-levels of low-density lipoprotein in blood (Stang & Story, 2005). On the other hand, familial hypertriglyceridemia is a highly dominant condition caused due to excess production of vey low-density lipoprotein. Familial dysbetalipoproteinemia is a condition characterized by increased low-density lipoprotein and decreased high-density lipoprotein. Finally, familial combined hyperlipidemia is a condition characterized by decreased low-density lipoprotein and increased Apolipoprotein B (Brown, 2003).
The signs and symptoms of Hyperlipidemia
Normally, hyperlipidemia does not show any symptoms in early ears. As days pass on, the symptoms such as manifestation of high cholesterol beneath of elbows, knees and eyes can be seen (Ankur et al, 2012). One can also observe the symptoms such as whitish rings around the eye’s iris in a person suffering from hyperlipidemia. Since the elevated cholesterol blocks the blood vessels, it can lead coronary heart disease or strokes. The frequent heart strokes can also be considered as major symptoms for hyperlipidemia.
The organs and/or system involved in Hyperlipidemia
Hyperlipidemia impacts cardiovascular system and leads to cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular system, also known as circulatory system, is an organ system that facilitates blood to transport oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients to organs and tissues of the body (Stang & Story, 2005). The cardiovascular system helps in fighting the diseases and stabilizing the body temperature. The system is vulnerable to diseases when cholesterol accumulates the inflamed areas of blood vessels leading to reduced flow or blockage.
Since cardiovascular blockage causes reduced blood flow, heart can be considered as most vulnerable organ to hyperlipidemia. Left untreated, hyperlipidemia can lead coronary artery disease and ultimately result to heart attack (Stang & Story, 2005). The organ, artery, is involved in hyperlipidemia because, in most of the cases, cholesterol accumulates in artery that transports blood away from heart. Brain is another organ involved in hyperlipidemia. Since high cholesterol blocks the blood vessel that supplies blood to brain, the possibility of occurring ischemic strokes would be increased (Ankur et al, 2012).
How Hyperlipidemia is diagnosed?
Cholesterol test should be done to diagnose the lipid disorder or hyperlipidemia. The cholesterol test can be conducted with a lab diagnosis test called Lipid Panel. Patients should past for at least 12 hours before undergoing Lipid Panel test because it is important to clear the chylomicron from the blood; the clearance of chylomicron might take 10 to 12 hour. The laboratory testing is conducted to measure the total plasma cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides within the blood (Brown, 2003). In order to measure the very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, the triglyceride should be divided by 5. In the same way, in order to calculate the low-density lipoprotein, it is important to subtract the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and very low density lipoprotein from total cholesterol.
For total cholesterol: If the results show that the cholesterol levels are 200 milligrams per decilitre or less, it is considered as a normal condition. The cholesterol levels that fall in between 201 and 240 milligrams per decilitre indicate borderline cholesterol. Similarly, greater than 240 milligram per decilitre indicates higher cholesterol levels.
For high-density lipoprotein: If the high-density lipoprotein is 60 milligrams per decilitre, it can be considered as good cholesterol (Ankur et al, 2012). Since the higher levels of high-density lipoprotein are good to the body, it is recommended for people to maintain at least 60 milligrams per decilitre. If the high-density lipoprotein falls in between 40 milligram per decilitre and 59 milligram per decilitre, it is considered as acceptable cholesterol level. On the other hand, less than 40 milligram per decilitre increases the risk of heart disease (Ankur et al, 2012).
For low-density lipoprotein: The optimal low-density lipoprotein for human body is 100 milligrams per decilitre or lesser. If the low-density lipoprotein level falls in between 100 milligram per decilitre and 129 milligram per decilitre, it is considered as near-optimal and does not cause any harm to individual. The low-density lipoprotein level is in between 130 milligram per decilitre and 159 milligram per decilitre, it is considered as a borderline high. Anything higher than 160 milligram per decilitre is considered as bad cholesterol (Hassan, 2013).
Alternative treatment protocols and their success rate
A wide-range of alternative treatment protocols is available to treat hyperlipidemia. A couple of them are mentioned below.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: Three important approaches such as excretory function enhancement, tonic effect reinforcement and cardiovascular system improvement are used to treat hyperlipidemia. Though there is no scientific evidence of the efficacy of these approaches, they are highly successful in controlling blood lipid levels and adjusting bodily functions (Hassan, 2013).
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Acupuncture: Acupuncture helps in reducing the cellular accumulations of fatty materials and makes the individual less vulnerable to heart disease. By needling the acupuncture point located on the lower leg, it is possible to reduce and prevent the formation of foam cells in the body. With 80% success rate, acupuncture has become one of the best alternative treatment protocols for hyperlipidemia.
Cardiovascular system is highly vulnerable to hyperlipidemia when cholesterol accumulates the inflamed areas of blood vessels. Hyperlipidemia can be caused due to genetic disorders or metabolic disorders. Some of the major symptoms of hyperlipidemia are cholesterol accumulation beneath of elbows, knees and eyes can be seen, whitish rings around the eye’s iris and chest pain. In addition to cardiovascular system, the organs such as artery, heart and brain are also involved in hyperlipidemia. By carrying out Lipid Panel test, it is possible to check the lipid levels in blood. The alternative treatment protocols such as acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be used to treat hyperlipidemia.
Brown, W.V. (2003). Cholesterol absorption inhibitors: defining new options in lipid management.Clinical Cardiology, 26(6), 259–264.
Hassan, B.A.R. (2013). Overview on Hyperlipidemia. Journal of Chromatography Separation Techniques, 4 (3), 113.
Stang, J., & Story, M. (Eds.). (2005). Guidelines for Adolescent Nutrition Services. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. Retrieved on 9th November, 2014 from < http://www.epi.umn.edu/let/pubs/img/adol_ch10.pdf>
Ankur, R., Nidhi, D., Seema, R., Amarjeet, D., & Ashok, K. (2012). Hyperlipidemia- A Deadly Pathological Condition. International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research, 4(3), 15-18.
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