How You Can Get High Cholesterol From Your Parents

Did you know that your high cholesterol could be hereditary? Scientists have linked some people's high cholesterol to a specific genetic defect. However, don't place the blame on your genes just yet; it's important to know all the facts about this defect and how it can be treated first.

Familial hypercholesterolaemia, or "FH," means that you are lacking the low-density lipoprotein receptors that get rid of cholesterol in your bloodstream. Typical healthy people have these receptors, and they are the key element to a healthy body function that regulates cholesterol levels automatically. Inherited high cholesterol begins to take effect at birth and can lead to the early development of atherosclerosis and vascular diseases. If you have this defective high cholesterol gene, you are at least 50% likely to pass the risk on to your children. It is not possible for this defective gene to skip a generation, so if your parents do not have FH that means you are not at risk for having this disease or passing it on to your children.

All of the cells of your body, and especially in the liver, contain a tiny receptor that allows low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to be removed to from the bloodstream. If you have FH, then this means that the tiny receptors have a defect, which allows the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to build up in the blood and clog your arteries. This in turn can lead to stroke or heart attack.

If you have FH, you cannot tell that your cholesterol level is abnormal. However, you may have symptoms that result from the clogging of arteries. A crushing feeling behind your chest that stretches to you arm or neck is one of the most common symptoms. If this symptom presents itself more and more frequently and becomes severe then it is probably a serious sign that you may be on the verge of an acute coronary thrombosis, or heart attack. If this is the case then you need to seek medical attention right away.

Get your cholesterol levels tested and let doctors know that high cholesterol runs in your family if this is the case. They will do all the needed tests to determine if you have FH or not. If you know that you have FH then it is important that you eat healthy and stay far away from high fat content. Remember, your body doesn't handle the low-density lipoproteins like everyone else's body does, so it is important that you eat a more healthy diet and exercise regularly.

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