The Dangers Of Low Cholesterol

When doctors talk about cholesterol levels in a patient, it is usually because they fear that levels are too high. High cholesterol can lead to long-term health problems, including strokes and heart attacks. However, low cholesterol can be a health problem as well. Although this condition, officially called hypocholesterolemia, is very rare, and studies are still being done to confirm the health risks to low cholesterol. If you suffer from low levels it is important to research and talk to your doctor about methods to bring your cholesterol levels back to normal.

Many factors can contribute to low levels of cholesterol in the body. Anything lower than 160 mg/dL is considered abnormally low and should be carefully monitored by doctors. Some of the major contributors to hypocholesterolemia include hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid glands), liver disease, malabsorption (little or no nutrient absorption in the small intestines), celiac disease, malnutrition, and manganese deficiency. A small percentage of people also have very low levels of cholesterol in the blood steam due to abetalipoproteinemia, a rare genetic disease. Abetalipoproteinemia is a condition that mainly affects the Jewish population and not only causes low cholesterol levels, but also causes vitamin deficiencies and an inability to grow and gain weight at a normal rate. Another such disease that causes low cholesterol levels in the blood stream is hypobetalipoproteinemia, another rare genetic disease caused by a mutated gene. Low cholesterol, lastly, can be caused if medications used to treat high cholesterol are used improperly.

Although it is uncommon, there is a growing concern in the medical community about this kind of condition. In general, low cholesterol goes hand-in-hand with poor health. Thus, mortality rates rise with low cholesterol. Some common problems caused by low cholesterol may include depression, respitory diseases, cancer, and hemorrhagic stroke. However, studies are still being done to test theories about these problems and their link to low cholesterol levels in the body. Links to depression have been especially researched recently, and so if you suffer from depressoin, be sure to have your doctor check your cholesterol levels as well. Elderly patients should also be especially mindful of low cholesterol.

Overall, as with most nutrients in the body, cholestrol levels should be controlled but not limited. Unless you suffer from one of the aforementioned rare genetic diseases, you can control your cholesterol mainly by watching what you eat.

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