What is Hyperlipidemia?
Hyperlipidemia is the presence of unusually high levels of lipids (fats) in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is the primary lipid found in blood and is an essential protein produced by the liver that supports brain function, vitamin storage, hormone production, and more. Hyperlipidemia occurs when too much bad cholesterol enters the bloodstream through production or high-fat foods.
Although many cardiovascular conditions carry clear symptoms, hyperlipidemia may not be readily obvious until it’s been present for years. Cholesterol and triglycerides have the potential to build up in the arteries, clogging and narrowing the blood vessels. This build up in the arteries can raise blood pressure and the risk of blood clots, increasing the chances of heart attack or stroke.
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What Causes Hyperlipidemia?
The most common form of hyperlipidemia is genetic. It may also be caused by poor lifestyle and health habits like smoking, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use, and medical conditions like:
- Kidney Disease
Certain medications can also contribute to hyperlipidemia including steroids, birth control, retinoids, estrogen, and more.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension, popularly known as high blood pressure, is an extremely common condition that over 85 million people in the United States suffer from. Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Normal blood pressure levels are under 120/80 mm Hg, with hypertension beginning at any numbers above 130/80 mm Hg.
High blood pressure can be particularly dangerous because sufferers generally do not experience any symptoms. Only when hypertension reaches extreme levels will symptoms begin to show, such as:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Impaired Vision
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Heart Palpitations
At levels that cause symptoms, hypertension can cause a stroke or heart attack. Long-term, untreated hypertension can lead to heart disease and kidney failure, among other issues.
What Causes Hypertension?
Hypertension often has no clear, determinable cause or underlying condition and simply progresses over time. It can often be related to genetics, obesity, and sedentary lifestyles. However, blood pressure for some people stems from an underlying cause or condition. Conditions that can cause hypertension include:
- Blood Vessel Defects
- Kidney Problems
- Sleep Apnea
- Thyroid Problems
Additionally, hypertension may also be brought on by certain medications and supplements like antidepressants, birth control, pain relievers, and some illegal drugs.
How Middle Georgia Heart Can Help
Because hyperlipidemia and hypertension can often go unnoticed, regular blood pressure tests are crucial in order to detect and treat them. Middle Georgia Heart offers the necessary tests in a compassionate, friendly environment. Our providers are experts in the treatment of hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions and are ready to offer you comprehensive medical care. We also offer help and direction for lifestyle changes that can help treat hypertension.