A Link Between Cholesterol And High Blood Pressure?

Are cholesterol and high blood pressure levels directly proportional, meaning the higher one rises, the higher the other does? This can be a question on sufferers minds and the short answer to this is, no, the link between the two is not as clear cut. However, it is true that research studies have shown that high blood pressure occurs more often in those who have existing high blood cholesterol.

There is no one cause for hypertension. In many cases the cause of hypertension is suggested to be a combination of complex and numerous factors. However in other cases the cause is simple and straightforward - for example as a result of diabetes or kidney disease. Factors such as heredity, high sodium consumption, high cholesterol levels and obesity are also common factors linked to hypertension.

What some feel to be the most pervasive high blood pressure cause in the world today is a high cholesterol level. This is because of the effect that elevated cholesterol has on arteries and blood vessels when present for a long time.

Cholesterol, in itself is not damaging to the body. It is in fact a necessary part of the body as it forms part of all cell membranes. Because of this it cannot be eliminated from the diet. Thus the problem with cholesterol is not itís presence in the body but excessive amounts contained in the body at one time.

Of course there are 2 kinds of cholesterol. You are at risk of getting heart disease if your LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) is high and your HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) is low. High LDL in the body will cause calcium, fatty acids and cholesterol to build up inside arteries and this combination of deposits are commonly called plaque.

As plaque increases the area where blood is supposed to flow within your arteries becomes smaller. Because of the smaller area for passage, your heart has to pump harder to keep supplying blood to the organs and tissues of the body. If this is not corrected, the heart becomes over worked. In X-rays, chronic hypertensives often show an enlarged heart. In the long term this situation leads to heart failure and other complications such as strokes or a heart attack. Hopefully this explains to you why cholesterol and high blood pressure are interrelated and must often be managed simultaneously.

It is true that the human body is confronted with increased blood pressure levels at certain times during normal health. This tends to happen when the body is strained. Exercise is an example of an activity that causes the blood pressure to rise in levels similar to hypertension. But in such cases, high blood pressure levels are only temporary and may actually have beneficial effects on the heart. High blood pressure on the other hand is a constant state and the heart has to compensate continuously.

There are many ways to control cholesterol and high blood pressure levels. Medication and regular checkups are necessary in most cases. In almost all cases having a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly are the key components. So keeping cholesterol in check can be beneficial not just for your blood pressure, but also for all other body functions.

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