What Causes High Cholesterol in Women | Putting Yourself at Unnecessary Risk?
What causes high cholesterol in women? Just like men, women are not immune to the health problems involving blood cholesterol.
Before you jump to any conclusions, find out the facts on what causes high cholesterol among women and what steps you might want to take.
Estrogen and Cholesterol
Estrogen, the female sex hormone, is said to help in preventing heart diseases in women. Although studies have not yet pinpointed the exact mechanism, it's believed that estrogen plays a role in cholesterol management in the liver. It boosts your good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL).
When a woman reaches the age of 60-65 or earlier, women hit menopause, which could mean less protection against heart diseases. At this stage, men and women become equally at risk. Women could even have a higher incident of high cholesterol problems because of the rebound effect of their unhealthy diet and lifestyle before they reach their menopausal stage.
Can Women Still Develop High Cholesterol During Their Reproductive Years?
Estrogen, unfortunately, does not always guarantee protection. If you have metabolism problems, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, you are at greater risk for stroke, heart problems, and other circulatory problems. Greater effort would have to be done to control both the underlying and secondary diseases.
Other Factors That Influence High Cholesterol in Women
Genes or heredity is also recognized to cause high cholesterol problems in women (and men). At a very young age, an individual could have liver defects that decrease the effectiveness of their LDL receptors that would result to high concentration of LDL circulating in the bloodstream. Others would produce too much cholesterol, so the body would have a hard time utilizing and excreting excess cholesterol.
So, what causes high LDL cholesterol? It’s not just genetics, that’s for sure. While high cholesterol in women is influenced by her age, gender, weight, lifestyle, family history, and health status… it’s the fuel (food) she consumes that is usually the largest contributing factor.
Framingham 10-Year Risk Score
The Framingham Risk Score is based on the famous Framingham Heart Study and is available in two types; one for men and another for women.
It is used to determine the risk of an individual to develop cardiovascular problems within five to ten years span of time. Since it gives healthcare professionals clues on at-risk patients, it allows doctors to readily give out the necessary preventive measures, medical treatment and health education.
As you know, prevention is always better than cure. So, while it is still possible, start living a healthy life today! Eat right, exercise daily, and educate yourself.
If you want to be pro-active with your heart health, getting and evaluating your Framingham Risk Score may prove to be very worthwhile.
Change Your Lifestyle and Remove Bad Habits
If you’re overweight, a smoker, or likes to live a non-active life, it's time to change all that because that won’t help you lower your cholesterol! Exercise at least 20 minutes a day. Join organizations or programs that would help you overcome smoking and weight problems.
And you need to understand that a low-cholesterol diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring. There are a variety of wonderfully tasty and healthy foods to choose from. You can discover plenty of delicious low-cholesterol diet recipes online. Remember to eat lots of fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber.
Seek safe alternatives to control and manage high cholesterol. People are discovering more and more the benefits of going natural. Many natural supplements for cholesterol available today are proven to be quick, safe, and very effective.