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Hyperlipidaemia – Symptoms, Treatment, Causes, Management

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

Hyperlipidaemia is the medical term for too much fat in the blood. There are different types of hyperlipidaemia – triglycerides as well as cholesterol. Both or either of these may be raised creating diverse patterns of hyperlipidemia. Some of the cholesterol in the blood is from diet and some is usually created by the body and you may have hypercholesterolaemia without consuming a lot of cholesterol comprising foods. Triglycerides normally come from the breakdown of fat in the diet. Some individuals have hyperlipidaemia because of genes which are faulty. These individuals usually have complications of hyperlipidaemia at very young ages as well as often having a family history of difficulties which are similar.


The most frequent problem that this condition causes is the acceleration of arterial disease. Individuals with untreated, severe hyperlipidaemia are at a much greater risk of having heart attacks at a young age. Less serious forms can accelerate the increase of occlusive arterial illness as well as aggravating other risk factors for instance diabetes and smoking.

Hyperlipidaemia Causes

Hyperlipidaemia normally causes no symptoms so it can be unnoticed for several years. It usually runs in families so any individual with an arterial disease, stroke or heart attack at a young age in the family history, are more probable to have this condition. Diagnoses can be confirmed with blood testing as well as kits now obtainable from the drug store to take home. For any test that is definitive a blood sample needs to be sent to a lab. Even if there is no family history, your cholesterol needs to be checked every five years or so.

The below listed medical conditions are some of the probable causes for hyperlipidaemia. There are probably others, so this should be discussed with your family physician:

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  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Kidney disease
  • Diet
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cholestasis
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Immunosuppressive agents
  • Diuretics
  • Alcohol excess
  • Hepatoma
  • Renal Failure
  • Dysglobulinaemias
  • Corticosteroids
  • Oestrogens
  • Retinoids
  • B-blockers

Hyperlipidaemia Treatment and Management

In cases which are mild a change in diet that is permanent may be the only management that is needed to bring blood levels down to acceptable ranges. But in other cases, a diet is only effective for a limited time and treatment with medications may need to be started. The medications that are normally recommended work thru modifying the manner that the liver handles lipids. Medications for this condition seldom have any side effects and only take a blood test for checking if the liver is working properly – and should be done before starting on the drugs. Simple hyperlipidaemia is normally diagnosed as well as managed by an individual’s primary care physician. But more severe and complex forms normally require the management of a specialist in this area of medicine. As soon as any treatment is begun, the blood lipid effects need to be checked at consistent interludes to make certain the best dose is being given.

There is no cure for hyperlipidaemia and management is normally necessary for life. Large clinical research trials show that individuals at the most risk for complications from arterial disease – those who already have had a heart attack – do much better in the long term when treated after their very 1st complications – secondary treatment. Management of hyperlipidaemia doesn’t guarantee total immunity to arterial disease; rather it decreases the probability of developing a severe complication from the arterial disorder.

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