Hyperlipidemia: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Hyperlipidemia?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the normal functioning of the body. It is mainly made by the liver but can also be found in some foods we eat. Having an excessively high level of lipids in your blood (hyperlipidaemia) can have an effect on your health. It is also known as hyperlipoproteinemia, hyperlipidaemia, high cholesterol.
Based on pattern of lipoproteins, it is of different types like hyperlipoproteinemia Type I, II, III, IV, V.

Recovery Time

By some lifestyle modifications one can reduce their cholesterol levels. This may be done within 6 to 12 months and mainly depends on the type of treatment.


Blood test (lipid panel or lipid profile)
  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides – a type of fat in the blood

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1. I am diagnosed hyperlipidemia. Should I stop eating fats? Will that help?
The important point to note is that one should have balanced diet with aerobic exercise added to get the best results from hyperlipidemia. A diet in which fat has all but been eliminated can result in a deficit in the essential fatty acids – certain fatty acids that are essential to life, but which the body cannot manufacture itself. Furthermore, ultra-low-fat diets have been reported to result in a significant reduction in HDL cholesterol in some individuals.
60% of your diet should be vegetables
20% of your diet should be fruits.
10% of your diet should be of mainly complex carbohydrate (referring to starchy foods). These too consist of fibers that are essential for the increasing to HDL and the lowering of LDL. Approximately 10% of your diet should be of protein.
Restrict the intake of oils or fats as less as 1-2% of your diet.
Oils consumed should be rich in PUFA which promotes HDL cholesterol.

Q2. What is PUFA. How is it useful in hyperlipidemia?
PUFA is poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid. Polyunsaturated fats do not raise the "bad" LDL cholesterol in your body and may actually help raise your HDL cholesterol. One type of polyunsaturated fat known as omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil are very beneficial for cholesterol patients.
HDL roams through your body, picks up the excess LDL cholesterol and transports it to the liver. From there it is broken down and discarded. HDL cholesterol protects your body from chronic diseases and may lower your risk of heart disease. Your HDL level should be above 60 mg/d .
Recent reports suggest Safflower oil to have highest amount of PUFA.

Q3. Is hyperlipidemia genetic disorder?
Not necessary primary hyperlipidemia are genetic, but if it?s secondary to excessive diet intake, thyroid disorders, diabetes, its not genetic.

Q4. Are there drugs for treatment for hyperlipidemia?
There are indeed drugs and bariatric surgeries for weight reduction but the best modality of treatment is diet restriction and exercise. Statins are the best drugs then when advised with caution. Surgeries too have complications by itself.

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