When we hear about cholesterol, the first association is high cholesterol.
However, it is possible for cholesterol to be too low. This condition is not very common, but it can happen. Even conditions that are caused by low cholesterol can be very serious, so this is a medical issue that we shouldn’t ignore.
What is exactly cholesterol?
Cholesterol is something that our body needs. It is usually connected to bad health, but we keep on forgetting that it always there in our bodies, no matter what.
Cholesterol is responsible for making certain hormones. He also makes vitamin D which is responsible for absorbing calcium. He also helps by making certain substances that are responsible for digesting food that we consume. He travels through our blood in form of lipoproteins. They are tiny molecules of fat that are wrapped in protein.
We have two main types of protein our blood. They are called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). The first type can clog your arteries and the other is the good cholesterol which helps bring LDL cholesterol from the blood vessels to the liver. Then the excess cholesterol is removed through our liver.
Liver and cholesterol are also connected through the fact that cholesterol is made in the liver.
Low cholesterol dangers
If you take certain medications, they can lower the amount of HDL cholesterol and cause you to have low cholesterol. This can also happen through exercise and healthy diet plans. If your cholesterol drops by these causes then you are going to be okay, but when other factors cause this condition, this could be a problem.
Lower cholesterol is usually better for your health, but you don’t want these numbers to go too low, because they are an indicator that something is wrong in your body. This change can happen suddenly, and you will notice it by obvious signs.
One of the biggest effects on our health is the effect of low cholesterol on our mental health. Cholesterol is connected to vitamin D and this particular vitamin is important for cell growth. This means that if your brain cells are not healthy you will experience anxiety and depression. This connection is still being studied but most experiments show results that point in this direction.
Low cholesterol is also connected to cancer risks. If your body suddenly starts to produce less cholesterol, then this might be one of the causes. Process that affects cholesterol levels could affect cancer, but this study is not yet confirmed.
In pregnant women, the risk of having low cholesterol might be that they will deliver their babies prematurely or they might even have a baby that has lower birth weight. So, this is definitely an issue you should discuss with your doctor.
Symptoms that you might have low cholesterol
People that have high LDL cholesterol often have no symptoms of this condition, until they suffer from heart attack or stroke. If your coronary artery is seriously blocked you will experience pain in your chest due to reduced blood flow to the heart.
But, if you suffer from low cholesterol, there will be no pain in the chest. There is no such sign that will warn you about buildup if fatty substances in your arteries.
What you will experience are depression and anxiety, and these can be the symptoms of many diseases. And in this case, low cholesterol. If you feel nervous, hopeless, agitated, changes in your mood or sleeping and eating patterns then you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
These two symptoms are usually the biggest indicator that something is wrong in your body, and the main problem is that doctors don’t usually suggest taking blood tests. These conditions are not always connected directly to the state of our bodies, but rather to the state of our mental health.
So, if you are experiencing these symptoms, you should definitely ask for blood test, just to be 100% sure, that you don’t suffer from low cholesterol.
Diagnosing low cholesterol and the main risks
Low cholesterol is determined by blood test. If you have LDL cholesterol that is lower than 50mg/dL or you have a total amount of cholesterol lower than 120 mg/dL then you have a low LDL cholesterol. The amount you should have in your body is somewhere between 70 and 100 mg/dL. This is considered to be ideal for your health. So, always keep track of your cholesterol levels, and if you haven’t had your cholesterol checked in the past two years, make sure to do so.
Risk of having low cholesterol have mostly people that have a family history of this condition, or the ones that have been on statins or other blood pressure treatments and also people that had an untreated clinical depression.
Low cholesterol is treated by first determining the cause of this condition. There can be many, and when we are certain about the cause, we will have an easier time treating it. If it’s caused by our diet then we should make some changes in our eating habits. If the low cholesterol is affecting your mental health then, antidepressants are necessary. If statin medications caused your condition, then they should be removed, so that you can bring up the level of cholesterol in your body.
Pay attention to the symptoms like anxiety, depression, stress and violent behavior. This can also be a good sign that something is wrong with your body, and low cholesterol might be the cause.
To prevent this condition from happening, make sure to do regular checkups with your doctor. Do a blood test if you feel any of the symptoms and ask your doctor for advice on how to make changes in your diet, if this is the reason why your cholesterol levels are too low.
This condition might not be as serious as the high cholesterol, but it is not good to ignore it. This can be a sign of something much bigger going on in your body, and this is just the warning sign. It is always better to be safe than sorry.