Cholesterol in Children and Adolescents
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in parts of an adolescent’s body. It aids in the production of vitamin D, cell membranes, and some hormones. Blood cholesterol is derived from two sources: the body’s liver and food. The liver of an adolescent produces enough cholesterol for proper function.
Cholesterol is carried by the blood and transported to various parts of the body. Lipoproteins, which are round particles, are used to transport them. Lipoproteins are divided into two categories: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, is a type of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It aids in the formation of plaque in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. LDL levels in the blood must be below, and if they are high, they must be reduced. It is necessary to maintain a healthy weight and exercise on a regular basis. Foods with a high calorie, dietary cholesterol, or saturated fat content should be avoided.
HDL cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is good cholesterol. It is a type of fat found in the blood that aids in the removal of bad cholesterol from the body and the prevention of plaque buildup in the arteries. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol in the blood, the better. HDL levels can be raised by exercising for at least 20 minutes each day, losing weight, and avoiding foods high in saturated fat. To boost HDL levels, some teenagers need to take medication. In these cases, increasing HDL can be a difficult procedure, but the physician can devise a treatment plan to boost HDL levels in the bloodstream.
Cholesterol testing is used to determine the levels of cholesterol and fat in the blood. Normal cholesterol levels in children and adolescents are a thing of the past. They, too, are at risk of developing high cholesterol levels as a result of the changing lifestyle and junk food trend, which increases the risk of developing heart diseases that affect the blood vessels and coronary arteries. Obesity, high-fat junk food, fast-food diets, sedentary lifestyles, and a family history of high cholesterol levels are the main causes of this change. Maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels can help you avoid high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
The amount of cholesterol in one’s blood varies from person to person. LDL levels should be less than 130 milligrams, and HDL levels should be greater than 35 milligrams. If the HDL level is less than 35 milligrams, the adolescent is more likely to develop heart disease. An LDL level of more than 130 milligrams is considered dangerous. However, a high level of LDL cholesterol is a problem for many Americans. A rise in the number of adolescents with a family history of high cholesterol levels is also expected, though the exact number is unknown.
From the age of two, an adolescent or child with a parent who has high blood cholesterol and a family history of heart disease at early age should get a cholesterol test. Obese adolescents should have a lipid test in addition to a cholesterol test. The lipid test measures the number of different types of fats in your blood, such as triglycerides, LDL, and HDL.