Why does high cholesterol appear in children?
Among the diseases that can be diagnosed in pediatric consultations is hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol in children. Many factors influence the appearance of high levels of this substance. Thus, It is necessary to assess what are its possible triggers.
Do you have children at home? Are you worried that you are at risk of suffering the effects of high cholesterol? If so, sigue reading to know its main causes and some basic tips for its treatment.
What is high cholesterol in children?
Cholesterol is a substance that our body needs to create vitamins, hormones and other substances necessary for digestion. But an excess in their levels can cause complications in the walls of the vascular system and health risks.
Children with a family history of hypercholesterolemia are at high risk for high cholesterol problems.
We can find different types of cholesterol in the blood, commonly known as "bad cholesterol" and "good cholesterol". Both values must be found in specific ranges to ensure the correct functioning of the metabolism.
Adults are frequently informed in the consultations of health professionals about the importance of controlling our diets and monitoring cholesterol; However, The possibility of high cholesterol levels in children is rarely explained to us.
That there is a family history of high cholesterol levels is an indicator that should be discussed with the pediatrician so that he / she can assess the need for follow-up in the children.
Causes of high cholesterol levels in children
The majority of cases that present high cholesterol levels in children are associated with the following factors:
- Family history of high cholesterol. It can be associated with mutations in the chromosomes, directly related to the genetic component. It is quite frequent because it is a dominant genetic disease, that means that it is transmitted very easily from one generation to another.
- Bad eating habits. A diet with ingestion of prepared foods, industrial pastries, fried or any source of harmful fats. This type of diet favors the appearance of high cholesterol levels in both adults and children.
- Sedentary life. Failure to perform adequate physical activity and empower children a sedentary life, favors obesity and also increases cholesterol levels.
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Diagnosis of high cholesterol in children
High cholesterol in children does not usually debut with symptoms associated with the condition. This gives the name of silent disease, since the levels may be high and not present any symptoms that make you suspect about it.
The way to detect high cholesterol levels in children is by a blood test. Your pediatrician can advise you at what time it is advisable to carry out a blood test in your child.
The detection of high cholesterol in children is usually done through a blood test. This is suggested if there are important risk factors.
In order to choose the right time for blood tests, the doctor will assess family history and eating habits. For the assessment to be correct, it is recommended give exact information and complete information to the doctor.
Guidelines to follow with children who have a history in the high cholesterol family:
- Early diagnosis by blood study from 2 years of age and before and 10.
- Follow-up in children with LDL cholesterol values higher than 190 mg / dl, or higher than 150 mg / dl with genetic involvement in the family.
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Treatment to lower cholesterol in the family
The basic pillar for a good treatment of high cholesterol in children is the feeding of the whole family. For this it is important that parents or guardians are properly formed of what the food is most recommended
The change of unhealthy life habits by more recommendable ones favors the decrease of cholesterol values. This must be done by all family members. Let's see in which aspects it would be good to improve behaviors:
Take care of the food
An adequate diet helps maintain the cholesterol of the whole family at stable and healthy levels.
- Above all, it monitors the consumption of fats. The contribution of these must come more from sin and olive oil.
- Avoid industrial bakery and precooked foods.
- Have a good supply of fiber and accompany it with plenty of water. Fiber is found in whole grains, some fruits and legumes.
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. They contain plant sterols that help reduce cholesterol.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. The recommendations are two alcoholic drinks for men a day and an alcoholic beverage for women.
Practice daily physical exercise
- Physical activity of strong intensity is not required, but it is frequent. The best activity is the one that favors the cardiac system and for that it is enough with 30 minutes a day of walking, static or elliptical bicycle.
It is very important to follow the cholesterol values of the child after changing the habits of life. In the consultations with the pediatrician it will be analyzed if it is necessary to provide a pharmacological treatment or not the child.