Can children have high cholesterol?
Are you worried that your little munchkin may have high cholesterol? Well, don’t sweat it! This article is a complete guide to everything you need to know about children and high cholesterol. We’ll discuss what cholesterol is, how it affects the body, common causes of high cholesterol in kids, and ways to prevent it.
What Exactly Is Cholesterol?
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of whether children can have high levels of this waxy substance, let’s first define what we’re talking about here.
Cholesterol is a type of lipid (fat) that the body needs to function properly. It helps build cell membranes and produce hormones like estrogen and testosterone. The liver produces most of the cholesterol in our bloodstreams; however, we also get some from food sources such as meat and dairy products.
Good vs Bad Cholesterol
There are two main types of cholesterol—low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol).
The LDL type tends to accumulate on artery walls which can cause blockages over time leading to heart disease while HDL works against this process by carrying excess LDL back to the liver where it can be removed from circulation.
Can Kids Get High Cholesterol Levels?
Yes! In fact,Pediatric Hypercholesterolemia, aka having too much bad fat floating around their bloodstream–is becoming increasingly more common among younger populations worldwide than ever before as surveyed studies suggest an increase in dietary patterns featuring junk foods with low nutritional value such as fast food consumption playing arguably one biggest roles beside genetics which plays a major role toward predisposition for overweight/obesity.
This doesn’t mean that every child who has pizza for dinner will suddenly develop sky-high levels—there are various factors involved depending on genetic make-up along with current lifestyle choices could put them at risk.
What Causes High Cholesterol In Kids?
As mentioned earlier, pre-existing genetic factors are known to be among the biggest culprits of high cholesterol in kids. Moreover, around overweight/obese kids primarily dealing with a poor diet can have higher levels compared to peers engaging in extracurricular activities on regular basis or those simply having healthy meals coming from diverse food groups.
Other medical conditions such as diabetes and hypothyroidism could also contribute to the problem. Fatty liver disease which is estimated that one-in-ten children suffer from it can lead to elevated fat content in bloodstream.
How Can You Prevent Children From Developing High Cholesterol Symptoms?
Now that you’re aware of some of the primary causes for high cholesterol symptoms we must emphasize on preventive measures you help safeguard your child’s health:
1. Encourage Activities
Encouraging physical activities from an early age would greatly benefit overall health including their lipid profile, especially considering today’s lifestyle trends where sedentary routines may take over leaving little room for getting off computer screens/devices/apps/gadgets and engage important physical exercises like walking/bicycling/sports group classes generally spending less time sitting indoors.
2. Eating Habits Matter
This might come as a no-brainer but what your children consume has a direct impact on their health beyond just weight gain resulting mostly due energy imbalances (where intake exceeds expenditure). It is recommended by experts to serve nutritious food items containing vegetables, fruits/juices/protein-rich foods (meat/poultry/fish) more often than junk/fast-foods outside periods reserved exclusively for special occasions coupled with reduced attention toward sugary beverages/snacks whenever possible because certain sweet snacks/beverages play detrimental effects raising blood sugar and inviting various diseases thus negatively consequential not only towards LDL but HDL values too!
So make sure they eat balanced meals filled with variety providing daily requirements of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals fortified with extremely important Omega-3s fats that are good for both vascular health and brain development.
3. Monitor Screen Usage
It’s easy to lose track of the amount of screen time your child is engaged in but it’s not a great habit to develop at an early age since it can lead to physical side effects such as obesity while affecting one’s mental concentration too! So when they’re watching TV, make sure you monitor how long they’re glued on devices or gaming consoles/etcetera encouraging them toward beneficial outdoor activities like cycling/walking/running together enhancing their cardio-state along better lung function!
4. Regular Check-ups
For children born into families where high levels disease have occurred more often you should take regular checkups by visiting qualified healthcare professionals who will be able to give careful treatments catering towards issues especially dealing with diabetes,hypertension etcetera keeping observant attention over their vitals.
Lowering High Cholesterol In Kids
If lifestyle adjustments haven’t helped lower levels sufficiently medication therapy could come under consideration yet this must be implemented only after consultation with specialized practitioners thus one shouldn’t self-medicate irrespective of symptoms observed including following fad diets claiming the cure without scientific support behind claims made.
Speaking generally LDL Tolerance Levels exceeding (>130mg/dL) may require drastic intervention as these may put them at risk for heart diseases later in life so therefore caution regarding optimal titrations toward desired goals remains crucial!
We hope you now have a thorough understanding on whether children can indeed have high cholesterol along knowing tips toward prevention strategies deserve greater emphasis considering its prevalence among today’s younger generation making every possible effort needed providing valuable healthy habits starting from an early childhood positively impact lifelong outcomes regarding overall lipid metabolism through targeted comprehensive health-checks making certain healthier choices daily engagements targeting higher HDL and lower harmful LDL values running alongside each other smoothly.