“Cholesterol, Cholesterol, my dear cholesterol….you have been vilified the world over. You have been tortured and imprisoned and now there is genocide on you.”
From what reference point do we understand our bodies? From a spiritual perspective; we are created by a Creator who is whole, perfect and complete. Our bodies are perfect, and everything within it has a purpose to the benefit of the body.
Today, we vilify a very important component of our bodies called Cholesterol. This article hopefully will alter what is a serious misunderstanding. Why is it important and where is our misunderstanding.
Why is Cholesterol so important? Why is it your friend and not an enemy?
1. It is a substance made by our Liver
2. It is used in the body to make nerve and brain cells. Your brain is about 25% cholesterol.
3. It is needed to make all new cells and to replace damaged tissue or aged cells
4. All your nerves have a large component of cholesterol inside them, and around them forming the protective covering.
5. Cell walls and membranes are made from cholesterol. It is like a glue holding our cells together
6. Vitamin D is synthesized on your skin when Sunlight hits cholesterol and converts it to Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for Immune system, preventing autoimmune disorders, heart health, anti-cancer effects, calcium and bone health, and much more
7. Sex Hormones -– Estrogen, Progesterone, and even the male hormone Testosterone are all made from cholesterol. These hormones are responsible for many functions including libido, fertility, healthy sex life, etc.
8. Steroid hormones – Cortisol, Aldosterone – help with stress, blood pressure, electrolyte and kidney function and much more
9. Digestion – Cholesterol is a major component in the bile acids, that help the body digest fat and foods as well as absorb nutrient in the foods including some vitamins.
Where does it come from?
Liver make Cholesterol and supplies it all over your body.
Cholesterol is lipid soluble, not water soluble, thus needs a protein driver to transport it around the body.
LDL –a transport protein that transports cholesterol from the liver to the tissues /cells /organs in your body where it is used.
HDL – a transport protein that brings cholesterol back to the liver for recycling, after cells are broken down by activity like exercise, or after cells destroyed by inflammation or disease
There is no such thing as good or bad Cholesterol. There is no cholesterol in LDL or HDL
In a child, a fever occurs if there may be an ear or throat infection. Treat the ear infection and fever goes away. A baby cries, not because it loves to cry, but because it is hungry or diaper is wet. Feed the child, change the diaper and the crying stops. If the Service Engine light on your car dashboard lights up, do you turn it off? or cover it with a cloth and keep going? or do you take heed that the engine needs service ASAP?
High Cholesterol is not a disease.
Like a fever, fever not a disease. It is a warning symptom and sign that something else is wrong.
Your cholesterol level is high because there is an underlying dysfunction in the body. It could be inflammation, like arthritis (joint inflammation), kidney or stomach inflammation or a smoldering infection, a metabolic dysfunction such as diabetes, insulin resistance or heart disease, or worse; ongoing mutagenic damage to cells, including an undiagnosed cancer.
It is a marker that problems are going on, that have triggered a response for more cholesterol. It is like a fever, a marker of inflammation.
So stop treating the fever and treat the underlying cause of the fever
The worst thing you can do to a child with fever, is to treat the fever (give antipyretics like paracetamol) and fail to diagnose the underlying cause like an ear infection or Malaria. The worst thing we doctors do to a client with high cholesterol is give them drugs like the “Statin” cholesterol-lowering drugs and we fail to diagnose and reverse the underlying cause of the high cholesterol.
Cholesterol lowering drugs are band –aids on cholesterol. Cholesterol lowering drugs, including “Statins” do not address the underlying cause of high cholesterol. There are very few rare conditions that require a patient to be on statins. In fact, the Statins are notorious for causing side effects. They work by blocking a very important enzyme needed to make cholesterol and Coenxyme Q10. Short and Long term use of these drugs will affect all the facts mentioned above. Side effects include memory issues, muscle pains, drug-induced hepatitis (liver inflammation), nerve damage and weakness.
1. Get your Comprehensive medical and physical done (at least twice a year if you live in Nigeria)
2. Check your blood tests including Cholesterol level, at least twice a year
3. If Cholesterol blood level is high, ask your doctor “why”
4. Then focus on diagnosing and fixing the “why”, i.e. the underlying cause.
5. If the “why” is linked to food, see a Nutrition Consultant.
6. Detox: If “why” is linked to inflammation, consider Detox to reduce inflammation.
7. If doctor prescribes Anti-cholesterol drugs without diagnosing the “why”, ….reconsider
8. If you are already on Anti-Cholesterol “statin” drugs,
a. Check your liver function test
b. ask your doctor for a less toxic way to lower cholesterol
c. Ask your doctor to address the underlying cause.
d. If you are having joint or muscle pains, stop it and see your doctor immediately
e. If you are having memory or cognitive difficulties, see your doctor immediately
f. If you are having sexual difficulty, discuss with your doctor
g. If you are diabetic too, discuss with your doctor.
Cholesterol in the blood, manufactured by the liver is actually a friend, a poorly understood friend, a very important friend we must stop vilifying. It is part of God’s amazing complex simplicity of the magnificent human body. It serves very importance functions in the body’s perfection. Without Cholesterol, imagine what will happen!! Our God created perfection; we are undermining it and causing our diseases, with our earthly misunderstanding.
“HEALTH IS BY CHOICE”
Credit: Dr. Patrick Ijewere
Director of Medical Service – Carib Health Ltd