Hyperlipidemia is an excess of fatty substances called lipids, which largely consists of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Also known as hyperlipoproteinernia, due to the fatty substances that travel in the blood, this is perhaps the only way fatty substances can remain dissolved while in circulation. Secondary causes of hypercholesterolemia include hypothyroidism, pregnancy, and kidney failure. Hyperlipidemia, along with diabetes is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. Medications most commonly used to treat high LDL cholesterol levels are statins or simyastatin. These work by reducing the production of cholesterol within the body.
Xanthomatosis is a condition which is often associated with lipid metabolism. Fatty deposits called xanthomas or xanthomata occur in various parts of the body, especially on elbows and knees. They appear as yellowish firm nodules in the skin. Occasionally, xanthomas also involves the deep soft tissue, other than subcutaneous tissues. Xanthomas, as such are harmless growth of tissue. But they often seek to indicate an underlying condition such as diabetes and disorders of fat with may be lipid disorder or Hyperlipidemia.
When examined under a microscope, a xanthoma consists of lipid-laden foam cells. These cells called histiocytes contain lipid material in their cytoplasm, being the non nuclear zone of the cell. The most prominent causes for xanthomatosis are high blood fats, hyperlipidemia and hereditary hyperlipidemia. The common symptoms of xanthomatosis are fatty deposits under the skin, yellow bumps on the skin surface, xanthelasma or yellow lumps of fat on eyelids, yellow lumps on joints and elbows and yellow lumps on knee. It is recommended to seek medical advice for treatment of xanthomatosis. The usual line of treatment adopted is to plan for lipid lowering medications and treat for hyperlipidemia.
Too much of lipid and/or lipoproteins in the blood can lead to hyperlipoproteinemia. Hyperlipoproteinemia is also known as hyperlipemia or hyperlipidemia and is a metabolic disorder. This disease remains silent for years together; only when the person suffers any heart ailment does this condition come to light. Heredity and diet play a major role in the onset of this disease; hereditary blood fat disorders are the main cause for Hyperlipoproteinemia.
Other common conditions that can cause this condition are diabetes, liver and kidney disease, hypothyroidism, alcohol and cigarette smoking. Few medications like progesterone, beta blockers, etc also increase the fat level in the bloodstream. If left unattended or untreated hyperlipoproteinemia can lead to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. This condition is common in adults rather than in children and can occur both in men and women. Depending on the excessive chemical found in the blood stream, hyperlipoproteinemia can be classified into five types:
Type I – Elevation of triglycerides
Type II – Elevated cholesterol and in few cases elevated triglycerides
Type III – Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels with subsequent vascular diseases
Type IV – Elevated triglycerides alone but no risk of vascular diseases
Type V – Similar to type I
No specific symptoms are shown for hyperlipoproteinemia. In very rare cases when the fat level in the blood shoots up too high, fat gets deposited in the form of bumps in the skin and tendons, this is referred to as xanthomas. In few cases, the liver and spleen enlarge when the triglycerides level shoot up too high. This leads to Pancreatitis causing severe abdominal pain. The diagnosis of hyperlipoproteinemia can be made by measuring the triglycerides, total cholesterol, lipid profile, LDL and the HDL levels in the blood.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: January 27, 2023