Pediatric Abnormal Lipids

Little girl hugging her mom in the grass on a sunny day

Abnormal lipids can make a child's total cholesterol levels vary drastically. With the TC level less than 170 mg/dL at the age of five or less, a child may fall in the risk zone. Cholesterol and triglycerides are two main components of abnormal lipid profile. Bad eating pattern, unhealthy nutrition, and lack of exercise can put a child at the risk too. Children with significantly higher numbers of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Such condition in children can cause hyperlipidemia and dyslipidemia.

Lipid issues in children can pose a challenge for the parents too. They need to take extra care of their children and pay more attention to their diet and lifestyle. Many studies have demonstrated that children with an abnormal lipid profile at a young age are more prone to develop hypertension, stress-related disease, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes in their adulthood. When the lipid levels and blood cholesterol levels are high, the atherosclerotic process also begins in childhood. Pediatricians agree to the fact that abnormal cholesterol and lipid levels can be a result of strong genetic and environmental components. Although adverse diet, polygenic disorders, and environmental causes play a vital role in developing hyperlipidemia, family history of hypercholesterolemia can be a major influencing factor too.

To understand the abnormal lipid condition, one should be aware of the terms associated with lipids, cholesterol, and triglycerides. The human body has many types of lipoproteins found in blood. Some of them are cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and HDL. When the measurement of blood cholesterol is conducted, the lab technician conducts a test to find the level of the total cholesterol level and levels of triglycerides, LDL and HDL.

Total cholesterol levels show if you are at an increased risk of heart disease. Normal levels of total cholesterol are determined based on the age group. A high total cholesterol level can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. The levels of LDL and HDL are equally important. While the low-density lipoprotein determines the amount of bad cholesterol in your body, abnormal levels also increase your risk of developing cardiovascular problems. HDL, on the other hand, is the high-density lipoprotein. This type of cholesterol is known as the good cholesterol, which helps to prevent coronary heart disease. Maintaining a normal level of HDL is equally important too. High levels of triglycerides also fall under the abnormal lipid levels. With a high level of triglyceride, a person has an increased risk of cardiovascular disease too.

Doctors and researchers claim that a variety of secondary factors can also cause abnormal lipid levels in children. Nephrotic syndrome, hypothyroidism, diuretics, and obstructive liver disease are some of the medical conditions that can trigger high cholesterol accumulation and elevated triglycerides in the blood. The Certain strong dosage of medication, including high power diuretics, antipsychotics, glucocorticoids, and protease inhibitors can also lead to elevated lipid levels in the blood.

Apart from causing many secondary conditions, lipid abnormality can also lead to many serious health problems. Because insulin resistance is strongly associated with lipid levels, children with abnormal lipid levels are often at the risk of developing digestive disorders and diabetes in adulthood. High cholesterol levels can lead to blockage and cause cardiovascular disease too.

Whether it is dyslipidemia or hyperlipidemia, it can cause severe coronary heart disease and many other health issues in children. The ideal approach to prevent these conditions in children is by following a healthy lifestyle and through a good diet plan. Lifestyle modifications with an emphasis on maintaining an ideal body weight can help your child avoid an abnormal cholesterol level. The approach of this lifestyle change should be designed under the guidance of your child's doctor and a nutritionist.

Parents should participate in community events, activities, and heart-healthy programs to learn more about healthy living and clean eating. The solution for a lipid abnormality is a collective approach that includes diet, exercise, and medicinal therapy. In addition, your child may need a multi-disciplinary team support from a nurse, healthcare practitioners, dieticians and his parents to facilitate the new lifestyle modification and dietary changes for a healthier and better life.