Treatment of High Cholesterol in Children
Like many adults suffering from high blood cholesterol, children also can have high cholesterol levels. This can cause many severe health problems when they get older. High cholesterol levels lead to the formation of plaque on the artery walls. This plaque in turn leads to narrowing of the arteries and blocks the blood flow, which can cause heart diseases.
Causes of High Cholesterol in Children:
The rise of cholesterol levels in children is mainly linked to the following three risk factors.
- Family history of high cholesterol or heart diseases.
How to diagnose high cholesterol in children?
Through a simple blood test, you can find out whether a child is having high cholesterol level or not. Screening is recommended for kids who have a family history of heart diseases or high cholesterol and those kids who are overweight and with other common risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.
Normally, the first screening is advised after the age of two and not later than ten years old. At the same time, screening should not be taken when the child is below two years old. It is recommended to get screening again in between three to five years, if the lipid profile (which is done after fasting) is found normal. Drug treatment may be considered, if a child older than 8 years has extremely high cholesterol levels.
How to treat children suffering from high cholesterol?
The most effective way to treat high cholesterol in children is to follow a certain diet along with exercise. Here are some tips for the treatment of high cholesterol in children.
- Consume foods that are low in total fat – trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. The total amount of fat consumed by a child should be less than 30% of daily total calories.
- Avoid trans fat as much as possible, while saturated fat should not be more than 10% of total calories per day.
- If a child has high risk factors, dietary cholesterol should be taken not more than 200 milligrams per day and saturated fats should be reduced to 7% of daily total calories.
- Include a variety of foods to make sure that your child gets all the nutrients required by the body.
- Exercise regularly. Exercising on a regular basis, especially aerobic exercises like running, biking, swimming and walking can increase the good cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.