Do not assume that atherosclerosis is only a disease of the elderly, children can also suffer from elevated cholesterol, and it is important not to miss the symptoms, MedicForum writes.
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which there is too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in the blood. It can occur due to lifestyle reasons such as dietary habits, exercise regimen, and being overweight. High cholesterol can affect anyone and everyone, regardless of their age or gender. Three factors greatly contribute to a spike in cholesterol levels in children and adolescents. The first is an unhealthy diet, especially one high in fat. Family history can also be another important risk factor. A child whose parents suffer from high cholesterol is more likely to experience this condition than other children. The third factor has to do with being overweight, and childhood obesity is a problem today.
When excessive amounts of fat are present in the blood, it can lead to a number of health complications. However, according to research, children or adolescents do not show symptoms when their cholesterol levels are elevated. Some of the warning symptoms of high cholesterol may include: chest pain (mostly on the left side), feeling pressure on the chest, difficulty breathing, loss of energy, fatigue or dizziness, and pain in the shins.
There are many things you can do to help your child fight this disease. Be sure to give him or her fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread and cereals, put more low-fat milk and yogurt on the plate, and include starchy foods in the daily diet (potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.). Making certain diet and lifestyle changes can effectively help your child manage atherosclerosis. You can control your child’s cholesterol levels through proper nutrition, exercise and weight loss, and sometimes medication.