Metabolic Health & its Connection to Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a metabolic syndrome that affects one out of every 3 Indians. When such a metabolic syndrome is left unaffected, it increases the likelihood of developing into heart diseases and stroke. Unhealthy eating habits, obesity, and an inactive lifestyle is what affects metabolic health and increases your chances of developing metabolic disorders like cholesterol, diabetes, etc.
What is Metabolic Health?
The best way of understanding metabolic health is when there is an absence of any metabolic disorder. This means that the body is in an ideal state to digest and absorb the essential nutrients from the food that you eat without causing any unhealthy spike in blood sugar, blood fat, inflammation, and insulin. Having well-maintained metabolic health is the cornerstone of everyday wellness. The food choices you make, sleep, stress, exercise, smoking, as well as your age, genes, and sex are all very crucial in shaping your metabolic health.
What is the Link between Cholesterol and Metabolic Health?
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that ideally occur together. People who have metabolic syndrome also have blood clotting and inflammation which causes a spike in cholesterol levels. Although the main culprit of all this is genetics, there are underlying factors that also affect metabolic health and in turn, hampers the levels of cholesterol in the body. These factors include:
- Poor Digestion: A poor digestive system doesn’t absorb the essential nutrients required for fat metabolism. Cholesterol is also poorly absorbed in comparison to other lipids and triglycerides.
- Weight: Studies show that nearly 99.5% of people who are overweight also suffer from cholesterol. Eating more saturated and trans fats raise the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein)
- Sleep: Oversleeping or not getting enough sleep also largely affects cholesterol. Sleep deprivation puts stress on the liver's metabolism and causes a hormonal imbalance. This hormone imbalance drives cholesterol levels out of balance.
- Stress: Stress is said to increase the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). This increase in bad cholesterol levels accumulates in the arteries and clogs them which eventually leads to stroke and other cardiovascular disorders.
- Lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle, sleeping at odd hours, smoking and drinking are all important risk factors that lead to cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and other metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes, fatty liver among others.
What does Ayurveda have to say about Metabolic Health?
As per Ayurveda, metabolic disorders are a by-product of the heightened toxicity levels in the body due to a sedentary lifestyle. The accumulation of toxins creates an unbalanced state of the 3 pillars a.k.a Doshas (Kapha, Pitta, Vatta) in the body. This prolonged state of imbalance along with the accumulation of waste products and toxins results in diseases including high cholesterol, diabetes, hypothyroidism, goiter, fatty liver, etc.
At Traya, we first find the reason behind what’s causing cholesterol (metabolic disorder) with the help of a holistic science approach. We identify the dosha that’s causing the disturbed state and help you get through a healing state and finally bring you to an ideal state free of metabolic disorders.
Cholesterol refers to a metabolic disorder which if untreated can raise a number of risk factors. Instead of guessing which one of these factors is the reason behind your heightened levels of cholesterol, Traya can help you first identify the root cause behind your disorder and further make consistent, well-informed decisions that will help you improve everyday wellness which will, in turn, help your long-term health.
Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.