Dyslipidaemia – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment


Dyslipidaemia denotes elevated or low levels of lipids in the blood.

Being informed that a person, especially a close one, has dyslipidaemia can be scary. However, this broad term won’t signify that a person has one or more parameters on their lipid profile that can be low or elevated. Luckily, counting on the types of lipids affected, there are some ways to treat this condition.

Taking medication or incorporating a few changes in the lifestyle can help manage this health condition. The blood comprises three significant lipids: LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Dyslipidaemia generally means LDL and triglyceride levels are high and HDL levels in the body are low.

LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol, which builds up and forms plaque in the arteries. More plaque in the arteries can lead to an attack. On the other hand, HDL is excellent cholesterol as it facilitates getting rid of bad cholesterol in the blood.

Health Insurance Plans Starts at Rs.14/day*

Triglycerides are fat that comes from excessive calories we consume, and it’s not burnt away. It’s stored as fat cells and provides the body with energy when it needs it. If the intake of calories is entirely burned, it will result in restricted triglycerides in the body.

High levels of LDL or triglycerides increase the danger of heart attack and stroke.

What are the types of dyslipidaemia?

Dyslipidaemia is broadly classified into two types, namely, primary and secondary.

Primary dyslipidaemia is a genetic disorder. Secondary dyslipidaemia is an acquired disorder caused due to Diabetes, obesity and other condition.


Hyperlipidemia is usually interchanged with dyslipidaemia. However, hyperlipidemia can be a condition when LDL and triglyceride levels are very high, and dyslipidaemia can be a condition when their reserves can either be high or low.

Primary Dyslipidaemia

Primary dyslipidaemia can be further classified into familial combined hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, polygenic hypercholesterolemia, and familial hyperapobetalipoproteinemia.

Familial accompanying hyperlipidemia is the genetic cause that results in a high level of LDL cholesterol or triglycerides in the body, which develops at a young age. This health condition can increase the risk of early coronary heart disease or other chronic health conditions.

Familial hypercholesterolemia and polygenic hypercholesterolemia are marked by high cholesterol content. Familial hyperapobetalipoproteinemia may be a health condition with elevated levels of apolipoprotein B, a component of LDL cholesterol.

Hyperlipoproteinemia could also be a result of a primary or a secondary condition which causes trouble metabolising LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in us.

What are the symptoms of dyslipidaemia?

There are no evident symptoms associated with dyslipidaemia. Blood tests are the simplest possible way to diagnose.

What are the causes of dyslipidaemia?

Some causative factors that lead to dyslipidaemia are smoking, obesity, age, a sedentary lifestyle and intake of foods packed with saturated fat. Excess alcohol intake may elevate the danger of triglycerides. Women usually tend to possess a low LDL until menopause and post-menopause. Type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism and chronic renal disorder are other damaging health conditions that can elevate the risk of dyslipidaemia.

Many factors will cause dyslipidaemia, ranging from inherited disorders to your lifestyle. The causes of dyslipidaemia are often divided into two main categories: primary or secondary dyslipidaemia.

Primary dyslipidaemia is abnormal lipid levels that can be caused by mutated genes inherited from one or both parents. The defective genes can cause an abnormal clearance of lipids or modify how specific lipids are made within the body.

If dyslipidaemia runs within the family, the disease is often referred “familial” in its name to denote its inherited nature. Individuals with primary dyslipidaemias with increased LDL are at a greater risk of developing atherosclerosis early in life, which may lead to premature cardiovascular disease.

Secondary dyslipidaemia is more common and occurs due to several factors involving certain aspects of the lifestyle or certain medical conditions that a person has. Secondary hyperlipidemias could also be caused by:

  • Low or high fat
  • High sugar diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Certain medications like antidepressants, oral contraceptives and certain drugs to treat HIV
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Liver disease
  • Hypothyroidism that has not been treated
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes
  • Secondary dyslipidaemias, which are less common, could also be caused due to untreated hyperthyroidism or certain cancers.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dyslipidaemia is often diagnosed by blood tests, including the complete lipid profile. It’s determined, based on the results, if LDL or HDL or triglyceride levels are high or low or in a healthy range. The amount can vary periodically. Hence it is good to get the blood tests done annually to know you are at risk.

Doctors generally suggest statin, a cholesterol-lowering medication that may lower LDL cholesterol by decreasing cholesterol production in the liver.

There are treatments and other measures available to address dyslipidaemia.

Hypolipidemias aren’t treated unless severe, commonly in some cases where the condition is inherited. The diet is modified in many cases, and specific fat-soluble vitamins could also be administered.  

The treatment of hyperlipidemia depends on the severity of the lipid elevation, and which types of lipids are affected. Lifestyle modification along with a cholesterol-lowering diet is often recommended. This includes smoking cessation, increasing physical activity and addressing any medical conditions causing high lipid levels. In some cases, medications also are used to lower your lipids and decrease your risk of future heart disease.

Risk Factors of Dyslipidaemia

Several risk factors related to Dyslipidaemia are obesity, hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, sedentary lifestyle, fatty/oily diets, hypothyroidism, excessive alcoholism and smoking.

Suppose Dyslipidaemia isn’t treated or managed on time, it will lead to co-morbidities like dyspnoea, lethargy, tiredness, weight gain, loss of appetite, polycystic ovarian disease and complications like hypertension, hypothyroidism, infertility, polycystic ovarian disease, atherosclerosis, arteria coronaria disease and lastly cardiovascular death.

Effect of dyslipidaemia on the physical body

Dyslipidaemia can cause heart conditions, heart attack, peripheral artery disease (reduced blood flow within the limbs, usually the legs), or stroke. Low levels of HDL and high levels of triglycerides also can increase fat build-up in the arteries.

Prevention of Dyslipidaemia

Lifestyle modification may be an important component of treatment that can help us in bringing the lipid under control.  

Dietary restrictions include the consumption of saturated fat, monosaccharide and alcohol. Practice healthy eating habits, have an upscale array of fruits and vegetables, including lean protein and whole-grain, to manage dyslipidaemia.  

Regular workouts and losing weight can also help to reduce cholesterol levels.

Quit smoking. Smoking causes severe health complications. By quitting the bud, a person can significantly improve their health.

Is a doctor consultation necessary?

Dyslipidaemia can cause heart conditions, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, or stroke. If the symptoms are worse and affect the daily routine of a person, it is essential to consult a doctor for medical attention, as untreated dyslipidaemia can cause severe health complications.

To sum up

Dyslipidaemia denotes elevated levels of lipids in the blood. High levels of LDL or triglycerides increase the danger of heart attack and stroke. Taking medication or incorporating a few changes in the lifestyle can help manage this health condition.

Dyslipidaemia can cause heart conditions, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, or stroke. If the symptoms are worse and affect the daily routine of a person, it is essential to consult a doctor for medical attention, as untreated dyslipidaemia can cause severe health complications.


Can Dyslipidaemia be cured?

With the help of a healthy lifestyle, one can usually manage dyslipidaemia. Taking medications is advised if they’re effective at managing the numbers and do not cause any side effects.

Does Dyslipidaemia mean high cholesterol?

Hyperlipidemia, also known as dyslipidaemia, means the body has too many lipids in the blood.

Does drinking water help lower cholesterol?

When people have high cholesterol, their LDL (bad) is high, and their HDL (good) is low. Eating healthy, regular exercise and drinking plenty of water will help to bring down cholesterol levels within 2-3 weeks.

How can I reduce cholesterol quickly?

Consuming foods like oatmeal, apples and beans, which are high in soluble fibre, can keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Consuming more fibre makes us feel full and not crave snacks as much, thus reducing cholesterol.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

Scroll to Top