The Familial Hypercholesterolemia Foundation’s main mission is to raise awareness of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) to the public.
As part of this goal, the FH Foundation annually hosts Familial Hypercholesterolemia Awareness Day in September, as September is National Cholesterol Education Month in the United States.
This year, Familial Hypercholesterolemia Awareness Day is taking place on September 24, 2017. This Awareness Day is now recognized internationally, and has been mentioned in many state proclamations.
Before September 24 comes around, however, it’s helpful to know a little bit about what familial hypercholesterolemia is. Familial hypercholesterolemia, often abbreviated as FH, is an inherited disorder that often spurs premature cardiovascular diseases. Among these cardiovascular diseases are heart attacks, strokes, and even narrowing of heart valves.
Here’s some of the background surrounding this: FH causes bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) levels to be very high, as the condition makes it impossible for individuals to remove low density lipoprotein (LDL).
When there are high levels of LDL in the blood, the body is more likely to have narrowing of the arteries from atherosclerosis. This can be evident in FH patients from a very early age.
Symptoms of FH include fatty skin deposits (xanthomas) over parts of the hands, elbows, knees, ankles and around the cornea of the eye, cholesterol deposits in the eyelids called xanthelasmas, chest pain, cramping of one or both of the calves, sores on the toes that do not heal, and sudden stroke.
The main purpose of treatment for FH is to reduce the risk of atherosclerotic heart disease. This being said, perhaps the most effective natural treatment for FH is to simply change diet and lifestyle.
In this case, losing weight and cutting out saturated fats is beneficial to those with FH. Additionally, cutting down cholesterol by avoiding foods like egg yolks and organ meats is crucial for those with this condition.
Of course, there are possible complications with FH including many heart-associated issues. Among these are heart attack at an early age, heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.