A dyslipoproteinemia occurs when the ratio of certain proteins (proteins) is disturbed in the blood serum. There is both a genetic (primary) form and a secondary variant that occurs in the context of another, underlying disease. In the latter, treatment of the underlying disease is usually necessary to treat dyslipoproteinemia; In many cases, an adapted diet and possibly drug therapies contribute to the treatment.
What is dyslipoproteinemia?
According to Healthknowing, dyslipoproteinemia is a disorder of the protein composition of the blood serum. An increased concentration of proteins is often responsible for this incorrect ratio – a so-called hyperlipoproteinemia. Dyslipoproteinemia, however, describes a more general condition, as the ratio of proteins in the blood serum can also be due to other disorders.
Doctors differentiate between different forms of dyslipoproteinemia: Primary or hereditary dyslipoproteinemia is due to genetic causes and can also manifest itself in various sub-forms. Secondary or acquired dyslipoproteinemia, on the other hand, usually occurs in connection with other diseases (e.g. metabolic diseases).
Primary dyslipoproteinemia is based on a genetic defect in the genome of the affected person. Doctors therefore also refer to it as hereditary or hereditary dyslipoproteinemia. In this case, an autosomal hereditary disease, which the parents can pass on to their children, is responsible for the disruption of the protein ratio.
The inheritance is dominant: One affected allele is sufficient for the disease to manifest itself in the affected person. If one parent suffers from primary dyslipoproteinemia, not all children have to fall ill as well, as humans have a double set of chromosomes and, in addition to the disease-carrying allele, there can also be a healthy variant of the gene in the chromosome set.
In contrast to the primary form of the disease, secondary dyslipoproteinemia is usually due to another underlying disease. Doctors therefore occasionally speak of acquired dyslipoproteinemia. For example, a typical underlying disease is diabetes. This is a metabolic disease that is characterized by a disruption of blood sugar regulation and can be due to permanent malnutrition, among other things.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
Dyslipoproteinemia does not always show itself in specific symptoms; under certain circumstances it is almost symptom-free, but can still lead to physical impairments unnoticed. Primary genetic dyslipoproteinemia, in some cases, leads to the development of xanthomas in the skin, which are orange-yellow in color and may show up as small lumps on various parts of the body.
If dyslipoproteinemia is not treated, for example because it is symptom-free and therefore remains untreated, diseases of the cardiovascular system can result, among other things. Especially in the long term, dyslipoproteinemia can also lead to various other diseases, for example arteriosclerosis.
Doctors may order a blood test to diagnose dyslipoproteinemia and other lipid metabolism disorders. In the laboratory, various blood lipid values are measured, including the determination of the cholesterol value; significant deviations in certain measuring ranges provide indications of dyslipoproteinemia or other clinical pictures.
They may be noticed during routine examinations, during examinations as part of an underlying disease such as diabetes, or when symptoms suggest dyslipoproteinemia. The course of dyslipoproteinemia depends largely on early detection. If left untreated, the disease can lead to various complications, but if diagnosed early enough, patients can often control dyslipoproteinemia well.
Dyslipoproteinemia can lead to various complications, which mainly depend on the underlying disease. Treatment with medication or a strict diet is usually possible and leads to a positive course of the disease without reducing life expectancy. Symptoms do not occur in all patients.
For this reason, dyslipoproteinemia is often diagnosed too late. Only in rare cases do those affected suffer from yellowish skin and lumps. These lumps can appear in different places and are often not directly associated with dyslipoproteinemia.
In the worst case, the disease can also cause problems in the cardiovascular system, which can lead to a heart attack or arteriosclerosis. Dietary changes and an overall healthy lifestyle can reduce symptoms of dyslipoproteinemia.
The patient may also have to reduce his or her excess weight in order to reduce and prevent heart problems. In some cases, treatment with the help of medication can also take place. As a rule, there are no further physical restrictions or complications.
When should you go to the doctor?
If orange-yellowish xanthomas continue to form on the skin, this indicates dyslipoproteinemia. Medical treatment is necessary if the fat deposits appear on different parts of the body and do not go away on their own after a few days. If cardiovascular diseases become noticeable as a result, a doctor must be consulted. If there are signs of arteriosclerosis, the dyslipoproteinemia may already be well advanced – in this case go to a general practitioner immediately and have the cause of the symptoms clarified.
In the event of a heart attack, the emergency doctor must be called. People who already have a serious illness such as diabetes are particularly at risk of developing dyslipoproteinemia. Serious consequences such as a heart attack particularly affect people who are overweight and people who generally lead an unhealthy lifestyle. If these risk factors apply to you, you should speak to your family doctor immediately if the signs of dyslipoproteinemia are mentioned. Other contact persons are the specialist in hematology or – in the event of medical emergencies – the medical emergency service.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of dyslipoproteinemia depends on the triggering conditions and individual disease factors. Doctors cannot treat the cause of primary dyslipoproteinemia because it is caused by a genetic defect. In many cases, however, patients can at least partially control the disease through a special diet and in this way also reduce the risk of secondary diseases and complications.
Patients should not only eat calorie-conscious, but also pay attention to low-fat and low-cholesterol foods and preparations. Doctors also often recommend that patients reduce any excess weight they may have. An active lifestyle and avoidance of tobacco, alcohol and similar substances can also have positive effects on the development of dyslipoproteinemia.
In addition, various drugs that belong to the cholesterol synthesis inhibitors (CSE inhibitors) can participate in the therapy of dyslipoproteinemia. Cholesterol uptake inhibitors, nicotinic acid, bile acid complexing agents, fibrates and others may also be considered.
However, only the attending physician can decide which treatment makes sense. The aim of the various measures is to compensate for the disturbed composition of the blood serum; lowering blood lipids may help.
Outlook & forecast
Dyslipoproteinemia is a disease that is considered incurable. Acquired as well as genetic forms of dyslipoproteinemia can be treated symptomatically, but a full recovery will not occur with current medical possibilities.
The patient can do a lot for his health through a special diet. A particularly protein-rich and low-calorie food intake leads to the alleviation of the existing symptoms. The nutrition plan is usually worked out with the patient and tailored to the needs of the organism.
Depending on the intensity of the symptoms, some patients need to change their diet in the long term to improve their wellbeing. No further medical treatment is necessary for them. In most cases, however, long-term drug treatment is also prescribed. This ensures that imbalances are quickly corrected and that no further complaints arise.
The prognosis worsens as soon as the patient also suffers from a chronic disease. In the case of diabetes, for example, the stage of the underlying disease is decisive for the further course. With a disciplined approach to medical guidelines and a healthy lifestyle, a good quality of life can be maintained over a long period of time. However, if the progression of the disease cannot be contained, the patient is at risk of premature death. Additional cardiovascular diseases are also unfavorable.
Prevention of dyslipoproteinemia is especially important for people who are at increased risk of developing the secondary form. This includes, for example, people who suffer from diabetes. The effective treatment of the underlying disease is essential in order to avoid secondary diseases and complications, which also include dyslipoproteinemia.
In particular, the conscientious intake of necessary medication and the implementation of dietary recommendations play an important role. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough exercise can help prevent dyslipoproteinemia. In addition, abstaining from alcohol and tobacco appears to have a positive effect on reducing the risk of illness.
Since dyslipoproteinemia is a serious and serious disease, it must be treated primarily by a doctor. As a rule, self-healing cannot occur, so that the focus of this disease is in any case an early diagnosis with subsequent treatment. Generally speaking, it is impossible to predict whether dyslipoproteinemia will reduce the life expectancy of those affected.
If you want to have children, genetic counseling can also be carried out for this disease in order to prevent the disease from being passed on to your descendants. Those affected with dyslipoproteinemia are definitely dependent on a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet. As a rule, you should refrain from alcohol or smoking.
Sports activities have a positive effect on the further course of dyslipoproteinemia. In many cases, however, those affected are also dependent on taking medication. It is important to ensure that the dosage is correct and that it is taken regularly. Furthermore, the blood values should be checked regularly by a doctor in order to identify possible deviations at an early stage.
You can do that yourself
Dyslipoproteinemia can be genetic or the result of another underlying disease. The disease is not always accompanied by noticeable side effects, but if left untreated it can lead to serious complications in the long term, in particular to disorders of the cardiovascular system or to arteriosclerosis. In any case, those affected should promptly take adequate countermeasures.
A genetic dyslipoproteinemia cannot be treated causally. Regardless of the cause of the disease, the patient can contribute significantly to improving his state of health through a healthy lifestyle, in particular through a specific diet.
The most important step towards self-help is developing and implementing a nutrition plan that is tailored to the needs of the disease. Above all, a diet low in fat and cholesterol is important. Fatty, high-cholesterol foods such as meat and sausage products, butter, cream, but also most sweets and snacks must be consistently avoided. Whole grain products and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables should be eaten instead. Low-fat methods such as water cooking or stewing must also be preferred when preparing food.
Concerned should in any case from a nutritionists advise and create leave a nutrition plan. Overweight patients are also well advised to start a weight reduction diet as soon as possible. Here, too, a nutritionist can provide you with competent support.