Potential Reasons Your Cholesterol Levels Are Too Low


Most people have trouble keeping their cholesterol levels down, but it is not uncommon for people to have good (HDL) cholesterol levels that are too low. Unfortunately, lower cholesterol is not always better. Here are some possible reasons why your cholesterol levels are too low.


Cholesterol Levels Are Too Low


Reduced Liver Function


Some of the cholesterol in your body comes from diet, while the rest is produced by the liver. If your cholesterol levels are too low, it may indicate that your liver is not functioning properly. This is especially likely if your cholesterol levels drop suddenly, with no changes in your diet or exercise.


Lack of Dietary Cholesterol


If you avoid animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs, you may not be getting enough cholesterol from your diet. This seems counter-intuitive because a lot of emphasis is placed on reducing cholesterol from your diet, but it is possible not to get enough cholesterol.


Very low levels of cholesterol have the potential to cause severe depression or violent behavior, along with impaired memory issues and dementia. Ultra-low levels of cholesterol (less than 150 total) are damaging to your body, as cholesterol is essential for many bodily functions.


Gastrointestinal Disease


Cholesterol from your diet is absorbed into the bloodstream in the large and small intestines. Gastrointestinal diseases -- diseases that affect the stomach and intestines -- sometimes hinder cholesterol absorption and lower cholesterol levels. Consult your doctor if you notice other gastrointestinal symptoms or if you are having abdominal pain.


Genetic Predisposition


Just as some people have a family history of high cholesterol, others are prone to low cholesterol. This may be what is causing your low cholesterol if you are not displaying other symptoms and are getting adequate dietary cholesterol.


Low cholesterol levels can affect your health and increase your risk of some diseases. However, if you are in generally good health, exercise regularly and follow a balanced diet, low cholesterol is not dangerous. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about your cholesterol levels or if you want to know how to adjust your levels.