Doctor’s now recommend that anyone over the age of 20 get a blood test done to find out their cholestrol readings. Once you know what your readings are you and your doctor can decide what lifestyle changes you will need to make, if any.
There are two types of cholestrol that are looked at when you get tested, LDL and HDL. LDL stands for low density lipoproteins; this is known as the bad cholestrol. Too much LDL can cause a plaque build up which can lead to clogged arteries. HDL stands for high density lipoproteins, otherwise known as the good cholestrol. HDL is responsible for removing LDL and taking it to the liver where it will be metabolized into bile and removed from the body. Your cholestrol readings will tell you how much of each lipoprotein you have in your system.
After the blood test is done your doctor will combine the amount of HDL and LDL that you have. This is the basis for any further treatment needed to reduce cholestrol. There are different ranges of cholestrol readings, ranging from normal-high.
A normal cholestrol reading will have a total level of 200mg/dl or less with LDL levels falling around 130mg. If you fall into this range you’re considered to have normal and healthy cholestrol. Hearing this might make you want to run out to the closest McDonalds, but don’t. Continue to have a healthy diet and exercise, so that your cholestrol will maintain its current level. There are some vitamins on the market that can even help you to maintain your current cholestrol.
If your reading comes out to a total cholestrol level between 200-239mg/dl and a LDL level that ranged from 130-159mg/dl you fall into the borderline group. People in this category need to make some minor adjustments to their lifestyle. Doctors’ will suggest a healthy diet consisting of lean meats, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Beginning a cardio vascular workout, would also be a good suggestion for someone in this group.
A reading that has a total cholestrol of 240mg/dl and higher and a LDL of 160mg/dl is considered high. Anyone that falls into this range is at a risk of getting heart disease, having a stroke or heart attack. Depending on the patient and the extent of risk, doctors would most likely prescribe medications at this point. If a diet and exercise program is not already in place, one is not only suggested but highly enforced. Sometimes cholestrol can be lowered with diet and healthy alternatives instead of medications like statin drugs that have side effects.
cholestrol readings are important, and since there are no known symptoms of high cholestrol it’s important to get tested early. If your cholestrol is normal continue to get checked every five years and maintain a healthy lifestyle.