How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
You cant tell if you have high cholesterol without having it checked. A simple blood test will reveal your cholesterol level.
Men 35 years of age and older and women 45 years of age and older should have their cholesterol checked. Men and women 20 years of age and older who have risk factors for heart disease should have their cholesterol checked. Teens may need to be checked if they are taking certain medicines or have a strong family history of high cholesterol. Ask your doctor how often you should have your cholesterol checked.
Risk factors for heart disease include:
- Cigarette smoking.
- Having an immediate family member who has had heart disease.
- Being overweight or obese.
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When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
- are overweight
Hdl Cholesterol: Good Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered good cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL, or bad cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The higher the HDL, the better. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL and higher can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Conversely, HDL levels of 40 mg/dL and lower are considered a high risk-factor for developing heart disease.
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Diagnosing Low Cholesterol And The Main Risks
Low cholesterol is determined by blood test. If you have LDL cholesterol that is lower than 50mg/dL or you have a total amount of cholesterol lower than 120 mg/dL then you have a low LDL cholesterol. The amount you should have in your body is somewhere between 70 and 100 mg/dL. This is considered to be ideal for your health. So, always keep track of your cholesterol levels, and if you havent had your cholesterol checked in the past two years, make sure to do so.
Risk of having low cholesterol have mostly people that have a family history of this condition, or the ones that have been on statins or other blood pressure treatments and also people that had an untreated clinical depression.
Whats Your Cholesterol Level Anyway
A standard lipid blood test usually measures the concentration of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. The LDL-cholesterol level is typically estimated from these numbers using a well-established formula that has been more recently revised and improved by researchers at Johns Hopkins.
So what are your target numbers? According to Michos, an ideal LDL cholesterol level should be less than 70 mg/dl, and a womans HDL cholesterol level ideally should be close to 50 mg/dl. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl. As Michos notes, total cholesterol levels well below 200 mg/dl are best.
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Statin Therapy Could Increase Hemorrhagic Stroke Risk In Healthy Patients
Statin therapy is commonly used to lower LDL cholesterol, lessen plaque buildup in arteries and prevent ischemic stroke, but doctors should monitor patients to make sure that their cholesterol levels are not too low.
Multiple randomized clinical trials tell us that statin therapy can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 25% to 50%, even among individuals with normal or low cholesterol, says Dr. Ridker, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital.
Dr. Ridker is referencing a study published in The Lancet, which included 174,000 people and determined that their risk of cardiovascular events can be reduced by 20 percent over a five year period if a statin is used to lower their cholesterol by 40 mg/dL.
On top of statins other side effects like muscle wasting, cognitive decline, diabetes, rapid aging, and mitochondrial dysfunction doctors should be wary of this newly discovered risk. If medicating LDL levels down 40mg/dL means the patients level fall below 75 mg/dL, they could be nearly twice as likely to suffer from an unnecessary cardiovascular event called hemorrhagic stroke.
For more on this topic visit Statins.News.
What Complications Are Possible If You Dont Treat High Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood
The main reason to treat high cholesterol is to prevent or treat coronary heart disease , also called coronary artery disease or CAD. CHD happens when heart is not able to get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well and kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. CHD usually refers to the large arteries, but there is also a condition called coronary microvascular disease that affects the small vessels and causes damage.
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What Does Low Vldl Mean
This test measures the amount of very low-density lipoprotein in your blood. VLDL cholesterol is a type of blood fat. Itâs considered one of the âbadâ forms of cholesterol, along with LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. This is because high levels cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to a heart attack.
Additionally, what is a good level of VLDL? VLDL contains the highest amount of triglycerides. VLDL is considered a type of bad cholesterol, because it helps cholesterol build up on the walls of arteries. Normal VLDL levels are from 2 to 30 mg/dL .
Similarly, can VLDL cholesterol be too low?
Itâs possible for cholesterol to be too low. However, this is much less common than high cholesterol. High cholesterol is strongly associated with heart disease, but low cholesterol may be a factor in other medical conditions, such as cancer, depression, and anxiety.
How do you increase VLDL cholesterol?
The best way to lower your VLDL cholesterol is to lower your triglycerides. Losing weight and exercising regularly are key, and you might also want to avoid sugary food and alcohol in particular. Medications also can help.
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Myth: Eating Foods With A Lot Of Cholesterol Will Not Make My Cholesterol Levels Go Up
Fact: It can be complicated. We know that foods with a lot of cholesterol usually also have a lot of saturated fat. Saturated fats can make your cholesterol numbers higher, so its best to choose foods that are lower in saturated fats. Foods made from animals, including red meat, butter, and cheese, have a lot of saturated fats.
Instead, aim to eat foods with plenty of fiber, such as oatmeal and beans, and healthy unsaturated fats, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDCs nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.
Talk with your health care provider about ways to manage your cholesterol. Learn more about medicines to lower cholesterol.
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Very Low Ldl Cholesterol Levels: Causes Symptoms Dangers And Treatment
Though keeping your low-density lipoproteins or LDL cholesterol levels low is advisable in view of the health risks of its higher levels, very low or extremely low levels also carry risks.
Extremely low LDL cholesterol levels mean LDL levels below 40 mg/dL. However, the risk of cardiovascular events, which is very high with high LDL levels, diminishes at these low levels.
But, such too low values are associated with certain other risks such as cancer and hemorrhagic stroke, which I have outlined below along with the possible causes, required diet changes and the treatment options.
When you are born, your LDL cholesterol levels are at around 40 mg/dL. But, as you grow the average healthy levels rise and as an adult, your LDL values should be below or around 100 mg/dL.
To know where you stand, compare your results with the standards described in this post on the normal and undesirable cholesterol levels in children, adults and the elderly.
Experts set a new guideline in 2004 for people with the highest risk of cardiovascular disease. According to this guideline, such high-risk people should ideally have an LDL cholesterol level of 70 mg/dl.
The experts described this as a therapeutic option, indicating that it is one of the options that can reduce the risk of heart disease considerably.
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What Kind Of Test Measures Cholesterol
Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years. Your healthcare provider will order a blood test that will indicate how much cholesterol is carried in your bloodstream. This test will give your cholesterol levels. Your provider might also order what is called a lipid panel or a lipid profile. The panel gives you the following numbers:
- Total cholesterol.
- Non-HDL cholesterol.
- Ratio between cholesterol and HDL.
There are advanced tests that break down the size and shapes of LDL cholesterol levels, and also give the LDL particle number, but those are not normally ordered. Some test makers say that the more advanced tests are better at indicating who is at risk for heart disease, but most providers still feel that the usual tests are adequate.
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Causes Of Low Cholesterol
Now that we understand why cholesterol is so important, we can explore what can cause it to drop to suboptimal levels. Some things that can impact your cholesterol levels include:
- Liver disease
- A pattern of low cholesterol that runs in your family
One cause I want to highlight in particular is a type of drug called statins. This medication is prescribed to people to help lower their cholesterol if blood tests indicate their levels are too high. However, these medications are often overprescribed, do little to actually decrease your risk of adverse cardiac events, and can bring cholesterol levels down too low and create a whole host of new health issues for you to deal with.
Using statin medications can cause memory loss, muscle damage, increased blood sugar levels, and hemorrhagic strokes. Yet, despite the severe health risks associated with statins, 25% of the US population over the age of 40 are taking these medications. This percentage is so high because many conventional doctors find it easier to put their patients on statins than to work with them to make healthy and long-lasting lifestyle changes.
Statins shouldnt be used as a casual bandaid for high cholesterol. Make sure to speak with your health care provider if youre taking statins to see if lifestyle modifications can be made to gradually replace the use of this medication.
Very Low Ldl Cholesterol Clinical Assessment
- Acanthocytosis is a condition characterized by the abnormally-shaped or crenated red blood cells called acanthocytes
- Malabsorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K leading to deficiency of these vitamins in the body.
- Diarrhea and steatorrhea characterized by foul smelling, pale, and bulky stools Bulky stool.
- Hepatomegaly enlarged liver
- Neurological involvement due to demyelination of the nerves
- Myositis inflammation of the muscles
- Degeneration of the retina of the eyes
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What Are The Types Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol moves throughout the body carried by lipoproteins in the blood. These lipoproteins include:
- Low-density lipoprotein is one of the two main lipoproteins. LDL is often called the bad cholesterol.
- High-density lipoprotein is the other main lipoprotein. HDL is often called the good cholesterol.
- Very-low-density lipoproteins are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides.
What Health Problems Can High Cholesterol Cause
If you have large deposits of plaque in your arteries, an area of plaque can rupture . This can cause a blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque. If the clot becomes large enough, it can mostly or completely block blood flow in a coronary artery.
Plaque also can build up in other arteries in your body, including the arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood to your brain and limbs. This can lead to problems such as carotid artery disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.
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How Is High Cholesterol Treated
There are several ways to lower high blood cholesterol , including lifestyle changes or medication, or both. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine which therapy is best for you.
Healthcare providers like to start with the least invasive treatments when possible, such as lifestyle changes. Youll be advised to:
- Avoid tobacco. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking is bad for you in many ways, and reducing your level of good cholesterol is one of them.
- Change the way you eat. Limit the number of trans fats and saturated fat. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and whole grains. Limit red meat, sugary products and dairy products made with whole milk.
- Get more exercise. Try to get about 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or about 30 minutes per day for most days of the week.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider about safe ways to do this. Youll see results even before you reach your ideal weight. Losing even 10% of your body weight makes a difference in your cholesterol levels.
- Reduce the effect of negative emotions. Learn healthy ways to deal with anger, stress or other negative emotions.
- Control blood sugar and blood pressure. Make sure you follow your healthcare providers instructions for blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, and for keeping blood pressure in the healthy range.
What Can Raise My Risk Of High Cholesterol
A variety of things can raise your risk for high cholesterol:
- Age. Your cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older. Even though it is less common, younger people, including children and teens, can also have high cholesterol.
- Heredity. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
- Weight. Being overweight or having obesity raises your cholesterol level.
- Race. Certain races may have an increased risk of high cholesterol. For example, African Americans typically have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than whites.
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Prevention And Prognosis Of Low Cholesterol
Low cholesterol prevention isnt something that most people think about because it is usually high cholesterol that makes the headlines. The best way to keep cholesterol levels in balance is to get regular check-ups. Maintaining a heart-healthy diet and living an active life can also go a long way in keeping your cholesterol levels in check. It is also helpful to be aware of any family history connected to cholesterol problems and pay close attention to symptoms of anxiety, particularly if they make you feel really aggressive or violent.
If you or someone in your family shows signs of low cholesterol, you might be concerned about low cholesterol prognosis. It is true that low cholesterol has been associated with some serious health complications, such as intracerebral hemorrhage, but this typically happens in older adults. Women with low cholesterol also run the risk of having low birth weight or even premature babies. Sadly, low cholesterol has also been deemed a risk factor for suicide.
If you are ever diagnosed with low cholesterol, dont be afraid to talk to your doctor about your concerns. It is important to remain open and report all of your symptoms, including any feelings of anxiety or depression, so thatyour health care provider can guide you to the best possible treatment.
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Lowest Cholesterol Levels And The Cancer Risk
Studies carried out on patients with very low LDL cholesterol in the blood and who are not on cholesterol-lowering drugs suggest that such patients have 15 times the risk of developing cancer.
However, whatever studies conducted are only able to suggest and there is definite evidence to confirm the same.
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Ldl Cholesterol: Bad Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as bad cholesterol, is the type that tends to deposit on the walls of the arteries. White blood cells combine with the LDL cholesterol, forming artery-narrowing plaque, which restricts blood flow. The optimal level of LDL cholesterol for most people is 100 mg/dL or lower. If you have heart disease, you may need to strive for LDL levels of 70 mg/dL or lower.
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Symptoms Of Low Cholesterol
For people with high LDL cholesterol, there are often no symptoms until a heart attack or stroke occurs. If theres a serious blockage in a coronary artery, you may experience chest pain due to reduced blood flow to the heart muscle.
With low cholesterol, theres no chest pain signaling a buildup of fatty substances in an artery.
Depression and anxiety can spring from many causes, including possibly low cholesterol. Symptoms of depression and anxiety include:
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Statins: What Your Doctor Wont Tell You
Studies show statins do little ifanything to reduce your risk of heart disease. And they can have serious sideeffects. They raise your risk of diabetes, for one thing.
There are safe, natural drug-freealternatives to improve your cardiovascular health:
- Dumpsimple carbs and grains.They raise blood sugar, which releases insulin into your system. This leads toinflammation and heart disease. Stay away from sugar, bread, and pasta.
- Avoidthese oils.Corncanolavegetablesoybean. They all contain large amounts of omega-6 fattyacids that wreak havoc on the coronary system. Replace these with heart-healthyalternatives like organic extra virgin olive and coconut oil.
- Addantioxidants. Darkchocolate and red wine are loaded with them. Some of the best antioxidantsources include tart organic berries and leafy green vegetables. Tomatoes aregreat for cardiovascular health, too.
One more thing
For years, weve beenrecommending high-intensity interval training . Study after study hasshown that it can reverse poor cardiovascular health. HIIT improves heartfunction, increases elasticity of the arteries and heart, and boostscardiovascular oxygen intake.
The basic formula for HIIT issimple. Warm up for three to five minutesthen go hard for the next minute,longer if you can.
Then slow down to catch yourbreath for the next minute or two. Repeat this process five to seven times.Cool down for at least two minutes.