How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test
When and how often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger::
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older::
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
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How To Prepare For The Test
You should not eat for 8 to 12 hours before the test.
Alcohol and some medicines can interfere with blood test results.
- Make sure your health care provider knows what medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
- Your provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before you have this test.
- DO NOT stop or change your medicines without talking to your provider first.
Egg White Scramble With Spinach
Eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol, but all of it is contained in the yolk. The whites are cholesterol-free and packed with protein.
Scramble up a couple of egg whites and toss in a handful of spinach for fiber. Cook your eggs in olive or canola oil. These healthy oils could help improve your cholesterol numbers even more.
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Medications May Be Needed For High Triglyceride Levels
Sometimes, healthy eating and regular exercise cant lower high triglyceride levels. This may be the case, for example, if you have familial hypertriglyceridemia or if you already have heart disease. Your doctor may prescribe medication such as fibrates or nicotinic acids. Drugs to help lower high blood cholesterol may also be prescribed, if necessary.Suggestions for managing high triglyceride levels with medication include:
- Always take prescription medications exactly as instructed.
- See your doctor if you are having side effects from the medication. Known medication side effects may include indigestion, diarrhoea, fever or muscle problems.
- Dont assume that medications will somehow overcome the hazards of an unhealthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise and maintaining an appropriate weight for your height are the most important management strategies for high triglycerides.
Finding Out Your Triglycerides Levels
Triglycerides are measured with a simple blood test. Triglyceride levels should be measured when you have a cholesterol test as they can also contribute to your risk of developing heart disease, and other disease of the heart and blood vessels. The triglyceride test measures the triglycerides carried in chylomicrons and VLDL cholesterol. National guidelines in the UK no longer recommend a fasting blood test .
What should your triglyceride levels be?
HEART UK experts state that we should aim for a non-fasting triglyceride level below 2.3mmol/L.
If your doctor has asked you to fast for a test then your triglyceride level should be below 1.7mmol/L. This “fasting test” number is lower because only the triglycerides made by the liver and carried in the VLDL cholesterol will be measured not the triglycerides you get from food. As you have not eaten, there will be no chylomicrons present in your blood.
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When Lifestyle Changes Arent Enough
Sometimes changing your diet and exercise habits simply isnt enough to lower your lipids to a safe level. In such cases, your doctor may suggest supplements like niacin or fish oil, or they may prescribe a drug like a statin.
If you have questions about your blood test results, or youd like more information about how you can go about lowering your triglyceride levels, call one of our locations in Dearborn, Detroit, or Southfield, Michigan, or use the online booking tool to schedule your appointment.
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Social Determinants Of Health
Social determinants such as neighborhood disadvantage, immigration status, lack of social support, social isolation, access to health services play an important role in myocardial infarction risk and survival. Studies have shown that low socioeconomic status is associated with an increased risk of poorer survival. There are well-documented disparities in myocardial infarction survival by socioeconomic status, race, education, and census-tract-level poverty.
Race: In the U.S. African Americans have a greater burden of myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular events. On a population level, there is a higher overall prevalence of risk factors that are unrecognized and therefore not treated, which places these individuals at a greater likelihood of experiencing adverse outcomes and therefore potentially higher morbidity and mortality.
Socioeconomic status: Among individuals who live in the low-socioeconomic areas, which is close to 25% of the US population, myocardial infarctions occurred twice as often compared with people who lived in higher SES areas.
Immigration status: In 2018 many lawfully present immigrants who are eligible for coverage remain uninsured because immigrant families face a range of enrollment barriers, including fear, confusion about eligibility policies, difficulty navigating the enrollment process, and language and literacy challenges. Uninsured undocumented immigrants are ineligible for coverage options due to their immigration status.
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High Triglycerides Make Heart Disease More Likely Even With Normal Cholesterol
According to the American Heart Association , if you have high levels of triglycerides along with low levels of good cholesterol and high levels of bad cholesterol, you’re at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. But what happens if you have high triglycerides with good cholesterol numbers?
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“It is not uncommon to have high triglycerides with normal cholesterol â we see it all the time,” says John P. Higgins, MD, a professor of medicine at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas and chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston. “Having just high triglycerides increases your risk for heart disease. It is a risk factor on its own, called an independent risk factor.”
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Inflammation Infection And Autoimmunity
In some cases, high triglycerides may be caused by inflammation and infection.
People with infections and chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and psoriasis often have high triglycerides and low HDL. These disease-triggered changes initially serve to dampen inflammation or fight infection, but they increase the risk of heart disease in the long run .
For example, untreated gum disease increases blood triglycerides. People with chronic gum inflammation are continually exposed to bacteria, which disrupt immune and lipid balance in the body .
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How Are High Triglycerides Treated
The best ways to lower triglycerides include losing weight, eating fewer calories, and exercising regularly . Diet changes that may help include avoiding fats and sugar and refined foods . Also avoid alcohol and limit fats found in meats high in saturated fat, egg yolks, and whole milk products. Trans fats, found in fried foods and commercial baked products, are unhealthy. Eat healthy monounsaturated fatsolive, peanut, and canola oils. Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of red meat.
If diet changes and exercise dont work, medicines such as nicotinic acid , fibrates , and omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides. Niacin side effects limit its use. Cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins can also lower triglycerides, but their effect is limited.
Its also important to control diabetes since a high sugar level will also increase triglycerides.
How Can You Lower Your High Triglycerides
You can make diet and lifestyle changes to help lower your levels.
- Lose weight and stay at a healthy weight.
- Limit fats and sugars in your diet.
- Be more active.
- Quit smoking.
- Limit alcohol.
You also may need medicine to help lower your triglycerides. But your doctor likely will ask you to try diet and lifestyle changes first.
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Causes Of High Triglycerides + Normal Levels
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High Cholesterol And High Triglycerides What Does That Even Mean
If you have ever gone to the doctor and had lab work that revealed you have high cholesterol or high triglycerides you are usually given a sheet of paper with information on how to reduce these numbers. Most of us have a minimal level of knowledge of what this means and advised what to do. This blog will educate you and inform you of what exactly happens in the body, what body parts are affected, symptoms, and natural ways to reverse your levels in the blood.
First, what is high cholesterol and what are the levels? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all the cells in the body. Cholesterol is made by the liver and is also in some foods, such as meat and dairy products. In order for our bodies to function properly some cholesterol is necessary. Cholesterol has what is called good and bad cholesterol. There is a total cholesterol level, then there is HDL which is the good and LDL which is the bad. Total cholesterol is just what it says, a total amount of HDL and LDL. HDL is called the good because it helps to remove cholesterol from your arteries LDL is the bad cholesterol it is the culprit of cholesterol buildup and blocks the arteries.
Like cholesterol, changes in lifestyle will assist in lowering triglycerides, so it is safe to say you can kill two birds with one stone. Losing weight, reducing your intake of saturated fats, cutting back on alcohol, eating more foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, avoid sugar, and of course exercise.
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How Can You Lower Triglyceride Levels
If you are diagnosed with high blood triglycerides, your doctor may first recommend that you adopt heart-healthy lifestyle changes. These may include:
- Choosing heart-healthy foods and limiting alcohol, added sugars, and foods high in saturated fat
- Getting regular physical activity
- Aiming for a healthy weight
- Getting enough good quality sleep
- Managing stress
Healthy Eating Tips To Lower Cholesterol
As well as sticking to a varied and healthy diet, try these tips to help you manage your cholesterol:
- Limit takeaway foods to once a week .
- Limit salty, fatty and sugary snack foods to once a week .
- Eat plenty of vegetables aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. .
- Choose wholegrain breads, cereal, pasta, rice and noodles.
- Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit .
- Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, split peas), beans into at least two meals a week. Check food labels and choose the lowest sodium products.
- Use spreads and margarines made from healthy unsaturated fats instead of those made with saturated fat .
- Use healthy oils for cooking some include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Include 2 or 3 serves of plant-sterol-enriched foods every day .
- Have 2 to 3 portions of oily fish every week. Fish may be fresh, frozen or canned.
- Include up to 7 eggs every week.
- Select lean meat and limit unprocessed red meat to less than 350g per week.
- Choose reduced fat, no added sugar milk, yoghurt, or calcium-added non-dairy food and drinks.
- Limit or avoid processed meats including sausages and deli meats .
If you are having trouble with your cholesterol levels, a dietitian can help you to eat healthily for your specific needs.
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What Causes Levels To Fluctuate
Triglyceride levels fluctuate naturally in response to many factors, including calorie intake and time of day. Eating a meal can cause an increase in triglycerides, which the body may store to use later when it needs energy.
These fluctuations are typically short-lived, but they are part of the reason why doctors may ask a person to fast before getting a lipid profile blood test.
Some health conditions may increase the risk of higher triglyceride levels. According to the
- hormone medications
- immunosuppressant drugs
Anyone who is uncertain about the side effects of their specific medication should speak with their doctor.
A person can use a few treatments to help lower their triglyceride levels.
What Not To Eat: Foods That Raise Cholesterol
Whether you have high cholesterol that needs to be lowered or you simply want to maintain an already-healthy cholesterol level, avoiding certain foods can help.
Any food that contains saturated fat is a no-no for a cholesterol-lowering diet. Trans fats are equally as bad, if not worse. Trans fats are a double whammy they raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol, Featherstun says.
Here are some specific types of food to avoid:
Anything fried Youd be hard-pressed to walk into a restaurant in the United States and not find a deep fryer. But if youre on a cholesterol-lowering diet, take a pass on the greasy stuff. Not only does deep frying cause foods to lose water and suck up fat, making them more calorie dense, but the oils that foods are fried in are often high in trans fats, the worst offenders.
If you cant bear the thought of never eating another crunchy onion ring, consider using olive or sunflower oil when frying. In a study published in January 2012 in The BMJ, researchers in Spain, where olive and sunflower oils are used for frying, found that eating fried foods was not associated with increased rates of heart disease like it is in countries where saturated fats, like lard and butter, are used. Just be sure not to heat these oils past their smoke point the temperature at which an oil starts to burn.
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Should My Child Have A Blood Lipid Test
A lipid screening is a test to look at the levels of the fats in the blood. In the past, doctors felt that children and teens were not at risk for high cholesterol levels. But we now know that children and teens are at risk. This is due to things such as:
Being inactive from too much screen time and not enough exercise
High-fat or high-sugar diets
Family history of high cholesterol levels
Children and teens with high cholesterol are at higher risk for heart disease as adults. Keeping blood cholesterol levels in the normal range reduces this risk.
What Are Normal Triglyceride Levels
Normal fasting blood triglyceride levels are:
- Lower than 150 mg/dL for adults
- Lower than 90 mg/dL for children ages 10 to 19
Your doctor may diagnose you with high blood triglycerides if your fasting blood triglyceride levels are consistently 150 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
Talk to your doctor about what your numbers mean for you.
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Should You Worry About High Triglycerides
These blood fats can be one of the signs of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk for having a heart attack or stroke.
Until recently, triglycerides tended to get less attention when looking at cardiovascular risk compared to LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. There’s no question that extremely high levels spell trouble and can lead to acute pancreatitis. But what about treating lower levels of triglycerides? Recent evidence suggests you should work to reduce triglyceride levels of they are higher than normal, especially if you have heart disease or have other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure or smoking.
*All values in milligrams per deciliter
High Triglycerides What To Eat
What to eat to lower triglycerides? There are several recommended foods, keeping in mind not to overdo the quantities taken.
Cereals and whole grains and rice
Even in the form of pasta or bread, these products help the body to maintain a sense of satiety for longer, to perform digestive functions optimally and to contain blood sugar levels. Excellent contribution of fibre, useful for lowering high triglycerides.
Fruits and vegetables
Lots of vegetables as a source of dietary fiber, which will help reduce excess triglycerides. Yes also to fresh fruit, although it is recommended to avoid consuming bananas, figs, persimmons, grapes and mandarins.
Green light also to fish, especially when it comes to sardines, herring, salmon and mackerel. The fish mentioned have meats rich in omega-3 fatty acids, believed to be effective in reducing triglycerides.
How to forget i legumes, excellent source of vegetable proteins and among the main alternatives to red meat and aged cheeses.
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