Your Total Cholesterol Figure Divided By The Hdl
Whats healthy? The lower this figure, the better. Ideally 4.5, while above 6 is considered high risk.
What should I do? This reading will help your GP work out whether your overall cholesterol levels are healthy, which in turn helps them calculate your risk of CVD – another reason why its important to have full cholesterol results, not just TC. It could be high if your TC, LDL-C and non-HDL cholesterol levels are too high, or if your HDL-C is too low, or a combination of both. Maintaining a healthy TC:HDL ratio long-term can help reduce your risk of CVD in future. You can do this by following the advice above.
Getting Help For Your Child
If you are worried about your child’s weight, consider consulting with a registered dietitian or expressing your concerns with your pediatrician.
Children can benefit from getting involved in meal planning, shopping, and cooking, reducing intake of sweetened beverages, and learning how to eat more fruits and vegetables. Being a good role model and getting the entire family on board is also important for making changes and providing your child with confidence.
Why Do I Need A Cholesterol Test
You will get a free NHS cholesterol test if you have a number of risk factors for high cholesterol including if youre over 40, have coronary heart disease or diabetes, have had a stroke or mini stroke, or have a family history of cardiovascular disease or a cholesterol-related condition.
Understanding your cholesterol levels
We hear a lot about the dangers of high cholesterol, but unless you have a blood test, you have â¦
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Medication May Be Needed
For some people, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. High blood cholesterol levels often have a genetic component. Some people inherit altered genes that cause high cholesterol and this cannot usually be changed sufficiently by lifestyle or diet.
If you are at risk of coronary heart disease and your LDL cholesterol level doesnt drop after scrupulous attention to diet, your doctor may recommend medications to force your blood LDL levels down. Cell cholesterol levels, however, remain normal, so lowering blood cholesterol has no effect on most cell metabolic processes.
Some people get muscle aches from statins, which are the most commonly used medication to lower blood cholesterol. However, diet and exercise will still be important, even if you are taking medication. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats cardiovascular disease.
How Can I Keep Healthy Blood Cholesterol Levels
Talk to your doctor about your numbers. Your risk of disease depends on other factors, too, in combination with high cholesterol. To keep your cholesterol managed, you should do the following:
- Choose healthy foods. Limit foods that are high in saturated or trans fats, sugar, and sodium . Choose foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and veggies, and in unsaturated fats, such as avocados and nuts. Learn more about healthy eating.
- Stay physically active. You should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as biking or brisk walking, every week.6Learn more about physical activity.
- Dont smoke. Smoking damages the blood vessels and greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. If you dont smoke, dont start. If you smoke, learn how to quit.
- Take medicine if necessary. A healthy diet and physical activity can help many people reach healthy cholesterol levels, but some people may need medicines to lower their cholesterol. Always take your medicine as prescribed.
Learn more about ways to prevent high cholesterol.
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Use Polyunsaturated Fats Especially Omega
Polyunsaturated fats have multiple double bonds that make them behave differently in the body than saturated fats. Research shows that polyunsaturated fats reduce LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease.
For example, one study replaced saturated fats in 115 adults diets with polyunsaturated fats for 8 weeks. By the end of the study, total and LDL cholesterol levels were reduced by about 10% .
Polyunsaturated fats also may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Another study changed the diets of 4,220 adults, replacing 5% of their calories from carbohydrates with polyunsaturated fats. Their blood glucose and fasting insulin levels decreased, indicating a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes .
Omega-3 fatty acids are an especially heart-healthy type of polyunsaturated fat. Theyre found in seafood and fish oil supplements. Especially high amounts occur in fatty fish like:
- deep sea tuna like bluefin or albacore
- shellfish , including shrimp
Other sources of omega-3s include seeds and tree nuts, but not peanuts.
All polyunsaturated fats are heart-healthy and may reduce the risk of diabetes. Omega-3 fats are a type of polyunsaturated fat with extra heart benefits.
Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been modified by a process called hydrogenation. This is done to make the unsaturated fats in vegetable oils more stable.
The resulting trans fats are not fully saturated and are called partially hydrogenated oils .
Medicines To Lower Your Cholesterol Level
Medicines called âstatinsâ are most often used to lower cholesterol levels. There are other cholesterol-lowering medicines that your doctor might prescribe, like resins, fibrates, and niacin. If you need to take a medicine to lower your cholesterol level, your doctor will help you find the one that works best for you.
Estrogen replacement therapy lowers your bad cholesterol level and raises your good cholesterol level. However, studies have not shown that it lowers the risk of heart disease.
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How Low Should Your Cholesterol Be
It is usually safe to lower cholesterol with diet, exercise and some medications, but if your cholesterol drops for no obvious reason, you may be in trouble. You may not be able to absorb certain nutrients, you may have liver damage and not be able to make cholesterol, or you may have a serious disease that damages normal body functions. Both high and low cholesterol can cause depression.
Drugs Used to Lower the Bad LDL Cholesterol Statins block the enzyme that your liver uses to make cholesterol. They can cause or increase risk for liver damage, muscle pain and diabetes. Ezetimibe prevents absorption of cholesterol in bile acids in the small intestine. It lowers LDL and raises HDL. It can cause muscle and belly pain. PCSK-9 Inhibitors reduce the effects of the liver enzyme that makes cholesterol. They can cause a stuffy nose, chills and fever, swelling at the injection site, and muscle soreness. Fibrates bind to cholesterol in your intestines to reduce absorption into the bloodstream.
Your Body Needs Some CholesterolSome cholesterol is necessary for everyone. Your body makes vitamin D from cholesterol, and vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium to help protect your bones. Your body also makes several hormones from cholesterol and cholesterol also helps you digest some food components. More than 25 percent of your cholesterol is in your brain, and very low blood levels of cholesterol may harm your brain.
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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What Are Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that plays many roles in the body, including synthesizing hormones and vitamin D. It also assists in the transporting of lipids. Cholesterol is found in the foods you eat, but it is also made by the liver.
- LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because too much of it can build up in your arteries and form plaques, which increases the risk of heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol is often referred to as “good” cholesterol as it carries cholesterol to the liver to be broken down and excreted.
Since your total cholesterol level is a combination of your LDL cholesterol and your HDL cholesterol, ideally you want to keep your LDL levels low and your HDL levels high. There are many factors that can influence your cholesterol levels, including, diet, exercise, weight, genetics, and other health conditions.
About Your Cholesterol Result
A cholesterol test can measure:
- total cholesterol the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both “good” and “bad” cholesterol
- total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio the level of good cholesterol in your blood compared to your overall cholesterol level
- good cholesterol this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- bad cholesterol this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- triglycerides a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol
When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.
You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and your total cholesterol to HDL ratio. Ask your doctor or nurse.
Do You Need To Lower Your Cholesterol And Triglycerides
They should look at your results in relation to any other risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, being overweight, smoking, and other health conditions such as diabetes.
What Affects My Cholesterol Levels
A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels:
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise. Saturated fat is the main problem, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level. Foods that have high levels of saturated fats include some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
- Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also raises your HDL cholesterol level.
- Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. HDL helps to remove bad cholesterol from your arteries. So a lower HDL can contribute to a higher level of bad cholesterol.
Things outside of your control that can also affect cholesterol levels include:
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Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
- narrowing of the arteries
- transient ischaemic attack often known as a “mini stroke”
- peripheral arterial disease
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body.
Your risk of developing coronary heart disease also rises as your blood’s cholesterol level increases. This can cause pain in your chest or arm during stress or physical activity .
Cholesterol Numbers The Good The Bad & The Ugly
We get a lot of emails about cholesterol numbers, as many people are confused about what is considered healthy and what could potentially be a problem. This confusion is understandable though, as there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Even doctors who are supposed to be experts on this topic can also give you misleading information.
As a result millions of people end up taking cholesterol medication like Lipitor when they dont even have to be on it. Thats why its important to educate yourself as much as possible. You certainly dont want to be on a prescription medication that you dont have to be, especially for long periods of time.
So lets get into the numbers a little
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A More Accurate Measurement Tool
The traditional Friedewald equation estimates LDL cholesterol this way: total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol minus triglycerides divided by five. For simplicitys sake, the formula applies a one-size-fits-all factor of five to everyone. But Johns Hopkins researchers found that this often makes LDL cholesterol appear lower than it really is for some high-risk patients. The researchers sought a more accurate formula that would take into account specific details about a persons cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Using a database of blood lipid samples from more than 1.3 million Americansalmost 3,000 times larger than the one used to develop the Friedewald equation Johns Hopkins researchers developed a more accurate system for calculating LDL cholesterol. It can be used to make more precise decisions about treatment to prevent heart attack and stroke.
This newer LDL cholesterol formula is being adopted by U.S. laboratories as well as others around the world. The best implementation is direct coding the LDL cholesterol estimation in the lab IT system, which automates the process and saves clinicians time. The formula is also available as a mobile device app called the LDL Cholesterol Calculator. It is available on the iTunes App Store and on Google Play, for those whose lab hasnt adopted it.
Researchers hope the new formula will one day be adopted by all labs that process lipid panels, as it can improve patient care.
Patient Safety And Education
First and foremost, it is essential to educate individuals on a heart-healthy lifestyle. LDL-C is one of the major culprits in the development of atherosclerotic heart disease. The target level of LDL-C is between 50 to 70mg/dl to prevent plaque formation in the blood vessels. Patients should undergo evaluation for 10-year risk and those with more than 10 percent risk guidelines strongly recommend statin therapy. Low levels of HDL-C are related to an increased risk of CVD however, according to recent studies, HDL-C raising therapy showed no clinical benefit therefore, routine use is not recommended.
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Ways To Reduce Cholesterol Through Healthier Eating
- Replace butter on bread with sunflower or olive oil spreads.
- Reduce cooking with high level fats such as butter, lard, ghee, and goose fat. Use minimal amount of vegetable oils and spreads when cooking instead.
- Replace fatty meats, such as sausages and burgers, with lean meats, such as chicken and all kinds of fish .
- Avoid snacks such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate and pastries, and replace with nuts , dried and fresh fruit, or hummus.
- Cut out full fat milk or cream in yoghurt, tea and coffee, soups and sauces. Replace with a lower fat option, such as skimmed milk.
- Try to cut out cheese altogether. If you must eat cheese, ensure itâs low fat or stick to much smaller portion sizes, less often.
- Eat soups that are low in salt and made with vegetable stock and choose tomato-based sauces over creamy ones. However, also be aware of the sugar in some tomato-based sauces. High sugar content food is not good for someone with raised cholesterol.
- Avoid frying foods. Use alternative cooking methods such as grilling, slow cooking and poaching. If roasting something, ensure you use a small amount of vegetable oil, such as olive, sunflower or rapeseed oil.
Take a look at our article on the best cholesterol-lowering foods for more information, or visit our diet and nutrition centre for lots of dietary tips, inspiration and healthy and delicious recipesto help get you started.
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How To Check Vldl Levels
Doctors can check VLDL levels as part of a test called a lipid profile. This blood test looks at the fats and the fat-like substances, or lipids, in the blood.
It does not measure VLDL directly. Instead, it looks at the levels of triglycerides in the blood. Most of these triglycerides will be in the VLDL, which carries them to the cells.
The test may report triglyceride values in mg/dl or mmol/l. Healthcare professionals estimate VLDL by dividing the triglyceride value by five, if the measurement is in mg/dl, or by 2.2 if it is in mmol/l.
A lipid profile will also measure:
- total cholesterol
According to the AACC, it is standard practice to ask people to fast for 912 hours before the test. During this period, they should not eat anything and only drink water. However, doctors may sometimes decide that this is not necessary.
People should also avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours beforehand.
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What Is The Difference Between Mmol/l And Mg/dl
In the United States your blood cholesterol level is measured in mg/dl or milligrams per decilitre but in the United Kingdom and Europe blood cholesterol level is measured in mmol/I or mill moles per litreHow do you convert your blood cholesterol levels mmol/l to mg/dl?Use this formula, mg/dl Cholesterol=38.6xmmol/lmmol Cholesterol Ã· 38.6 mg/dl
What Age Should I Get Screened For High Blood Cholesterol
In the years from 2009 to 2016, about 1 in 5 adolescents had an unhealthy cholesterol reading.1 In the years from 2015 to 2018, nearly 93 million U.S. adults age 20 or older had high or borderline high cholesterol .1 But since high cholesterol doesnt have symptoms, many people dont know their levels are high.
Cholesterol should be checked starting early in lifeeven children and adolescents should have their cholesterol checked.
Cholesterol testing should be done
- Every 5 years for people age 20 or older who are at low risk for cardiovascular disease.2
- More frequently than every 5 years for people with cardiovascular disease risk factors.2
The 2018 ACC/AHA Guidelines recommend that cholesterol management be based on a persons lifetime cardiovascular risk.1
If your family has a history of early heart attacks or heart disease, or if a child has obesity or diabetes, doctors may recommend screening for high cholesterol more often.
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