Are Home Cholesterol Testing Kits Accurate
The answer is yes if the tests are labeled CDC-certified. This means that the contents have been approved by the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network, a group that works with test makers, laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure tests are accurate.
For home tests, you will still need to fast for 12 hours and to obtain blood for testing. Some kits come with packages for mailing to a lab for results. Other kits have a monitor so you can get the results at home. The cost of such home kits vary.
Can Bad Cholesterol Levels Be Too Low Can Good Cholesterol Levels Be Too High
It isnt often that people have bad cholesterol that is too low or good cholesterol that is too high. There are studies being done that suggest that extremes of any kind are not healthy for everyone.
However, there is data from clinical trials to support that there is no evidence of harm when LDLs remain < 40mg/dl on statin therapy.
In some cases, genetic conditions can cause you to have very low cholesterol levels. In other cases, nutritional problems, some cancers, hypothyroidism and certain infections can also cause low cholesterol levels. In any of these types of situations, the underlying issues need to be addressed.
In terms of having too much of a good thing, researchers are studying the effects of too much HDL, the good cholesterol. No conclusions have been reached, but there have been studies into the possible relationship between high HDL and cancer, and a greater risk of heart attack among the high risk. Excessively high HDL may be dysfunctional HDL and not protective.
Complimentary Cme/moc From The Thi Women’s Center
Heart and vascular disease remain the leading contributor to morbidity and mortality among both women and men. While the decrease in mortality among women is well documented, the decline still lags behind that of men, with an alarming tendency towards an increased mortality rate among younger women.
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About Heart And Vascular Institute
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.
Cholesterol Content Of Foods
If you have risk factors for heart disease, you should not consume more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol a day.
If you do not have risk factors for heart disease, you should limit your cholesterol intake to no more than 300 milligrams a day.
Use the following tables to check the cholesterol and fat content of the foods you eat. This will help you keep track of your daily cholesterol intake.
Note: Cholesterol is only found in animal products. Fruits, vegetables, grains and all other plant foods do not have any cholesterol at all.
Cheddar Cheese1 oz30
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
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Lowering Cholesterol With Weight Loss
If you could stand to lose a few pounds, probably the most important number to check on the label is calories per serving.
A recent study by researchers at the University of Surrey in England showed that when volunteers cut back on calories, it didn’t matter how much dietary cholesterol they consumed. Even when their diets contained up to 582 milligrams of cholesterol a day — far over the recommended amount — their blood cholesterol levels remained unchanged as long as they cut back on calories and lost weight.
“Cholesterol in packaged foods really isn’t a big issue,” says McManus. “Three much more important numbers on the nutrition facts panel are serving size, calories per serving, and the type of fats,” says McManus. “If you keep track of those, you don’t have to worry about how much cholesterol a packaged food contains.”
There Are Several Different Dosing Options For Crestor
CRESTOR® is available in 4 doses: 5 mg,10 mg,20 mg, and 40 mg. The pictures shown here are provided to help you learn how to quickly identify which tablet corresponds to the CRESTOR dosage your doctor has prescribed for you.
Your dosage of CRESTOR may vary since your doctor will consider your medical history and therapy goal when writing your prescription.
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What To Know About Triglycerides
In addition to cholesterol, you might hear about your triglycerides, another kind of fat found in the bloodstream. Women should pay particular attention to this. A high level of triglycerides seems to predict an even greater risk for heart disease in women compared with men, says Michos.
When you take in more calories than you need, your body converts the extra calories into triglycerides, which are then stored in fat cells. Triglycerides are used by the body for energy, but people with excess triglycerides have higher risk of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease. Drinking a lot of alcohol and eating foods containing simple carbohydrates , saturated fats and trans fats contributes to high triglycerides. High levels may also be caused by health conditions such as diabetes, an underactive thyroid, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome or kidney disease.
Triglycerides also circulate in the bloodstream on particles that may contribute to plaque formation. Many people with high triglycerides have other risk factors for atherosclerosis, including high LDL levels or low HDL levels, or abnormal blood sugar levels. Genetic studies have also shown some association between triglycerides and cardiovascular disease.
High Cholesterol: Prevention, Treatment and Research
What To Look For On Nutrition Labels
Nutrition labels on foods tell you how much of each nutrient or fat is in the item, based on the recommended serving size. The numbers and percentages are written for a 2,000 calorie/day diet. Youll find a label on the back of packaged, canned, or bottled items that says Nutrition Facts.
Heres how to read the label properly:
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Pregnancy Breastfeeding Liver Problems And Allergic Reactions
People who are allergic to Lipitor or any of its ingredients should not take the medication, according to the drugs label. Neither should people with liver problems.
The label also advises against taking the drug while pregnant or breastfeeding. Atorvastatin may harm an unborn baby, and the medicine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby.
What If I Forget To Take It
If you forget to take a dose, skip the missed dose and take your next one the next day at the usual time.
Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take an extra dose to make up for the forgotten one.
If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you.
You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.
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How Can You Prevent High Cholesterol Levels And Coronary Heart Disease
Prevention methods are very much the same as treatment methods. First, dont smoke. If you do smoke, make plans to quit now. Find ways to add physical activity to each of your days. Take steps to keep your weight in a healthy range. Eat well. Consider following the Mediterranean diet. It is the only diet proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Take care of any other medical conditions you might have by following your healthcare providers advice and instructions. Learn to really relax and calm down.
When You Need Themand When You Dont
Your body makes a waxy substance called cholesterol. You also get it from food. Your body needs it, but too much cholesterol in your blood can clog your arteries. This increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and death.
Statins are drugs that lower your cholesterol. But if you are age 75 or older and you havent had symptoms of heart disease, statins may be a bad idea. Heres why:
Adults age 75 and older may not need statins.
Many older adults have high cholesterol. Their doctors usually prescribe statins to prevent heart disease.
But for older people, there is no clear evidence that high cholesterol leads to heart disease or death. In fact, some studies show the oppositethat older people with the lowest cholesterol levels actually have the highest risk of death.
Statins have risks.
Compared to younger adults, older adults are more likely to suffer serious side effects from using statins.
Statins can cause muscle problems, such as aches, pains, or weakness. Rarely, there can be a severe form of muscle breakdown.
In older adults, statins can also cause:
- Memory loss and confusion
- Nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
Often, older adults take many drugs. These can interact with statins and lead to serious problems. Side effects, like muscle pain, may increase. Statins can also cause a fatal reaction when taken with heart-rhythm drugs.
Statins may increase the risk of type-2 diabetes and cataracts, as well as damage to the liver, kidneys, and nerves.
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Important Information On Taking Lipitor
Carefully follow your doctors instructions on how to take Lipitor and how often. Never adjust your dose or stop taking the drug without first speaking with your doctor.
The medication comes in 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg tablets. The tablets are white, oval-shaped and film-coated, and should be swallowed whole.
Doctors may start patients on a low dose and then slowly up the dose, but not more than once every two to four weeks. The recommended starting dose is 10 mg to 20 mg once daily. The medicine takes about two weeks to start working.
Its normal for a doctor to order blood tests to check cholesterol levels during treatment. He or she may adjust the dose based on the test results.
The drug label says patients can take the medication during the day or at night, though it recommends they take it at the same time every day. You do not need to take the medicine with food, but you can if you want to.
If you forget to take a dose at your normal time, take it as soon as you think of it, but dont take two doses at the same time. If more than 12 hours have passed since you missed your last dose, then wait to take the pill at your scheduled time. If you take too much of the medication, call your doctor or Poison Control Center, or go to the nearest hospital or emergency room.
Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
Having high cholesterol does not usually cause symptoms but can slowly block an artery and cause a heart attack or stroke. Life threatening events are often the first physical symptom of clogged arteries.
People should make sure they check their cholesterol levels regularly, even if they do not have any symptoms.
A doctor will typically order blood work every 4 to 6 years. A blood test is the only way to know if a persons cholesterol levels are high.
People with other risk factors for heart disease may need to get their cholesterol checked more frequently. These risk factors include:
How The Fat You Eat Affects Cholesterol Levels
The relationship between the fat we eat and our health, particularly our cardiovascular health, has been hotly debated for many years.
Heres what you need to know:
Not all fats are created equally.
The kinds of fat you eat matter more than the amount.
There are different types of fats in our diet:
Polyunsaturated fats: essential and important nutrients
Monounsaturated fats: can come from plant or animal products and are generally considered healthy
Saturated fats: less healthy than mono- and polyunsaturated fats
Trans fats: unhealthy fats
Foods That Lower Ldl Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower those levels. However, they will also likely recommend lifestyle and dietary changes, including cutting out foods that raise LDL.
There are a number of ways that foods can lower your levels of LDL cholesterol. According to Harvard Health Publishing, some foods contain soluble fiber which “binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation.”
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Some plants contain sterols and stanols compounds that occur naturally in plant cell membranes. Phytosterols have a similar structure to cholesterol, meaning they “compete” for absorption in the digestive system and thus lower the amount of cholesterol absorbed into the blood. Other cholesterol-lowering foods contain polyunsaturated fats.
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Muscle Pain And Weakness
The most common side effect is muscle pain and weakness, a condition called rhabdomyolysis, most likely due to the depletion of Co-Q10, a nutrient that supports muscle function. Dr. Beatrice Golomb of San Diego, California is currently conducting a series of studies on statin side effects. The industry insists that only 2-3 percent of patients get muscle aches and cramps but in one study, Golomb found that 98 percent of patients taking Lipitor and one-third of the patients taking Mevachor suffered from muscle problems.4 A message board devoted to Lipitor at forum.ditonline.com contained more than 800 posts, many detailing severe side effects. The Lipitor board at www.rxlist.com contains more than 2,600 posts .
The test for muscle wasting or rhabdomyolysis is elevated levels of a chemical called creatine kinase . But many people experience pain and fatigue even though they have normal CK levels.5
John Altrocchi took Mevacor for three years without side effects then he developed calf pain so severe he could hardly walk. He also experienced episodes of temporary memory loss.
Active people are much more likely to develop problems from statin use than those who are sedentary. In a study carried out in Austria, only six out of 22 athletes with familial hypercholesterolemia were able to endure statin treatment.9 The others discontinued treatment because of muscle pain.
Heart Healthy Food Pattern
To restrict dietary cholesterol, you’ll need to limit portions of animal-based foods, such as meat, chicken, milk, eggs and cheese. This focus on reducing cholesterol, however, is not as effective at lowering LDL and decreasing cardiovascular risk as the lifestyle guidelines recommended by AHA and ACC, which include:
Plant-centered meal patterns such as the Mediterranean Diet, DASH Eating Plan or a whole-food, plant-based diet are commonly recommended for heart health. Not only are these diets naturally low in cholesterol — because they restrict or exclude foods of animal origin, but these plans limit saturated and trans fat and have the beneficial emphasis on plant foods.
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Can You Get Rid Of Cholesterol Deposits
Researchers are working on ways to eliminate plaque from coronary arteries. One method that has been proposed involves using combinations of medicines in healthy people aged 25 to 55 years. It is suggested that getting the levels of cholesterol down very low will allow arteries to clear up and heal up.
Several researchers believe that the way to reverse heart disease, and to prevent it in the first place, is found in a whole food, plant-based diet. Studies have been done that have shown that limiting nutrition to whole foods that are plant-based have been successful in reducing blood cholesterol and even, in some cases, lessening plaque buildup.
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.
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What Does 100% Of Your Daily Value Of Cholesterol Look Like
Its no secret that eating fatty foods raises your bad cholesterol level, also known as LDL. An elevated LDL clogs up your arteries and makes it difficult for your heart to do its job. Potentially, it could lead to heart disease.
The USDA recommends consuming no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. While a deep-fried Twinkie at the county fair is an obvious no-no, other high cholesterol culprits may be sneaking into your diet. Check out what that number looks like in terms of everyday food items.
Warning: you may need to revise your grocery listand your eating habits!
The USDA recommends no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a daybut thats not a number you should strive for. Saturated and trans fats are not part of a balanced diet. You should limit them as much as possible.
Replace saturated and trans fats with healthy fats, such as those found in mono- and polyunsaturated fat food sources. For example, cook with olive oil instead of butter. Drink fat-free milk instead of whole. Eat more fish and less red meat.