Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeHealthWhat Does Bad Cholesterol Do

What Does Bad Cholesterol Do

How To Check Vldl Levels

What Does “Bad” Cholesterol Do?

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
  • HDL
  • LDL

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.

What Causes Low Cholesterol Health Risks Symptoms And Treatment Of Hypocholesterolemia

Written byBel Marra HealthPublished onJanuary 11, 2018

Low cholesterol or hypocholesterolemia is something we dont hear a lot about. Cholesterol, of course, is that fatty substance that can clog arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke when levels are high however, low cholesterol can also be a health hazard.

When cholesterol levels are high, it can interfere with blood flow, causing a heart attack or stroke. If cholesterol levels are low, then other conditions such as cancer and depression can become a problem.

Understanding cholesterol and how it can impact the human body is important if you want to protect your health. For instance, cholesterol is a substance that the body actually needs. It plays a vital role in making certain hormones and making some of the substances that we need to digest food, but LDL is bad cholesterol, as it clogs our arteries. While lowering bad cholesterol is a good idea, having hypocholesterolemia can be concerning. Keep in mind that HDL is good cholesterol. It helps remove LDL from the body.

Is High Cholesterol Always Bad

When we talk about cholesterol levels, the total number may be misleading. Your total cholesterol is a score that combines your HDL and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride level.

Since this score combines different types of cholesterol, lets use two examples to unpack what this number means:

  • Person A has a normal total cholesterol level. But when you look at the breakdown, they have low HDL cholesterol and a higher LDL cholesterol.

  • Person B has high total cholesterol. But they have high HDL cholesterol and low LDL cholesterol.

  • Person A is at much higher risk for things like heart disease than Person B, even though Person A has normal total cholesterol and Person B has high cholesterol.

    Its also helpful to remember that some people with high LDL may never develop blockages in the heart or other organs. When we look at LDL cholesterol, we have to keep the big picture in mind. If youre young and have no risk factors, then your LDL level may not be as harmful as it is for someone who is over 60 or has other risk factors for heart disease.

    Recommended Reading: Does Shrimp Have Good Cholesterol Or Bad Cholesterol

    Diagnosing And Treating Hypocholesterolemia

    Blood tests are the standard way to diagnose cholesterol levels. Most doctors will consider an LDL cholesterol level less than 50 milligrams per deciliter or a total cholesterol level less than 120 mg/dL as low cholesterol. Total cholesterol is LDL and HDL added together and 20 percent of a persons triglycerides, which are another type of fat found in the bloodstream. You might be interested in knowing that an ideal LDL level is between 70 and 100 mg/dL.

    If you havent had your cholesterol checked within the last two years, you should do so.

    Lets say that you are diagnosed with low cholesterol what do you do? Low cholesterol treatment is only prescribed after a doctor has taken a close look at your diet, lifestyle, other potential health conditions, as well as yourmental health.

    Often times, low cholesterol is caused by something in the diet or a physical condition, so hypocholesterolemia treatment will focus on either foods or the physical ailment. In many cases, just eating cholesterol-rich foods wont solve the problem. Adjustments to diet often need to be coupled with other treatments. When cholesterol level is having an impact on a persons mental health or vice versa, an antidepressant may be prescribed.

    During an evaluation, the doctor will also go over any medications that you might be taking. Some statin medications can cause cholesterol levels to decrease. In these situations, it is usually a matter of changing the dose or the medication.

    Symptoms And Risk Factors Of Low Cholesterol

    What Health Problems Does High Cholesterol Cause?,what happens when you ...

    So how does someone know they are suffering from low cholesterol? Hypocholesterolemia symptoms are different for each individual.

    Symptoms of low cholesterol really center on conditions linked to those low levels. There is some suggestion that depression and anxiety could be related to low cholesterol. Symptoms of depression and anxiety include hopelessness, changes in mood or sleep, confusion, agitation, and difficulty making decisions.

    If you experience any of the signs outlined here and think it might be because of low cholesterol, see a doctor as soon as possible. Also, remember that a family history of low cholesterol is a risk factor, and so is being on statins or other blood pressure treatments.

    Also read: Causes of low HDL cholesterol levels

    Don’t Miss: Is Oyster High In Cholesterol

    Why Cholesterol Matters For Women

    Ah, cholesterol and triglycerides. We hear about them all the time. Even foods that might seem good for you on the surface, like fruit-filled yogurt or bran muffins, can contribute to abnormal levels if they contain too much saturated fat or refined sugar, says Erin Michos, M.D., associate director of preventive cardiology at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.

    Whats more, many women are at risk for high cholesterol and dont realize it. Approximately 45 percent of women over the age of 20 have a total cholesterol of 200 mg/dl and above, which is considered elevated but a survey by the American Heart Association found that 76 percent of women say they dont even know what their cholesterol values are, Michos says.

    Scarier still: Triglycerides, a type of blood fat typically measured alongside cholesterol, are even more risky in women compared with men. This is a problem because womens cholesterol levels can fluctuate quite a bit after menopause and tend to increase with age, putting us at greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Knowing your cholesterol numbers and how to control them is a big step toward staying healthy.

    What Is Good Cholesterol And How Do I Boost It

    Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that plays an important role in the body. It is found in cells and helps produce hormones, like estrogen.

    Your liver produces enough cholesterol for the body to function effectively, but certain foodsprimarily animal products, like eggs, dairy, and meatalso contain cholesterol.

    There are two types of lipoprotein that carry cholesterol to and from cells: high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein .

    HDL is considered the good cholesterol because a healthy level may protect you from cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, LDL is considered the bad cholesterol because it contributes to fatty buildup in your arteries.

    Don’t Miss: How Does Cheerios Help Lower Cholesterol

    What Does Hdl Cholesterol Do

    HDL clears from the body via the liver. HDL may therefore prevent the buildup of plaque, protect your arteries, and protect you from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. It is considered the good cholesterol, and higher levels are better. A good goal to aim for is higher than 55 mg/dL for women and 45 mg/dL for men. The higher your HDL cholesterol numbers, the lower your risk is for heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke.

    High Ldl Cholesterol Diagnosis

    Cholesterol Good and Bad

    A blood test can check your LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol levels. It also measures triglycerides, a type of fat that stores extra energy from your diet. High triglyceride levels can make you more likely to have heart problems.

    Experts recommend testing every 4 to 6 years. Youâll probably need it more often if you have heart disease or diabetes, or if high cholesterol runs in your family.

    Lower numbers are better when it comes to LDL cholesterol test results. The general guidelines for adults in the United States are:

    • Less than 100 milligrams per deciliter : Optimal
    • 100-129 mg/dL: Near or above optimal
    • 130-159 mg/dL: Borderline high
    • 160-189 mg/dL: High
    • 190 mg/dL and above: Very high

    If you have a condition like heart disease or diabetes, your doctor might recommend an LDL target of 70 mg/dL or below.

    Recommended Reading: Oysters High Cholesterol

    Natural Remedies And Lowering Cholesterol

    Its very important to talk to your health professional before using any:

    • supplements
    • natural remedies
    • or complementary therapies.

    Sometimes they can do more harm than good. They may interact with any medication that youre taking, which can be dangerous. They can also make your medication less effective. Your doctor needs to know everything that you are taking to ensure that the combination is safe.

    If youve been prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication, make sure you take it as directed by your doctor. This is one of the most effective ways to keep your cholesterol levels down.

    How To Lower High Ldl Cholesterol

    Your doctor will set up a plan of lifestyle changes and/or medication that can lower your cholesterol levels and your overall odds of a heart problem. Your plan might include:

    • A healthy diet. Try not to eat things that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, or simple carbs such as sugar and white flour. Eat more fiber and plant sterols such as margarine or nuts.
    • Regular exercise. The kind that gets your heart pumping is best.
    • Weight loss. Losing even 5 to 10 pounds can improve your cholesterol levels.
    • Quitting tobacco. If you have a hard time giving up smoking, your doctor can help you find the program thatâs best for you.
    • Medication. Some drugs, like statins, help keep your body from making cholesterol. Another, ezetimibe , lowers the amount of cholesterol your body gets from food you eat. If you canât take statins or have a severe form of high cholesterol, you might get shots of PCSK9 inhibitors. These meds help your liver remove more LDL from your blood.

    Show Sources

    Read Also: Are Pork Chops Heart-healthy

    How To Lower Cholesterol

    If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help lower it. For instance, they may recommend changes to your diet, exercise habits, or other aspects of your daily routine. If you smoke, they will likely advise you to quit.

    Your doctor may also prescribe medications or other treatments to help lower your cholesterol levels. In some cases, they may refer you to a specialist for more care.

    What Does The Term Total Cholesterol Mean

    Pin on Bad Cholesterol

    The term total cholesterol refers to the total amount of the different kinds of cholesterol in your blood. One kind of cholesterol is the LDL cholesterol. Another kind is the HDL cholesterol. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. LDL is the bad cholesterol. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. HDL is the good cholesterol.

    Read Also: Blue Crab Cholesterol

    What Is A Healthy Cholesterol Level

    When we talk about cholesterol, we are usually most interested in LDL. As we discussed earlier, the total cholesterol can be misleading. Thats why its important to look at the different numbers in your panel.

    The healthiest cholesterol range for you depends on your unique situation and other medical conditions. For example:

    • For people without heart disease, the ideal LDL cholesterol is under 100 mg/dL.

    • If you have heart disease, diabetes, or youre at high risk for high cholesterol, your provider will probably work with you to get your LDL below 70 mg/dL. This will likely require medications to help.

    • Even if you have no risk factors, you may need treatment for an LDL cholesterol over 160 mg/dL. Thats because numbers in this high range mean youre more likely to develop problems early in life. If your number falls in this range, your high cholesterol may be due to your genes.

    The average LDL in the U.S. is 120 mg/dL, so these ideal ranges might seem low. But a range of 50 to 70 is the norm in active people who are not exposed to a typical Western diet or lifestyle.

    Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol

    Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:

    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 .

    Recommended Reading: Shrimp Cholesterol Good Or Bad

    What Is Bad Cholesterol

    LDL, which also is called “bad” cholesterol, carries cholesterol to tissues, including the arteries. Most of the cholesterol in our blood is the LDL form.

    You want to keep your LDL levels low. If not, bad cholesterol can create buildup in your arteries, known as a plaque.

    Plaques make it harder for blood to flow to your heart, creating heart problems. These include chest pain and heart attacks.

    Plaques can also lead to blood clots in the brain and legs.

    What Treatments Are Available For High Cholesterol

    âNo evidenceâ high cholesterol causes heart disease, study says

    Treatment may include:

    • Addressing risk factors. Some risk factors that can be changed include lack of exercise and poor eating habits.

    • Cholesterol-lowering medicines. Medicines are used to lower fats in the blood, particularly LDL cholesterol. Statins are a group of medicines that can do this. The two most effective types are atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Other medicines that lower cholesterol levels are ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors.

    You May Like: Tuna Fish Cholesterol

    What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol

    There are two types: high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein . As a general rule, HDL is considered good cholesterol, while LDL is considered bad. This is because HDL carries cholesterol to your liver, where it can be removed from your bloodstream before it builds up in your arteries. LDL, on the other hand, takes cholesterol directly to your arteries. This can result in atherosclerosis, a plaque buildup that can even cause heart attack and stroke.

    Triglycerides make up the third component of cholesterol and act as unused calories that are stored as fat in the blood. Eating more calories than you burn can cause triglycerides to build up in the bloodstream, increasing your risk for heart attacks.

    What Is A Healthy Cholesterol Level For Me

    In general if you are 19 years old or younger, your total cholesterol levels should be less than 170 milligrams per deciliter of blood.

    If you are 20 years old or older, your total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL.

    These are general recommendations, so make sure to talk to your health care provider to find out what’s considered healthy for you.

    You May Like: Are Oyster High In Cholesterol

    What Has The Biggest Impact On Ldl Cholesterol

    Contrary to the long-held belief that dietary cholesterol itself is a major cause of high LDL, evidence suggests a weaker link. It’s still a good idea to steer clear of dietary cholesterol, but that intake isn’t the biggest influence. The current understanding is that the specific mix of carbohydrates and fats in your diet is the biggest factor in determining your LDL levels.

    What Are Cholesterol Levels

    Pin on Bad Cholesterol

    Cholesterol circulating in the blood is carried by special particles called lipoproteins. The two major cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins are low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein :

    • 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 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, including, diet, exercise, weight, genetics, and other health conditions.

    Recommended Reading: Shellfish High In Cholesterol

    Recommended Reading: How Do Honey Nut Cheerios Lower Cholesterol

    Why Is It Important To Have A Normal Cholesterol Level

    A high cholesterol level can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. You have an even higher risk if you also have other risk factors, such as:

    • Age over 45 for men and over 55 for women

    • Smoking

    • Physical inactivity

    • High blood pressure

    • A history of heart disease in your father or a brother before he was 55 years of age or in your mother or a sister before she was 65 years of age

    • A low HDL cholesterol level

    What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels

    The only way to know your cholesterol levels is through a blood test. You need to know your total cholesterol , as well as HDL and LDL. Triglycerides are another type of fat, related to, but different from cholesterol. High levels of triglycerides are also linked to heart disease. Here are what the numbers mean:

    Total cholesterol:

    • Less than 200 is desirable
    • Between 200 and 239 is borderline high
    • From 240 up is considered high

    LDL :

    • Less than 100 is optimal
    • Between 100 and 129 is almost optimal
    • Between 130 and 159 is borderline high
    • Between 160 and 189 is considered high
    • And 190 and above is deemed to be very high

    HDL :

    • 60 and above is optimal
    • Less than 40 for men is considered low
    • Less than 50 for women is considered low


    • Avoid full-fat dairy products. Instead, opt for skim milk, lower fat cheese, lower fat yogurt and trans-fat free spreads.
    • Substitute heart healthy plant oils for butter and lard.
    • Eat lean proteins: fish, skinless chicken, and lean meats. Avoid marbled meats and bacon.


    • Body weight: Losing weight can help lower cholesterol. Regular exercise can increase HDL and lower LDL . Thirty minutes per day can have healthy benefits.
    • Smoking: Dont do it.
    • Age: As we all age, cholesterol rises.
    • Gender: After menopause, women are at greater risk for higher cholesterol.
    • Heredity : Your genes can determine how much cholesterol your liver produces.
    • Diabetes: This disease can alter the balance of LDL and HDL cholesterol.

    Don’t Miss: Does Tuna Have Good Or Bad Cholesterol


    Most Popular