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HomeFactsWhat Does High Cholesterol Mean In A Blood Test

What Does High Cholesterol Mean In A Blood Test

Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil To Cook With

What cholesterol is and what cholesterol blood tests show

When you have high cholesterol and diabetes, you should increase the good fats, or monosaturated fats such as olive oil in your diet. In general, fats that are liquid at room temperature are better to use than fats that are solid at room temperature, such as butter, margarine, vegetable shortening, or animal fat/lard. These all contain saturated and trans fats, which will raise cholesterol, namely LDL-C and triglycerides.

If I Already Have Cardiovascular Disease What Should My Cholesterol Numbers Be

If you already have cardiovascular disease, target numbers are a little bit tweaked. Although your total cholesterol number should still be less than 200 mg/dl, and your LDL-C, or bad cholesterol should still be less than 100 mg/dl, your HDL-C, or good cholesterol, should be greater than 35 mg/dl, and your triglyceride number should be less than 200 mg/dl. This makes sense, because the good fats being present in your bloodstream will take the bad cholesterol and triglycerides away in the bloodstream to be disposed of via the liver.

Learn About Other Precautions To Help You Stay Safe While Taking Statins

Statins are the most common medicine used to treat high blood cholesterol. Learn some tips to stay safe if your doctor gives you statins.

  • Keep taking your statin medicine as prescribed. If you started taking a statin after you recently had a heart attack, a stroke, or another complication, you should not stop taking this medicine on your own, because that can increase your risk for a repeat event or even death. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns about your medication or if you would like to stop or change to a different treatment.
  • Ask your doctor what medicines, nutritional supplements, or foods you should avoid. Some of these can interact with statins to cause serious side effects or make them less effective. For example, grapefruit affects how your liver breaks down some statins.
  • Tell your doctor about any symptoms or side effects. Sometimes, people report muscle problems while taking statins. If you start having muscle pain, your doctor may order a blood test to look for muscle damage. The pain may go away if you switch to a different statin. Muscle damage with statins is rare, and your muscles may heal when you switch to a different medicine.
  • If you are a woman who is planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about your options. You should stop taking statins about three months before getting pregnant. Also, you should not take statins if you are breastfeeding.

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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.

Even though there is no clear-cut number about what LDL level is too low, levels under 40 mg/dL may be associated with certain health issues, including depression/anxiety, and hemorrhagic stroke.

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.

Ways To Lower Cholesterol


Check your own cholesterol level and if it’s high, ask to have your kids’ levels checked.

Here are 5 ways to help keep your family’s cholesterol in control:

  • Serve a heart-healthy diet, including:- vegetables, fruit, and whole grains- lean meats and poultry, fish, nuts, beans, and soy products- nonfat or low-fat milk and dairy products- healthy fats, like those found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limit drinks and foods with added sugars.
  • Read nutrition facts labels so that you can limit cholesterol and saturated fat and trans fat.
  • Encourage plenty of exercise. Exercise helps boost HDL levels in the blood and that’s a good thing! Kids and teens should be physically active at least 60 minutes a day.
  • Help your kids keep a healthy weight.
  • It’s important to make healthy living a family effort. The steps you take to improve your family’s lifestyle will have a positive effect on your family’s health now and far into the future.

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    What Do The Results Mean

    Cholesterol is usually measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. The information below shows how the different types of cholesterol measurements are categorized.

    Total Cholesterol Level
    Less than 40 mg/dL A major risk factor for heart disease

    A healthy cholesterol range for you may depend on your age, family history, lifestyle, and other risk factors. In general, low LDL levels and high HDL cholesterol levels are good for heart health. High levels of triglycerides may also put you at risk for heart disease.

    The LDL on your results may say “calculated” which means it includes a calculation of total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. Your LDL level may also be measured “directly,” without using other measurements. Regardless, you want your LDL number to be low.

    Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

    How Is The Total Cholesterol Or Blood Cholesterol Test Done

    A blood test is a routine test. A phlebotomist is a person whose job is to draw blood. Blood is usually drawn from the vein in your arm. You will sit down and the phlebotomist will wrap a rubber band around your upper arm so that the vein in your elbow sticks out. Then they will use a needle to puncture the vein and remove blood. The blood is sent to the lab to be examined.

    Youve probably been at health fairs where testing is offered. In that case, the person performing the test takes a drop of blood from your finger. The finger-stick test uses a small blade to poke a hole in the tip of your finger to get the blood.

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    Do I Need To Take Medications For High Cholesterol

    Simply looking at a chart to determine where your cholesterol levels falls cant fully answer if you need treatment for high cholesterol. Many other factors that must be considered.

    Your doctor can explain your levels to you and make recommendations based not only on your cholesterol test results, but also other risk factors you may have such as:

    • a history of coronary heart disease
    • your lifestyle, such as diet and exercise habits
    • if you smoke.

    Your doctor may also calculate your 10-year risk for heart disease to determine your need for medication. Ask your physician if this number has been calculated and how to interpret the results.

    Related: Overview of Drugs Used to Treat High Cholesterol

    What Are The Causes Of High Cholesterol

    Cholesterol Blood Test – What does it mean? (lipids, HDL, LDL, Non-HDL )

    Many different things can cause a person to have high cholesterol levels. Some we can control, and some we cannot control. The factors that we cannot control are:

    • our gender
    • certain diseases and conditions that we already have, such as thyroid disorder

    Though we cannot control our genetics, how old we are, or whether we are male of female or have a certain disease for the most part, there are risk factors for high cholesterol that can be controlled. Interestingly, the same risk factors that can be controlled to bring down high cholesterol also can bring down our risk for diabetes.

    They are

    • our nutritional intake, including how much bad and good cholesterol is in the foods we eat
    • our weight as extra pounds increase cholesterol levels
    • whether or not we are physically active
    • whether or not we are taking certain medications

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    Testing Cholesterol At Home

    Home cholesterol test kits are available at pharmacies or online and may seem like an easier option than going to the lab to get your blood drawn.

    With these tests, only a small finger prick with a lancet is needed. A drop of blood is placed on a test strip and may be inserted in to a meter, and the result is available in a matter of minutes. It is quick and convenient. But is this the best way to test your cholesterol?

    What Should My Cholesterol Levels Be

    Blood cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.

    As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:

    • 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults
    • 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk

    As a general guide, LDL levels should be:

    • 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults
    • 2mmol/L or less for those at high risk

    An ideal level of HDL is above 1mmol/L. A lower level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease.

    Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL may also be calculated. This is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL level. Generally, this ratio should be below four, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease.

    Cholesterol is only one risk factor. The level at which specific treatment is required will depend on whether other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, are also present.

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    What Types Of Cholesterol Are There

    There are two different types of cholesterol including:

    • “Bad Cholesterol” which carry cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol is bad because it builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow which can increase the risk of a heart attack.
    • “Good Cholesterol” which picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. Having high HDL is linked to lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

    Ive Heard About Ginger But Does It Work To Lower Cholesterol

    Your Cholesterol Blood Tests Explained

    Ginger has been used in traditional medicine for years to help with stomach issues, arthritic joints, as well as heart conditions. It works for motion sickness, morning sickness in pregnancy, and it may lower cholesterol. There has only been one rather small study that looked at the cholesterol lowering effects of ginger. Subjects took 3,000 mg per day for 45 days. They had an average drop in total cholesterol by 13 mg/dl. Triglycerides also dropped by 9.5. Even so, larger studies need to be done to validate this finding. As a spice, ginger is tasty in recipes.

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    Are Cholesterol Test Kits Reliable

    The FDA does regulate some cholesterol tests, but not all. Reliability of kits can vary, and your results may not always be accurate. However, if you feel at-home cholesterol testing is preferable, ask your doctor to recommend a reliable kit. FDA approved home tests kits meet standards for accuracy.

    Many test kits only provide total cholesterol levels, or information about HDL or triglycerides. Your LDL is not directly measured but can be calculated. You cant use cholesterol home tests to evaluate your overall heart risk yourself, as many risk factors – such as age, weight, gender, family history, and lifestyle — are used in this determination and should be performed by a doctor.

    Cholesterol Test Results Explained

    Your cholesterol results will provide you with a range of figures. Its important to look at each one and not just your total cholesterol. In the UK, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are measured in millimoles per litre of blood.

    The ideal ranges are:

    • LDL cholesterol ideally this should be below 3 mmol/L
    • HDL cholesterol ideally this should be above 0.9 mmol/L
    • triglycerides ideally this should be below 1.7 mmol/L
    • total cholesterol ideally this should be below 5 mmol/L
    • cholesterol ratio ideally this should be below 4 mmol/L

    The reference ranges for LDL particle size is are:

    • less than 0.87 is ideal
    • above 1.74 is high risk
    • above 2.62 is very high risk

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    What Does A Cholesterol Check Involve

    A cholesterol test involves a a simple blood test, this can be done in two ways:

  • A finger prick test, which is quick, you only feel a small pinch, and the results can be checked there and then.
  • A small blood sample taken from your arm using a needle and syringe, which will be sent off for testing.
  • You can eat and drink normally before your test unless your doctor asks you not to. If you have a sample taken with a needle and syringe, you might be asked not to eat for 10-12 hours beforehand, usually overnight.

    How The Cholesterol Test Is Done :

    What does LDL cholesterol mean & is it present in coffee? – Ms. Sushma Jaiswal

    If your doctor wants Cholesterol test on you, you may need a Cholesterol blood test. During the Cholesterol blood test, a pathologist will put a needle into your veins and take out a small quantity of blood. A pathologist is a physician in the medical field who thoroughly studies the causes and effects of disease. Within a few hours you will get your Cholesterol Test report by your pathologist.

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    Where To Get A Cholesterol Test

    NHS cholesterol testThe NHS offers blood tests that can be done at your GPs or a local hospital. A trained nurse or doctor will take your blood, usually a venous sample.

    Home cholesterol test Its possible to order a home blood test online and do it yourself. For this test, youll use a lancet to collect a finger-prick blood sample. Your results will be reviewed by a GP and are available for you to view online.

    What In The World Is Red Yeast Rice

    Weird as it sounds red yeast rice is a fungus that grows on rice. Asian countries use it for a food coloring and a medication. It has become popular in western countries because it tends to stop cholesterol production in the liver. It has sort of a natural form of statin in it, like the statin medications used to lower cholesterol. If you are one of the people that has trouble taking statins due to side effects, or dont want to take them for one reason or another, ask your doctor if red yeast rice might help you lower your cholesterol.

    In one study, subjects that got muscular pain while on statins were able to take 1800 mg of red yeast rice twice a day for 24 weeks. The average drop in LDL-C was 35 mg/dl. In China, one study showed a 30 percent reduction in cardiovascular risk with long term use of red yeast rice. In the US, its a supplement so its not FDA regulated. Keep that in mind when taking any supplements in the US.

    Always talk with your doctor, and have him or her to check your liver enzymes before starting red yeast rice supplements.

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    Interpreting Blood Test Results

    Did you receive your cholesterol test results but now you arent really sure what they mean?

    Heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, leads to 1 in 4 deaths in adults in the U.S., or about 655,000 people each year. Controlling your cholesterol is important to help prevent or treat heart disease, often caused by atherosclerosis .

    Your doctor may have recommend that you have a lipid profile test to help determine if your cholesterol levels are high. High cholesterol has no symptoms so you need to measure it to determine your risk.

    A lipid profile is just one factor your doctor may look at to decide if you need to adjust your lifestyle with diet and exercise or add medications to lower cholesterol. Follow along here to learn about cholesterol test results.

    How To Lower Cholesterol

    Whatischolesterol How To Find Cholesterol Level ...

    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.

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    List Of Statin Drugs To Lower Cholesterol

    The doctor may prescribe one of the following medications to help lower cholesterol:

    • Atorvastatin

    The consensus has been that heart benefits are greater than diabetes risk.

    So should I take statins?

    If you want to reduce your risk for heart disease, then you should take statins. Currently, statin use is recommended by the American Diabetes Association for people with diabetes who have high cholesterol. Some people stop taking statins due to adverse side effects. Talk with your doctor before stopping any of your medicines. You shouldnt consume grapefruit if you take statins, as grapefruits increase uptake, and may increase side effects. You will want to avoid fibrates, warfarin , some antibiotics, and some HIV medicines. Talk to your pharmacist to see if any drugs you are taking might interact with statins.

    More Connections Between High Cholesterol And Diabetes

    Smaller, denser LDL-C molecules

    LDL-C cholesterol levels in people with diabetes can underestimate the cardiac risk that is posed. Borderline high LDL-C levels, along with Type 2 diabetes pose a 2 to 3 times greater risk for CVD than for people without diabetes. The LDL-C particles are proportionally smaller and are denser in people with diabetes. These particles are more likely to invade the walls of arteries and cause a significant cardiovascular problem. This typically leads to more hardening of the arteries in people with diabetes due to the small and dense LDL-C particles.

    There is also a relationship between the smaller, denser, LDL-C molecules and an increase in triglycerides. It is the insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity that is the metabolic syndrome of diabetes that causes elevated triglycerides. Insulin resistance in muscles converts carbohydrate energy into triglycerides that are generated in the liver. This tends to make VLDL-C, which means that the LDL is loaded down with triglycerides. It is in persons with greater than 100 mg/dl triglycerides that we see the smallest and densest VLDL-C particles forming. This in turn increases cardiovascular disease since these small particles of bad cholesterol are predominant in the bloodstream.

    Is it correct to focus on LDL-C lowering therapy for those with diabetes?

    Intensive therapy to lower LDL-C

    Higher insulin levels raise LDL-C levels, lower HDL-C levels, and raise triglyceride levels

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