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.
Interpreting Your Cholesterol Numbers
Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood in the United States and some other countries. Canada and most European countries measure cholesterol in millimoles per liter of blood. Consider these general guidelines when you get your cholesterol test results to see if your cholesterol falls in an ideal range.
|Total cholesterol||Total cholesterol*|
|Below 200 mg/dL|
|Below 70 mg/dL||Ideal for people at very high risk of heart disease|
|Below 100 mg/dL||Ideal for people at risk of heart disease|
|Below 40 mg/dL|
|Below 150 mg/dL|
|Above 5.6 mmol/L and above||Very high|
*Canadian and European guidelines differ slightly from U.S. guidelines. These conversions are based on U.S. guidelines.
The American Heart Association recommends that a triglyceride level of 100 mg/dL or lower is considered optimal. The AHA says this optimal level would improve your heart health. However, the AHA doesnt recommend drug treatment to reach this level. Instead, for those trying to lower their triglycerides to this level, lifestyle changes such as diet, weight loss and physical activity are encouraged. Elevated triglycerides usually respond well to dietary and lifestyle changes.
How Much Do Cholesterol Home Tests Cost
Costs are variable and reliable tests can run from $50 to over $150 per kit. If you have insurance, it may be better to have your cholesterol test done at a lab. This will allow your doctor to make recommendations based on a full lipid profile, and in most cases, the costs are covered by your insurance.
You can search on a full list of over-the-counter FDA-approved home cholesterol testing kits here.
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Testing Your Blood Cholesterol
Your serum cholesterol is measured with a simple blood test. A doctor draws blood from your arm enough to fill one or more little vials. The blood samples are sent to a lab for analysis. Before your blood draw youll need to fast for at least eight hours.
A healthy adult should have a blood test that includes a serum cholesterol check every four to six years. As you get older, your doctor may advise you to have your cholesterol, and other markers of health like your blood pressure, checked every year. This is especially true if you have risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These factors include:
- family history of heart disease
If you start a new medication or change medications meant to manage your cholesterol, youll probably have more frequent cholesterol checks. Serum cholesterol tests can show whether the medication is working.
It usually takes several days or even a few weeks to get your blood test results back. Your lab report will show your serum cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter . Your serum cholesterol includes:
- 20 percent of your triglyceride level
The lower the LDL level and the higher the HDL level, the better. LDL is the type of cholesterol that forms waxy plaque on the inside wall of an artery. Too much plaque can limit blood flow through that artery.
Heres what you should look for in your results:
|healthy serum cholesterol|
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How Is An Hdl Cholesterol Test Different From A Lipid Panel
A lipid panel always includes a measurement of HDL cholesterol, but HDL cholesterol levels can be tested without doing a full lipid panel.
A standard lipid panel measures total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. It then uses those measurements to calculate the amount of LDL cholesterol.
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How It Is Done
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
How Does This Ldl Calculator Work
This health tool computes the LDL cholesterol value from the total cholesterol, HDL, triglyceride levels according to the two formulas used in these cases: the Friedewald and Iranian study . The second formula is often recommended when the triglyceride levels are lower than average, as in the case of those with a low carbohydrate diet.
For your convenience, the LDL calculator allows you to enter the three values in either mg/dL or mmol/L . You will be given the two results in the corresponding measurement unit so that you can further on interpret the results easily.
In case of the 1st tab LDL in mg/dL these are the equations used:
The Friedewald formula: LDL = TC HDL TG / 5.0
The Iranian study formula: LDL = TC / 1.19 + TG / 1.9 HDL / 1.1 38
In case of the 2nd tab LDL in mmol/L these are the formulas behind the algorithm:
The Friedewald equation: LDL = TC HDL TG / 2.17
The Iranian study method: LDL = TC / 1.19 + TG / 0.81 HDL / 1.1 0.98
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What Kind Of Test Measures Cholesterol
Your provider checks your cholesterol levels through a blood test called a lipid panel . Your provider will draw blood from a vein in your arm and send the blood to a lab for analysis. Be sure to closely follow your providers instructions on how to prepare for the test. Youll likely need to fast for 12 hours beforehand. This means avoiding all foods and drinks except water.
When your results come in, your provider will let you know. You may also be able to access your results through your electronic medical record.
Your lipid panel gives you the following numbers:
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
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.
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What Happens When Your Hdl Is Below 40
According to the National Cholesterol Education Program, HDL levels below 40 milligrams per deciliter increase your risk of developing heart disease. Estrogen tends to boost HDL levels, so young women often have higher HDL levels than men.
Is 110 cholesterol level good or bad?
Hdl cholesterol. Hdl cholesterol of 110 mg/dl is great! you should make sure it is not a lab error or if it is a different measurement than mg/dl, let us know. Generally great. But there are certain instances where really high HDL is associated with atherosclerosis .
What Should Your Results Include
As a minimum, you should be given your total cholesterol and HDL , then you can work out your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol .
You might also have your triglycerides tested, these are another type of blood fat which are linked to heart disease.
This is sometimes written as ‘serum cholesterol’ or ‘TC’ and refers to your overall level of cholesterol.
Your non-HDL cholesterol is your total cholesterol minus your HDL cholesterol. Its all the ‘bad’ cholesterol added together, including your LDL cholesterol. Ideally it should be as low as possible.
Your HDL cholesterol helps clear the cholesterol out of your arteries, while your LDL cholesterol can clog them up. Your HDL cholesterol should ideally be high, around 1.4mmol/L, but our specialists believe that HDL levels higher than this might not give you any extra benefit.
You might be given a TC:HDL ratio, which is the ratio of HDL compared to the total cholesterol. If not, you can work it out from your HDL and total cholesterol numbers. This should be as low as possible. Above 6 is considered high.
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What Are The Cholesterol Targets
Your doctor will decide your target levels based on your risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Following are average targets. Note that your doctor will decide what is best for you.
Ideal LDL cholesterol level: Less than 3.0 mmol/L
Ideal HDL: Above 1.0 mmol/L
If you are at low risk: LDL cholesterol should be less than 5.0 mmol/L and total cholesterol HDL-C ratio should be less than 6.0
If you are moderate risk: Your LDL cholesterol should be less than 3.5 mmol/ and total cholesterol HDL-C ratio should be less than 5
If you are high risk: Your LDL cholesterol should be less than 2.0 mmol/L and total cholesterol HDL-C ratio should be less than 4.0. An HDL cholesterol level of less than 1.0 mmol/L means youre at higher risk for heart disease.
If you have diabetes: LDL should be less than 2.0 mmol/L.
If you have had a heart attack: Your LDL should be less than 2.0 mmol/L.
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Normal Levels Of Cholesterol In Women
The amount of cholesterol is measured in mmol per liter or mg/DL. The average rate of women in mmol per liter and 5.2, and the rate of 6.2 corresponds to the permitted maximum. During the life of a normal cholesterol level in women is increasing. Normal high levels of cholesterol are also observed in pregnant women. Valid if by the end of the period of gestation the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the mother grows by almost 2 times.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol
There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:
- Heart-healthy lifestyle changes, which include:
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH Eating Plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
- Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol medicines available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you should continue with the lifestyle changes.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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.
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Dietary Tips To Avoid Cholesterol
The most important thing you can do to reduce your cholesterol level is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should try to:
- Increase the amount and variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods you have each day.
- Choose low or reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products or have added calcium soy drinks.
- Choose lean meat .
- Limit fatty meats, including sausages and salami, and choose leaner sandwich meats like turkey breast or cooked lean chicken.
- Have fish at least twice a week.
- Replace butter and dairy blends with polyunsaturated margarines.
- Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fibre and healthy fats, such as nuts, legumes and seeds.
- Limit cheese and ice cream to twice a week.
Other storage fats that are transported in blood lipoproteins include triglycerides. When present in high concentrations in the blood, this fat is also a risk for heart attack. Some foods will affect the cholesterol level or the triglyceride level and some will affect both.
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.
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What Levels Are Normal And When Are They Too High
âIts normal for cholesterol levels to rise slightly as you get older and women tend to have higher HDL than men. In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.ââDr Zenon Andreou
âIts normal for cholesterol levels to rise slightly as you get older and women tend to have higher HDL than men. In the UK, the average total cholesterol level is 5.7mmol/l.â
There are two main types of lipoprotein:
- High-density good lipoprotein this type carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down or passed away as a waste product.
- Low-density bad lipoprotein takes cholesterol to the cells where its needed. If there is more LDL than needed, it can build up in the artery walls.
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Further Information And Support
For assessment and treatment of high cholesterol levels see a doctor. For ideas about how to lower high cholesterol levels a doctor or dietitian can assist.
Our Heart disease diet and Heart disease exercise pages provide practical ideas and ways to get started with healthier lifestyles in general, including cholesterol reduction.
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Why It Is Done
Cholesterol and triglyceride testing is done:
- As part of a routine physical examination to screen for a lipid disorder.
- To check your response to medicines used to treat lipid disorders.
- To help determine your chances of having of heart disease, especially if you have other risk factors for heart disease or symptoms that suggest heart disease is present.
- If you have unusual symptoms, such as yellow fatty deposits in the skin , which may be caused by a rare genetic disease that causes very high cholesterol levels.
When Should I Get A Cholesterol Test
The experts differ somewhat in their recommendations for cholesterol testing. Check with your doctor for your specific recommendation.
- The American Heart Association recommends testing cholesterol levels in adults 20 years or older every four to six years. After age 40, your doctor may also use an equation to determine your risk for heart attack or stroke.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends periodic lipid screening in adults 40 to 75 years to determine lipid levels and a calculation of 10-year CVD event risk .
- The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults 20 years and older have a cholesterol test every five years.
People at high risk or with current heart disease, who have a family history of heart disease, or who are taking medications to lower cholesterol should be checked more often.
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