My Doctor Told Me I Had A High Cholesterol Test But Instead Of Treating Me He Told Me To Wait A Few Months And Test It Again Why
Cholesterol levels fluctuate over time. A single measurement of cholesterol may not always reflect the “usualâ cholesterol level. For this reason, you may have at least two different measurements several weeks to several months apart before beginning any kind of treatment.
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Cholesterol Levels For Adults
- Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high.
- LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL. Levels of 100 to 129 mg/dL are acceptable for people with no health issues but may be of more concern for those with heart disease or heart disease risk factors. A reading of 130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high and 160 to 189 mg/dL is high. A reading of 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high.
- HDL levels should be kept higher. A reading of less than 40 mg/dL is considered a major risk factor for heart disease. A reading from 41 mg/dL to 59 mg/dL is considered borderline low. The optimal reading for HDL levels is of 60 mg/dL or higher.
How Is It Used
The test for total cholesterol is used alone or as part of a lipid profile to help predict an individual’s risk of developing heart disease and to help make decisions about what treatment may be needed if there is borderline or high risk. As part of a lipid profile , low-density lipoprotein cholesterol , and triglycerides), it may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment once it is initiated.
Because high blood cholesterol has been associated with hardening of the arteries , heart disease, and a raised risk of death from heart attacks, cholesterol testing is considered a routine part of preventive healthcare.
Results of the cholesterol test and other components of the lipid profile are used along with other known risk factors of heart disease to develop a plan of treatment and follow-up. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes such as diet or exercise programs or lipid-lowering drugs such as statins.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
Lifestyle factors include:
- an unhealthy diet– eating too much saturated fat is thought to increase levels of LDL or bad cholesterol
- lack of exercise – this can also increase your levels of LDL
- obesity – being overweight often means you also have higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and a lower level of the good HDL.
- drinking too much alcohol
- smoking – if you smoke, a chemical in cigarettes called acrolein stops the good HDL from moving fatty deposits to your liver
- kidney disease
- transient ischaemic attack – or a mini stroke
- peripheral arterial disease
Hdl Cholesterol: ‘good’ Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The higher the HDL, the better. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL and higher can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Conversely, HDL levels of 40 mg/dL and lower are considered a high risk-factor for developing heart disease.
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How Can I Keep My Cholesterol Healthy
Certain risk factors, like menopause or a family history of high cholesterol, are something you have no control over. So, your doctor will usually prescribe medications to assist you. The first step when it comes to cholesterol management is seeing and listening to your doctor.
But outside of that, you have control over your cholesterol levels. You absolutely should add foods that help increase your good HDL cholesterol, and limit foods that create more bad LDL cholesterol.6
How To Prepare For The Test
Theres not too much that goes into preparing for a cholesterol test. Whenever you go in for medical visit, its a good idea to come early and bring a list of any medications or supplements youre taking. Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing so that you dont put pressure on the site of collection when leaving. In addition, you may be asked to steer clear of any food or drink for 912 hours before the test.
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Your Test Results: A Preview
Your test results will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood . Your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke. Your doctor will also consider other risk factors, such as age, family history, smoking status, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Lipid profile or lipid panel is a blood test that will give you results for your HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total blood cholesterol.
How Is Cholesterol Measured
The primary way to measure your cholesterol levels is with a blood test from your arm, usually done in a laboratory. This test is frequently performed in adults, it takes only a few minutes, and it’s relatively painless.
Your doctor may ask you to fast if you are having a complete lipid profile that includes your LDL. If you are only having a total cholesterol test, you do not need to fast. If you are not sure if you should fast, call your doctor or the lab.
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What Complications Are Possible If You Dont Treat High Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood
The main reason to treat high cholesterol is to prevent or treat coronary heart disease , also called coronary artery disease or CAD. CHD happens when heart is not able to get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well and kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. CHD usually refers to the large arteries, but there is also a condition called coronary microvascular disease that affects the small vessels and causes damage.
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.
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What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the cells in your body. Cholesterol is found in some foods, like meat and dairy products. Your liver is responsible for making cholesterol. Your body needs it to function properly. There are two types of cholesterol high-density lipoprotein , or good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein , or bad cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.
The total cholesterol in your body is the amount of cholesterol in your blood. It consists of both LDL and HDL cholesterol. The good cholesterol, HDL, helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. The bad cholesterol, LDL, is the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in your arteries. Too much LDL can put you at risk for a stroke, heart attack, or other heart problems.
Cholesterol levels vary by age, weight, and gender. As you age, your body will produce more cholesterol. As an adult, you should check your cholesterol levels every four to six years to make sure youre in a healthy range.
I Have Very High Ldl Cholesterol What Should I Do Now
For LDL-cholesterol, the general principle is that the “lower is better.” According to the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association’s cholesterol management guidelines, individuals should have an LDL cholesterol under 100 mg/dL and under 70 mg/dL if they already have heart disease.
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When To Speak With A Doctor
There are few noticeable symptoms of high cholesterol. Emergency symptoms such as a stroke or heart attack may be the only indicator of damage from high cholesterol. This means that regular monitoring by a doctor is essential.
Most people should get their cholesterol checked with a blood test every 4 to 6 years. Your doctor may recommend more frequent screening if you live with any of the following:
- a history of heart conditions
- family history of high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
Surprising Ways To Boost Your Heart Health
So how can you help to raise your HDL levels naturally? Here are some easy, and more unusual, ways.
1. Eat More Good Fat / Less Lectin-Rich Grains
Avoid: Whole grain/ low-fat diets dont work, just look at the coach from the Biggest Loser or the President of the American Heart Association both had heart attacks and both follow whole grain/ low-fat diets.
Get More: Eat more fats like avocado and olive oil, and cut out healthy lectin-loaded grains that inflame the system like wheat, quinoa, and oats
2. Be Kind
Doing good for others be it writing your partner a sweet note or helping a neighbor with a project boosts your oxytocin levels and reduces cortisol . When cortisol is increased, our blood pressure and inflammation levels rise.
3. Focus On Good Levels, Not Bad
Instead of worrying about bad LDL cholesterol, focus on raising your HDLs through low weight/high rep weight training. And, by drinking a glass of RED wine or champagne once a day .
You can also cut out seeded veggies and fruits from your diet, which are full of lectins. They also raise your triglycerides and lower your HDL levels due to the high-sugar content, as studies by the American Heart Association have shown.
4. Floss More!
Flossing reduces heart plaque. You see, there are bacteria in your mouth that gets into your bloodstream and its one of the main causes of heart disease! All you have to do is floss every other day to see the benefits, as proven by Dr. Gundrys study.7
5. Get Stinky
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Why Age Is A Factor
The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will vary based on age and gender. As people get older, cholesterol levels rise naturally. For example, people who have gone through menopause may have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children’s cholesterol levels be checked between ages 9 and 11.
However, children with certain risk factors, such as those whose parents or grandparents have had heart attacks or been diagnosed with blocked arteries at age 55 or earlier in males or 65 or earlier in females, should be tested for cholesterol between ages 2 and 10.
What Does A Lipid Panel Measure
As stated, when you have a lipid panel, there are several notable measurements. The results of your lipid panel are an important component in allowing your doctor to assess your cardiovascular health and risk. Other factors that are taken into account when determining your risk include your blood pressure, weight, exercise levels, and the presence of medical conditions such as diabetes.
Each component of the results provides different pieces of information. Important measures are:
When you have a cholesterol test, doctors are most concerned with total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels.
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What Are Cholesterol Levels
- 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.
Eat Whole Grains Instead Of Processed Carbs
Include foods rich in fibre into your daily diet, like wholegrain oats or psyllium husk. These can help you feel fuller for longer, so they will curb cravings and prevent sugar spikes that lead to weight gain. Highly processed carbohydrates can be very harmful if they make up a large percentage of your diet. Carbs give you energy, but too much has been shown to increase cholesterol levels in the liver, making more by mistake
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What Levels Are Normal And When Are They Too High
“Its 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.” – Dr Zenon Andreou
“Its 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.”
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.
How To Lower Cholesterol: Low
Low-carbohydrate diets may help improve HDL cholesterol levels. The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found while both low-fat and low-carb dieters lost weight over the two-year study period, low-carb dieters also improved their HDL cholesterol levels. The problem with low-carb diets is that they may be difficult to adhere to. Consult your doctor about the best healthy eating plan to manage your cholesterol.
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What Affects Cholesterol Levels
There are a variety of factors that can affect cholesterol levels. Some risk factors are within your control, while others are not:
- Genetics: These factors include familial hypercholesterolemia and a family history of heart disease.
- Sex: Males often have higher levels of LDL. After menopause, a woman’s LDL levels can also increase.
- Weight: People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of having high cholesterol.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can increase the risk of overweight and obesity and, in turn, increase cholesterol levels.
- Diet: Overall diet quality can affect cholesterol in a negative way, including eating too many saturated and trans fats and not enough fiber.
- Age: Your body’s ability to clear cholesterol can be impacted as you age.
- Race and ethnicity: There are different rates of high cholesterol based on race/ethnicity and sex, with the highest rates among males in Hispanics and the highest rates among females in non-Hispanic Whites.
- Smoking: Smoking can increase your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol.
- Other medical conditions: Having a previous history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol.
What Is Ldl Hdl And Triglycerides
When you conduct a lipid profile, you will notice that there are four levels on the report. Each of these readings indicate a level of a different aspect of your blood cholesterol levels and gives your doctor an idea of your bodys fat metabolism.
In South Africa, blood cholesterol is measured in mmol/L millimole per litre. However some machines imported into the country may measure your cholesterol in mg/dL and the readings will differ between the two standards of measure.
Why Is Cholesterol Important To Our Bodies
Every cell in the body needs cholesterol, which helps the cell membranes form the layers. These layers protect the contents of the cell by acting as the gatekeeper to what things can enter or leave the cell. It is made by the liver and is also used by the liver to make bile, which helps you digest foods. Cholesterol is also needed to make certain hormones and to produce vitamin D. Your liver makes enough cholesterol to meet your bodys needs for these important functions.
Why The Test Is Performed
Triglycerides are usually measured together with other blood fats. Often it is done to help determine your risk of developing heart disease. A high triglyceride level may lead to atherosclerosis, which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
A very high triglyceride level may also cause swelling of your pancreas .
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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.