Why Is High Cholesterol A Problem
Too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can harden arteries and promote fatty deposits within these arteries, potentially leading to dangerous blockages and narrowing over time called atherosclerosis.
If the blood vessels leading to your heart become too clogged, blood supply to your heart is reduced, which can lead to symptoms such as angina . If the artery becomes completely blocked, it can lead to a heart attack and stroke, which can be life threatening.
In 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported 43, 477 deaths in Australia from heart disease. This is approximately 30 per cent of all deaths in Australia, and most deaths are occurring in those aged 65 years and over.
However, heart disease takes years to develop, so you can take steps to reduce your risk.If you discover you have high cholesterol, have family members with high cholesterol, or are not sure if youre at risk, it is advisable you seek your doctors advice.
Other risk factors for heart disease include increased age, ethnicity, family history, inactivity, smoking, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity.If these risk factors are present in your life, its even more important to keep your blood cholesterol levels in check and seek your doctors advice.
can help you begin to assess your risk, but we strongly advise you discuss your risk with your GP as this tool does have limitations it doesnt take your family history into account, for example.
How To Reduce Cholesterol Levels For Seniors
While diet and exercise play an important role in maintaining good heart health, so too does managing your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a waxy substance created by our livers and present in some of the foods we eat. Your body needs some cholesterol to function properly. But high levels of cholesterol increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. High cholesterol is even linked to Alzheimers disease.
There are two types of cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is known as good cholesterol because it plays an important role in cell creation, digestion and hormone production. It also helps remove bad cholesterol from the body. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is known as bad cholesterol because it can cause plaque buildup in the arteries. That buildup forces the heart to work harder as it pumps blood throughout the body, which can lead to heart disease.
High Ldl Cholesterol Diagnosis
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.
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.
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How To Lower Cholesterol
The most important thing is to work with your doctor to find out whats causing your high cholesterol and to treat any underlying conditions.
If your cholesterol levels are high and you are at increased risk of heart disease, your doctor may prescribe drugs such as statins. Statins decrease the amount of cholesterol the liver makes, increase LDL uptake in the liver, and raise HDL cholesterol .
Discuss the additional lifestyle changes below with your doctor. None of these strategies should ever be done in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes!
How Do You Know If You Have High Cholesterol
High cholesterol typically produces no signs or symptoms itself, so many people have no idea their cholesterol is too high. Your doctor can order a simple blood test, known as a lipid panel or lipid profile, to measure four main types of fats in your blood. The test calculates total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides, which are another type of fat that circulates in your blood and can contribute to the thickening of artery walls.
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Understanding Good Vs Bad Cholesterol
Too much bad cholesterol can clog the arteries, which leads to a variety of cardiac issues, including stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and heart failure. However, the body also contains good, or HDL, cholesterol. High HDL levels can prevent these issues from occurring.
The liver produces around 75 percent of all cholesterol found in the body. The other 25 percent comes from food. After having their cholesterol tested, seniors should be given a number between 190 and 260. Healthy seniors should keep their total cholesterol below 200 and their LDL cholesterol around 100. If your elderly loved ones LDL cholesterol level is above 160, he or she must start making sweeping lifestyle changes.
Elevated cholesterol levels have been linked to a variety of health conditions, including an increased risk of Alzheimers. If your senior loved one has Alzheimers and needs help managing daily tasks, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimers care. Oakville Home Care Assistance provides reliable caregivers around the clock to help your loved one age in place safely and comfortably while living with Alzheimers disease.
What Should You Know About Cholesterol Levels
Do conversations about cholesterol often overwhelm you? Do you feel like you dont know enough about this condition to understand why people work towards maintaining their cholesterol levels? Cholesterol is always present in our body in varying amounts and types. Its levels vary according to age, gender and weight, and it is measured in three categories, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol and total cholesterol.
According to health care experts, with age, a persons body tends to produce more cholesterol. This means that all adults should get their cholesterol levels checked from time to time to ensure that they have normal cholesterol levels.
Most people who struggle with cholesterol face difficulty in maintaining a balance between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol . Ideally, the total and LDL levels should be low in the body and the HDL levels should be in a healthy range to help prevent heart attacks and strokes.
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How To Lower Your Cholesterol
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CHOLESTEROL IS A SOFT, waxy substance made in the liver that is essential to the body, but if too much circulates in the blood it can build up as plaque on artery walls, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The cholesterol count for the average American is 215 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood serum, down from about 240 milligrams two decades ago, but still too high. According to health experts, serum cholesterol levels should be below 200 milligrams 150 is considered ideal. A count between 200 and 239 is borderline-high anything over 240 puts a person at high risk for heart disease. With every 1 percent rise in cholesterol, the chance of heart attack increases by 2 percent. Other factors compound the risk, so that someone with even a borderline-high reading should take steps to reduce his or her cholesterol. These factors include high blood pressure, obesity, cigarette smoking, diabetes and a family history of heart disease. In general, men have a higher risk of heart disease than women.
High levels of HDL are preferable readings below 35 indicate increased risk for heart disease. The ratio of HDL-cholesterol to total cholesterol is independently significant: the higher the ratio, the better.
How Often Should You Get Your Cholesterol Checked
The AHA recommends that everyone age 20 or older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. After age 40, your doctor should assess your risk and determine how often you need to be tested. The U.S. National Library of Medicine says men over 45 and women over 55 should be tested every one to two years.
Be sure to speak with your doctor about testing your cholesterol. High cholesterol is often caused by poor lifestyle choices, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your doctor will look at all your risk factors and determine how closely your cholesterol needs to be monitored.
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Whats Your Cholesterol Level Anyway
A standard lipid blood test usually measures the concentration of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. The LDL-cholesterol level is typically estimated from these numbers using a well-established formula that has been more recently revised and improved by researchers at Johns Hopkins.
So what are your target numbers? According to Michos, an ideal LDL cholesterol level should be less than 70 mg/dl, and a womans HDL cholesterol level ideally should be close to 50 mg/dl. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl. As Michos notes, total cholesterol levels well below 200 mg/dl are best.
What Is Cholesterol Ratio And What Should Yours Be
To find your cholesterol ratio, you divide your total cholesterol number by your HDL, or good, cholesterol number. For example, if your total cholesterol number is 200 and your good cholesterol is 50, your total cholesterol ratio is 4:1.
Cholesterol ratio may be used as a monitoring tool by some health care specialists. However, the AHA suggests that doctors use LDLcholesterol with patients rather than cholesterol ratio. That’s because the total cholesterol number is considered a better tool for guiding the doctor in planning the best patient care and helping patients understand their health risks. Discuss with your doctor what the best numbers to monitor for you are.
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What Do I Need To Know Before Getting Screened
A cholesterol test is a simple blood test. Your doctor may tell you not to eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before the test. The results give you four measurements:1,3
- Total cholesterol. Less than 200 mg/dL is considered normal.
- LDL cholesterol. Less than 100 mg/dL is considered normal. LDL is sometimes called bad cholesterol, because it can build up and clog your arteries, eventually leading to heart disease or stroke.
- HDL cholesterol. It is best to have more than 40 mg/dL. HDL is sometimes called good cholesterol, because it can help clear arteries of cholesterol buildup.
- Triglycerides. This is a type of fat in the blood. Normal levels are typically below 150 mg/dL.
Why Do We Need Cholesterol
Cholesterol is important for everyone. Your body needs it to perform essential duties like making hormones, producing vitamin D, and building cells. It is also made and used by the liver to make bile which helps your body digest food.
Cleveland Clinic explains that your liver makes enough cholesterol to meet your bodys needs. While cholesterol is essential, having too much can cause problems. High levels of cholesterol can lead to a condition called hypercholesterolemia and having levels too low can lead to a condition called hypocholesterolemia. Cholesterol levels that are too low are uncommon but it can happen.
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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.
What Does High Cholesterol Do To The Body
Excess cholesterol in your body can build up as unwanted plaque along the inner walls of your arteries, narrowing the arteries and restricting blood flow. Plaque accumulating in the coronary arteries may not allow enough blood to reach your heart, which can cause heart disease. If arterial plaque breaks loose or ruptures, a blood clot may form and travel into your bloodstream. The blood clot can hamper blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack. A blood clot can also block an artery to the brain and cause a stroke. In the United States, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death. People with high cholesterol nearly double their risk of getting heart disease. The CDC finds that less than half of U.S. adults with high LDL cholesterol levels seek treatment.
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Do You Need To Lower Your Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Your doctor should look at your results in relation to any other risk factors for heart disease you may have such as high blood pressure, being overweight or smoking, as well as other health conditions such as diabetes.
How Fat Moves From Food To The Bloodstream
Fat and cholesterol cant dissolve in water or blood. Instead, the body packages fat and cholesterol into tiny, protein-covered particles called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins can transport a lot of fat they mix easily with blood and flow with it. Some of these particles are big and fluffy, while others are small and dense. The most important ones are low-density lipoproteins , high-density lipoproteins , and triglycerides.
- Low Density lipoproteins
Low-density lipoproteins carry cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. Cells latch onto these particles and extract fat and cholesterol from them. When there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, these particles can form deposits in the walls of the coronary arteries and other arteries throughout the body. Such deposits, called plaque, can narrow arteries and limit blood flow. When plaque breaks apart, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad, or harmful, cholesterol.
- High-density lipoproteins
High-density lipoproteins scavenge cholesterol from the bloodstream, from LDL, and from artery walls and ferry it back to the liver for disposal. Think of HDL as the garbage trucks of the bloodstream. HDL cholesterol is often referred to as good, or protective, cholesterol.
In general, the lower your LDL and the higher your HDL, the better your chances of preventing heart disease and other chronic conditions.
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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:
How Do You Prepare For A Cholesterol Test
In most cases, youll need to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you tell the person drawing your blood how long it has been since you ate or drank anything that wasnt water.
There are some cases when a cholesterol test is done without fasting. This is true for tests done at health screenings and may be true for people younger than 20 or for people who are unable to fast.
Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of lipid levels in the blood, while other associations stand by the belief that fasting gives a better idea of a persons heart disease risk. You should be clear on whether or not you need to fast, and for how long, before you go for the blood test.
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Why Is It Essential For Seniors To Have Healthy Cholesterol Levels
By Angie Kunnath 9 am on September 18, 2020
With age, the level of cholesterol, a fat-like substance present in the blood, naturally tends to rise. Because there are substantial risks associated with high cholesterol, seniors must be especially careful to maintain good cholesterol levels. Its important to understand the dangers of high cholesterol and lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in the lives of seniors.
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.
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