Lifestyle Tips To Cut Cholesterol
Changing some of your lifestyle habits may also help to reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Suggestions include:
- Cease alcohol consumption or reduce your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks a day. Avoid binge drinking. This may help lower your triglyceride levels.
- Dont smoke. Smoking increases the ability of LDL cholesterol to get into artery cells and cause damage.
- Exercise regularly . Exercise increases HDL levels while reducing LDL and triglyceride levels in the body.
- Lose any excess body fat. Being overweight may contribute to raised blood triglyceride and LDL levels.
- Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. High blood sugars are linked to an increased risk of atherosclerosis , heart attacks and strokes.
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.
When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- have a family history of early;cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
- are overweight
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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
How To Diagnose High Cholesterol
To measure your cholesterol levels, your doctor will use a simple blood test. Its known as a lipid panel. They can use it to assess your levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
To conduct this test, your doctor or other healthcare professional will take a sample of your blood. They will send this sample to a lab for analysis. When your test results become available, they will let you know if your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are too high.
To prepare for this test, your doctor may ask you to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 12 hours beforehand. Learn more about testing your cholesterol levels.
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What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol
There are two main categories of cholesterol in the blood:
When this happens in the coronary arteries , it reduces your hearts supply of oxygen-rich blood. This serious condition, called coronary artery disease, can cause heart attacks and even death.
Plaques can also form on the arteries that supply blood to your brain, abdomen, arms, and legs, leading to a higher risk of;stroke, intestinal damage, and peripheral arterial disease.
High-density lipoprotein :;HDL is the good kind of cholesterol, because it helps reduce LDL levels.
The role of HDL is to transport;LDL cholesterol to your liver, which removes it from your blood.
Are Home Cholesterol Testing Kits Accurate
The answer is yes if the tests are labeled CDC-certified. This means that the contents have been approved by the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network, a group that works with test makers, laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure tests are accurate.
For home tests, you will still need to fast for 12 hours and to obtain blood for testing. Some kits come with packages for mailing to a lab for results. Other kits have a monitor so you can get the results at home. The cost of such home kits vary.
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The Study That Backfired
Most of the drugs that doctors rely to prevent heart disease do not raise HDL cholesterol appreciably. That is why we suspect they have focused on lowering LDL cholesterol.
Then something strange happened. Along came a drug that does exactly that . Eli Lillys experimental drug evacetrapib was the star in a very large and expensive clinical trial called ACCELERATE. Hopes were high.
The drug;was shown to lower LDL cholesterol up to 40 percent and raise HDL cholesterol up to 129 percent. Those are spectacular results and no other medication has been able to accomplish such impressive changes;in lipid levels.;
Over 12,000 patients were enrolled in this clinical trial at 540 sites in 37 countries. Hundreds of millions of dollars were invested and the expectations were that the drug would revolutionize the treatment of heart disease.;Wall Street analysts anticipated that the drug would become a billion dollar blockbuster for Eli Lilly.
All that came to a screeching halt on October 15, 2015 when the clinical trial was stopped prematurely and the company abandoned further development of evacetrapib. Although the drug actually did what it was supposed to do in modifying blood lipids in all the right ways, it did not work to prevent heart attacks and strokes.;
Make The Changes Worth Making
If you have high blood cholesterol, making lifestyle changes is a great first step to lower your risk of heart disease. If those steps dont reduce your risk enough, your doctor may prescribe medications to help.
Remember: Making even modest changes now can help to prevent significant medical issues later. Do all you can to reduce your risk for the serious effects of heart attack and stroke.
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What Kind Of Test Measures Cholesterol
Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years. Your healthcare provider will order a blood test that will indicate how much cholesterol is carried in your bloodstream. This test will give your cholesterol levels. Your provider might also order what is called a lipid panel or a lipid profile. The panel gives you the following numbers:
- Total cholesterol.
- Non-HDL cholesterol.
- Ratio between cholesterol and HDL.
There are advanced tests that break down the size and shapes of LDL cholesterol levels, and also give the LDL particle number, but those are not normally ordered. Some test makers say that the more advanced tests are better at indicating who is at risk for heart disease, but most providers still feel that the usual tests are adequate.
Why High Cholesterol Matters
High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death in the U.S. High levels of LDL cholesterol can contribute to plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries, narrowing the arteries and restricting blood flow. If some of this plaque breaks off and gets stuck in a narrowed artery, it can block the artery and cut off blood supply to the heart or brain, resulting in heart attack or stroke.
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Eating A Lot Of Fatty Foods And Lack Of Exercise
Well admit, this sign seems pretty straightforward, but theres absolutely no denying that eating a lot of fatty foods greatly increases the cholesterol levels in your body. A lack of exercise allows cholesterol to build up in your body. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are also highly detrimental. In short, if youre living an unhealthy lifestyle, chances are youre also dealing with high cholesterol.
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.
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What Does High Cholesterol Do To The Body
Having high cholesterol can lead to stiffening and narrowing of the arteries. A buildup of plaque a combination of cholesterol, fats, your cells waste products, calcium, and fibrin , explains the American Heart Association can reduce or block blood flow through the arteries. Thats why cholesterol matters: Lack of sufficient blood flow to your brain or heart can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Triglycerides A Different Type Of Lipid
Triglycerides are another type of lipid. Theyre different from cholesterol. While your body uses cholesterol to build cells and certain hormones, it uses triglycerides as a source of energy.
When you eat more calories than your body can use right away, it converts those calories into triglycerides. It stores triglycerides in your fat cells. It also uses lipoproteins to circulate triglycerides through your bloodstream.
If you regularly eat more calories than your body can use, your triglyceride levels can get high. This may raise your risk of several health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
Your doctor can use a simple blood test to measure your triglyceride level, as well as your cholesterol levels. Learn how to get your triglyceride level tested.
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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.
Does Stress Cause High Cholesterol
While stress is not a primary cause of high cholesterol, it may still have an effect on cholesterol levels. A study published in May 2017 in the journal Medicine found that in people who experienced stress due to work or personal conflict, higher stress was a risk factor for high cholesterol. And when you are feeling stressed and pressed for time, you may be less likely to follow heart-healthy lifestyle measures, such as eating a nutritious diet and getting exercise. The 2017 study found that regular physical exercise had a strong protective effect against cholesterol.
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Raising Good Hdl Cholesterol:
At the same time cardiologists tell patients to lower LDL-C, they encourage them to raise good high-density lipoprotein cholesterol . This dates back a long way to the Framingham Heart Study.;
In 1948 Framingham, Massachusetts was the location for a huge study of heart disease. Over 5,000 residents were recruited and followed for decades. Researchers are now studying the fourth generation of these participants. Here is what they discovered about HDL cholesterol : ;
HDL-C modulates lipid metabolism and the process of atherosclerosis through a variety of pathways. These include reverse cholesterol transport, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. HDL-C has been found to be a more important risk predictor for CVD than LDL-C, total cholesterol, or triglycerides in the Framingham Heart Study.
Other research has also confirmed that higher levels of HDL cholesterol are linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease . HDL-C appears to have beneficial anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and vasodilating effects .;
The CDC describes the Yin-Yang of HDL and LDL cholesterol this way:
- LDL , sometimes called bad;cholesterol, makes up most of your bodys cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- HDL ,or good;cholesterol, absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Heredity Can Play A Role
Some people inherit genes from their mother, father or even grandparents that cause them to have too much cholesterol. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia;. The severity of FH is related to the duration and degree of LDL cholesterol in the blood. FH is dangerous because it can cause premature atherosclerotic heart disease.
If you have a family history of FH or problems related to high cholesterol, get your levels checked.
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What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level; less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels; less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels; 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides; less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
Heart Uk Recommendations For People With High Levels Of Hdl
If you have a family history of early heart disease
Ideally your doctor should contact a lipid specialist for advice if:
- your HDL cholesterol level is higher than average with no obvious cause
- and other people in your family, such as a parent or sibling, have heart disease and were diagnosed below the age of 60.
If your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are high
If your total cholesterol is over 7.5mmol, with HDL over 2.5mmol, then your doctor should base their treatment decision mainly on your LDL cholesterol .
Raised LDL cholesterol puts your heart health at risk so it needs to be brought under control.
Note that the TC/HDL ratio may be misleading if your HDL is high.
Look after your overall health
If you have high cholesterol, its important to lower your risk of heart disease overall. Try to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle and manage any other health problems you have that can lead to heart disease. For example:
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Can You Get Rid Of Cholesterol Deposits
Researchers are working on ways to eliminate plaque from coronary arteries. One method that has been proposed involves using combinations of medicines in healthy people aged 25 to 55 years. It is suggested that getting the levels of cholesterol down very low will allow arteries to clear up and heal up.
Several researchers believe that the way to reverse heart disease, and to prevent it in the first place, is found in a whole food, plant-based diet. Studies have been done that have shown that limiting nutrition to whole foods that are plant-based have been successful in reducing blood cholesterol and even, in some cases, lessening plaque buildup.
Dangers Of Statin Drugs: What You Havent Been Told About Popular Cholesterol
Hypercholesterolemia is the health issue of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease, a problem that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol exhibits no outward signsunlike other conditions of the blood, such as diabetes or anemia, diseases that manifest telltale symptoms like thirst or weaknesshypercholesterolemia requires the services of a physician to detect its presence. Many people who feel perfectly healthy suffer from high cholesterolin fact, feeling good is actually a symptom of high cholesterol!
Doctors who treat this new disease must first convince their patients that they are sick and need to take one or more expensive drugs for the rest of their lives, drugs that require regular checkups and blood tests. But such doctors do not work in a vacuumtheir efforts to convert healthy people into patients are bolstered by the full weight of the US government, the media and the medical establishment, agencies that have worked in concert to disseminate the cholesterol dogma and convince the population that high cholesterol is the forerunner of heart disease and possibly other diseases as well.
The drugs that doctors use to treat the new disease are called statinssold under a variety of names including Lipitor , Zocor , Mevacor and Pravachol .
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How To Lower Cholesterol: Know Your Fats
The American Heart Association recommends that just 25% to 35% of your daily calories come from fats such as those found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. For healthy people, saturated fat should comprise no more than 7% of your total calories. On a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, that’s about 140 calories worth of saturated fat. If you need to lower your LDL cholesterol, limit saturated fat to 5% to 6% of calories, or about 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet. Reduce trans fats to less than 1% of your total daily calories. This means avoiding fried foods and many junk foods.