What Is The Most Important Cholesterol Number
When we measure cholesterol and blood fats, were really talking about three different numbers: HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. They combine to give you a lipid profile score, but the three individual scores are most important. Here are the numbers to strive for: Total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or lower.
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Dangers Of High Ldl Cholesterol
When LDL levels are high, a range of conditions can arise, some of which are very dangerous. Most notable of these are:
- CAD: Leading to chest pains , shortness of breath, heart palpitations, elevated heart rate, dizziness and nausea, sweating, and muscular weakness. This can lead to heart attack, among other severe and potentially fatal complications.
- Carotid artery disease: The carotid arteries are important arteries on each side of the neck. If atherosclerosis blocks these, stroke can arise.
- PAD: Partial or complete blockage of arteries outside of the heart, especially in the lower limbs, can lead to swelling, muscular weakness, inflammation, and pain, especially when active.
- Heart attack: Occlusion of the cardiac arteries leads to muscles in the heart not getting the oxygen they need. This condition, characterized by angina, breathing difficulties, among other symptoms, leads to cell death in this organ and is a medical emergency.
- Stroke: Another common complication of high LDL and its associated conditions is stroke, an attack due to the rapid death of brain cells. As with other issues, this occurs due to clotting in arteries of the brain.
- Cardiac arrest: In very rare cases, high LDL, especially if it leads to CAD, can cause your heart to suddenly stop. This is fatal if not treated immediately.
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What Treatments Are Available For High Cholesterol
Treatment may include:
Addressing risk factors. Some risk factors that can be changed include lack of exercise and poor eating habits.
Cholesterol-lowering medicines. Medicines are used to lower fats in the blood, particularly LDL cholesterol. Statins are a group of medicines that can do this. The two most effective types are atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Other medicines that lower cholesterol levels are ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors.
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What Does Hdl Cholesterol Do
HDL clears from the body via the liver. HDL may therefore prevent the buildup of plaque, protect your arteries, and protect you from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. It is considered the good cholesterol, and higher levels are better. A good goal to aim for is higher than 55 mg/dL for women and 45 mg/dL for men. The higher your HDL cholesterol numbers, the lower your risk is for heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke.
What Exactly Is Sex
DSD is used to describe chromosomes, anatomy, or sex characteristics that cant be categorized as exclusively male or female.
As with names and pronouns, its important to refer to people in the manner that they prefer. Some people are comfortable with the term intersex and use it to describe themselves. Others have moved away from using this term and refer to their condition as a DSD.
With some research reporting that as many as are acknowledging that sex may be far more complex than what the traditional male-female binary accounts for.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
If testing shows you have high cholesterol, you may want to ask your doctor these questions at your next visit.
1. What are the dangers of having high cholesterol? Can other problems develop?
2. What could have caused my cholesterol to be too high? Is it inherited?
3. Are there things I can do at home or in my life to reduce my cholesterol?
4. Is medicine necessary? Are there alternative treatments?
5. If medicine is needed, how does the medicine work?
6. How long can I take medicine? What are the side effects? Is long-term use harmful?
7. How can exercise help to lower my cholesterol?
8. Where can I learn more about how to live with high cholesterol?
9. What changes should I make to the way I eat?
10. How often do I need to get my cholesterol level checked?
Why Is It Good
HDL cholesterol is known as good cholesterol because of the functions it performs in the body. By circulating in the bloodstream, it helps remove other forms of cholesterol by absorbing it and carrying it to the liver. The liver can then reprocess the cholesterol for use or send it out of the body as waste.
This process helps keep extra cholesterol from attaching to the lining of the arteries and becoming plaque. Plaque is a mixture of cholesterol and other fatty substances that attaches to the walls of the arteries. Over time, this can build up and cause the opening of the arteries to become narrower a condition called atherosclerosis.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes that atherosclerosis is a risk factor for serious complications. Narrow arteries may lead to risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure. Additionally, narrow arteries may be more susceptible to blood clots, which can put a person at risk of severe events such as heart attack or stroke.
The combination of keeping total cholesterol down while keeping HDL cholesterol high may help reduce this risk and prevent cardiovascular disease.
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How Do You Measure Ldl
LDL is typically measured by a blood test, also called a lipid profile or lipid panel, ordered by your doctor. To get an accurate reading, you’re typically asked to fast for at least 8 to 10 hours prior to the test.
You can also measure LDL levels at home with a digital cholesterol meter. To use one, you typically prick a finger with a lancet or fingerstick, add a drop of blood to a test strip, and insert the strip into the meter. While convenient, the reliability of readings from at-home cholesterol meters is debated.
What Are Ldl And Hdl
LDL and HDL are two types of lipoproteins. They are a combination of fat and protein. The lipids need to be attached to the proteins so they can move through the blood. LDL and HDL have different purposes:
- LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
- HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body.
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Lack Of Physical Activity
Low physical activity can also drive LDL higher. Even modest increases in exercise can help a great deal.
Your healthcare provider may suggest up to 90 minutes of physical activity a day, but even 30 to 45 minutes on a regular basis can be helpful.
At a bare minimum, most guidelines recommend that adults get 2.5 hours of moderate exercise every week. This can include:
Among the many negative health effects of smoking/using tobacco are:
- Lower HDL levels
Quitting this habit, or not starting, goes a long way in managing cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease and cancers.
Second-hand smokeinhaling someone else’s tobacco smokeis linked with many of the same health problems. If youre a smoker, smoke outside and away from nonsmokers. If youre not a smoker, try to avoid second-hand smoke.
Also, because of its many effects on the body, excessive alcohol consumption and alcoholism are linked with higher cholesterol levels. Limiting your drinking or stopping altogether can help you manage your levels.
Why Would My Cholesterol Go Up Suddenly
your cholesterolhighcholesterolincrease your cholesterol
In this manner, what are the symptoms of high cholesterol in the body?
Ask about being tested for high cholesterol. You develop symptoms of heart disease, stroke, or atherosclerosis in other blood vessels, such as left-sided chest pain, pressure, or fullness dizziness unsteady gait slurred speech or pain in the lower legs.
Beside above, how quickly does cholesterol levels change? For most people, levels drop dramatically within three weeks. Whats heartening to know is that many people do not need to rely on prescription drugs and their possible side effects to reduce their cholesterol.
Similarly, it is asked, what can cause high cholesterol besides diet?
These are six factors besides food that can increase your risk of high cholesterol.
- Obesity. When you hear the word obese, you probably think of an extremely large person.
- Lack of exercise.
Why is my LDL suddenly high?
Health Problems That Raise Cholesterol Levels. While genes or an unhealthy diet are often the causes of high cholesterol, many health conditions can also be culprits. Many people have high cholesterol because of physical inactivity or a diet too high in saturated fats, or because it runs in the family.
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What Is A Good Ldl To Hdl Ratio
In general, the higher your HDL, and the lower LDL, the better off you are. Optimal cholesterol levels are determined by looking at the ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol. This is calculated by dividing total cholesterol score by your HDL result, so if your total score is 150, and your HDL is at 50, youd score a 3:1.
Generally speaking, the higher this number, the higher the risk of heart problems. Doctors want to see a ratio below 5:1, with those below 3.5:1 considered ideal. Since lowering LDL causes total cholesterol numbers to drop, it promotes a better cholesterol ratio.
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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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What Are Good And Bad Cholesterol
Rather than two different kinds of cholesterol that are good and bad, there are two different types of lipoproteins that cholesterol travels in. Having some of both types of lipoproteins is essential for good health.
High-density lipoproteins, called HDL cholesterol, are often thought of as good because they remove cholesterol from your arteries and take it back to your liver to process and eliminate.
Low-density lipoproteins, called LDL cholesterol, are thought of as the bad cholesterol, because they leave cholesterol in your arteries. While you need some LDL and HDL cholesterol for your body to work properly, too much cholesterol in total can lead to health problems, as the extra LDL cholesterol builds up in your arteries.
What Does The Term Total Cholesterol Mean
The term total cholesterol refers to the total amount of the different kinds of cholesterol in your blood. One kind of cholesterol is the LDL cholesterol. Another kind is the HDL cholesterol. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. LDL is the bad cholesterol. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. HDL is the good cholesterol.
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Why Is Ldl Considered A Bad Cholesterol Type
“Bad” Cholesterol LDL has historically been termed “bad” because it has the ability to collect as plaque in your arteries and eventually obstruct them. However, this term should be used with caution, since not all forms of LDL are equal. In fact, there are three different types of LDL: good, bad, and more bad.
Good LDL helps transport oxygen around your body and removes toxins. It also plays a role in immune function by helping fight off infections. Bad LDL collects in areas of the heart called coronary arteries so they can carry oxygenated blood to other parts of the heart. Too much bad LDL can lead to heart disease.
More bad LDL is found in people who have high levels of triglycerides. Triglycerides are a form of fat that gets stored in cells instead of being released into the bloodstream. When you have high levels of triglycerides, your liver produces more bad LDL in order to remove excess triglycerides from your body. High levels of bad LDL can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Finally, very low density lipoprotein is another name for triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. As its name suggests, VLDLs are very dense – about 1,000 times heavier than water.
Cholesterol Myths And Facts
Cholesterol can be confusing! Learn answers to common questions about blood cholesterol.
What do your cholesterol numbers mean? Can the foods you eat change your cholesterol levels?
Learn the difference between cholesterol myth and fact. Then commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
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Hdl Vs Ldl Cholesterol
There are two main types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein . Lipoproteins are made of fat and proteins. Cholesterol moves through your body while inside lipoproteins.
HDL is known as good cholesterol because it transports cholesterol to your liver to be released from your body. HDL helps rid your body of excess cholesterol so its less likely to end up in your arteries.
LDL is called bad cholesterol because it takes cholesterol to your arteries, where it can collect in your artery walls. Too much cholesterol in your arteries may lead to a buildup of plaque known as atherosclerosis. This can increase the risk of blood clots in your arteries.
Plaque buildup may also reduce blood flow and oxygen to major organs. Oxygen deprivation to your organs or arteries may lead to kidney disease or peripheral arterial disease, in addition to a heart attack or stroke.
nearly 12 percent of people in the United States have high cholesterol. You may not even know it because high cholesterol doesnt cause noticeable symptoms.
The only way to find out if your cholesterol is high is through a blood test that measures cholesterol in milligrams per deciliter of blood . When you get your cholesterol numbers checked, youll receive results for:
- overeating fatty foods
- increased smoking
Your Cholesterol Test Results
Once you’ve had your test, what do the numbers mean?
For total cholesterol:
- 200 milligrams per deciliter or less is normal.
- 201 to 240 mg/dL is borderline.
- More than 240 mg/dL is high.
For HDL , more is better:
- 60 mg/dL or higher is good — it protects against heart disease.
- 40 to 59 mg/dL is OK.
- Less than 40 mg/dL is low, raising your chance of heart disease.
For LDL , lower is better:
- Less than 100 mg/dL is ideal.
- 100 to 129 mg/dL can be good, depending on your health.
- 130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high.
- 160 to 189 mg/dL is high.
- 190 mg/dL or more is very high.
For triglycerides, lower is better:
- 150 mg/dL or less may be the goal your doctor recommends, though the American Heart Association suggests that a lower level is best for health.
- 151 to 200 mg/dL means youâre on your way to a higher risk for heart disease.
- More than 200 mg/dL means you have a higher risk of heart disease.
Your doctor will consider your overall likelihood of heart disease to set your personal LDL goal. For people who are at higher risk of heart disease or who already have it, your LDL should be less than 100 mg/dL.
If you have a moderately high chance of heart disease, an LDL less than 130 mg/dL is your target. If your risk of heart problems is fairly low, less than 160 mg/dL is probably fine.
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Low Cholesterol And Preterm Birth Or A Baby With Low Weight
In a study, published in the October 2007 issue of the journal Pediatrics, nearly 13% of the women with very low cholesterol gave birth prematurely.
The researchers also found that white women were more at risk and that almost 21% of white women with the very low cholesterol levels had preterm deliveries.
On an average, the preterm babies of mothers with low cholesterol weighed five ounces less than babies delivered full term to mothers with moderate cholesterol.
Why Treat High Ldl
As you and your doctor may have discussed, LDL cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol. The reason LDL is called bad cholesterol is because it can build up in the walls of your arteries and form plaque, putting you at risk of a serious cardiovascular event, like a heart attack, stroke, stent, or bypass surgery.
Normal ArteryClear Blood Flow
Cholesterol Building in ArteryPlaque blocks blood flow
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is in your blood. High-density lipoprotein is considered good because this type carries bad cholesterol away from the arteries. Low-density lipoprotein is considered bad because it can build up on the walls of the arteries, forming fatty deposits known as plaque. Plaque can be referred to as clogs, which can give you health problems.
Over time, high levels of bad cholesterol can build up on the walls of your blood vessels. The bad cholesterol can create clogs and make it difficult for blood to flow through where your body needs it.
Sometimes these clogs can block your blood flow, leading to a devastating heart attack or stroke, and thats why you need to treat it.
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