Understanding Your Blood Cholesterol Test

Hot Health
By Hot Health January 29, 2017 18:53
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Understanding Your Blood Cholesterol Test

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Understanding Your Blood Cholesterol Test

Cholesterol levels love to play hide and seek with the overall health of the body. Irrespective of the gender of a person, maintaining steady cholesterol levels can be a difficult task especially when getting the cholesterol levels checked is a process too complicated for some to understand. Cholesterol tests require you to submit your blood samples after a gap of at least 12 hours in your last meal. The test results allow you to view the milligrams of cholesterol present per deciliter of blood. Based on the result, the doctor can examine your vulnerability towards heart conditions and blood pressure-related health conditions.

The cholesterol in the body is produced by two primary sources. Liver produces the most amount of cholesterol in the body using the saturated fat from your diet. Another primary source of cholesterol includes foods such as dairy, eggs and meat. This makes evident the fact that cholesterol levels can be made steady by bringing changes in the diet and exercise. Cholesterol levels affect the overall health of a human body in large amounts. It, therefore, becomes necessary for everyone to understand how to read cholesterol levels, and consequently, make required changes.

What happens when cholesterol levels in the body increase?

Excessive cholesterol in the blood can cause the arteries to narrow—a process medically known as atherosclerosis. The build-up of large deposits of cholesterol can hinder the blood flow. When occurs in the heart, the very same process can cause a heart attack at the same time adding to peripheral vascular diseases.

Monitoring Cholesterol levels

Men over the age of 35 and women over the age of 45 should monitor their cholesterol levels periodically. Before beginning the periodic monitoring, a baseline measurement of the cholesterol levels should be taken to be used as reference. It is in the best advice that the baseline measurement should be taken as early as possible especially in people who host the hereditary risk of high cholesterol levels. This helps in tending to the needs of the body by providing treatments that help in curtailing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

While checking the cholesterol levels of an individual, a physician will measure 5 different numbers.

The first number corresponds to the total cholesterol number. This should be less than 200 mg per deciliter of blood. Lower total blood cholesterol, in correspondence with desirable LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels, helps reduce the risk of coronary heart ailments. Borderline management between 200 and 239 mg per deciliter is not risky if the LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels are maintained. If these fluctuate every so often, contact your physician to create a treatment and prevention strategy inclusive of lifestyle changes.

Total blood cholesterol level of more than 240 mg per deciliter of blood indicates high risk of strokes, attacks and peripheral vascular disease. People with total cholesterol level of 240 mg per deciliter are twice as vulnerable to coronary heart diseases. When the tests fail to determine the exact status of LDL, HDL and triglyceride cholesterol, a fasting cholesterol profile should be ordered to carefully examine the risks involved.

Total cholesterol is evaluated by calculating the numbers of HDL and LDL.

HDL is the good cholesterol which the highest it is, the healthier the body. It is called the good cholesterol because many doctors believe that HDL is responsible for transferring cholesterol back to the liver where it is utilized in the production of bile and is hence transferred out of the body. Having low-levels of the good cholesterol makes one vulnerable to heart ailments. Low HDL levels result from a sedentary lifestyle, habits such as smoking and conditions of obesity.

LDL is the bad cholesterol. The lower the levels of LDL, the healthier the body. Optimal levels of LDL are less than 100 mg per deciliter. However, individuals with LDL levels higher than 190 mg per deciliter are at the risk of developing various ailments. Anything between 130-190 and you are at risk of having high LDL.

The second number calculated corresponds to the levels of triglyceride. Triglyceride is a kind of fat which if present in high numbers can cause serious problems in the body. High levels of triglyceride parallel high levels of LDL and low levels of HDL. Anything below 150 mg per deciliter is fine for triglyceride. Anything bordering between 150 and 199 mg per deciliter is a sign of problem (and doctors will be concerned). Very high levels are over 500 mg per deciliter. High triglyceride levels are common in people who are overweight, physically inactive or regular users of alcohol. A change in lifestyle and a healthy diet are the simplest ways of reducing triglyceride levels. For example, if you use tobacco based products, you might be asked to stop.

The next number that is calculated is the LDL to HDL ratio. Many physicians support the theory that the LDL to HDL ratio is more important than the total cholesterol in determining the risk of cardiac problems. The opposite assertion also has its number of supporters. Because of the presence of an on-going debate, many physicians calculate both the numbers and determine the condition of the patient accordingly. Many will argue for women, the levels of HDL is predicative of heart disease. Continuous research is being done to determine the overall predicative value of using HDL to LDL ratios to determine one’s chances of suffering a stroke or heart attack.

Getting regular cholesterol check-ups helps you and your physician determine any potential risks for heart attack or stroke.

Hot Health
By Hot Health January 29, 2017 18:53
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