top of page
  • Writer's pictureLinda Brewster

Diagnosed with High Cholesterol?


Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver and also found in certain foods. While the body needs cholesterol to function properly, having too much of it can lead to health problems. High cholesterol can contribute to the development of conditions like heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. It often doesn't cause symptoms, so it's important to have cholesterol levels checked regularly through blood tests. Managing high cholesterol typically involves lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and in some cases, medication may be prescribed by a healthcare professional.


WHAT ARE ABNORMAL CHOLESTEROL LEVELS?

Lipid profile tests measure various types of lipids in the blood, including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (often referred to as "bad" cholesterol), HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol), and triglycerides. 


Recommended Cholesterol Ranges

These ranges serve as general guidelines, and individualized recommendations may be provided by healthcare professionals based on factors such as age, gender, overall health, and specific medical conditions. It's important to interpret lipid levels in conjunction with other risk factors for cardiovascular disease and to follow personalized recommendations for prevention and management. However, here are generally accepted guidelines for lipid levels.

1.      Total Cholesterol Levels

  • Desirable: Less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)

  • Borderline high: 200-239 mg/dL

  • High: 240 mg/dL and above

2.      Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol, which can contribute to the buildup of plaque in the

arteries.

  • Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL

  • Near optimal/above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL

  • Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

  • High: 160-189 mg/dL

  • Very high: 190 mg/dL and above

3.      Low Levels of HDL cholesterol, which may increase the risk of heart disease.

  • Low: Less than 40 mg/dL (for men); less than 50 mg/dL (for women)

  • High: 60 mg/dL and above

4.      High levels of triglycerides, which can also contribute to heart disease risk.

  • Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL

  • Borderline high: 150-199 mg/dL

  • High: 200-499 mg/dL

  • Very high: 500 mg/dL and above

 

TREATMENT

 

The treatment for high cholesterol typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medications. Here are some strategies commonly recommended for managing high cholesterol:


Healthy Diet: Adopting a heart-healthy diet is crucial. This includes:

  • Limiting saturated fats and trans fats found in red meat, full-fat dairy products, fried

foods, and processed snacks.

  • Choosing healthier fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in

olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

  • Increasing intake of soluble fiber from sources like oats, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Eating fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

 

Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help raise HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) and lower LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol). Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week.

 

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Losing excess weight, if necessary, can help improve lipid profiles.

 

Quit Smoking: Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol levels and damages the walls of blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease.

 

Limit Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can raise triglyceride levels and contribute to weight gain. Limit alcohol intake to moderate levels, which is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

 

Medications: In addition to lifestyle changes, healthcare providers may prescribe medications to help manage high cholesterol. These medications may include:

·        Statins: These drugs are commonly prescribed to lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

·        Ezetimibe: This medication helps lower LDL cholesterol by blocking absorption of cholesterol in the intestines.

·        PCSK9 inhibitors: These injectable medications help lower LDL cholesterol levels, particularly in people with familial hypercholesterolemia or those who cannot tolerate statins.

 

It's important to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on individual cholesterol levels, overall health, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Regular monitoring and follow-up appointments are essential to assess treatment effectiveness and make any necessary adjustments.

 

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Royal River flowing.
bottom of page