This article by Don Bennett, DAS, is offers his perspective on high cholesterol and what contributes to it. Cholesterol is a whitish yellow tinged waxy, fat-like substance. It blocks blood flow to the heart by building up along the walls of arteries. In worse cases, it actually becomes a part of those walls, requiring surgery. We need a some cholesterol to function properly. When cholesterol levels increase beyond the norm, we are in danger of heart disease. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and found in certain foods like eggs, milk, and cheese. Checking your cholesterol level is a relatively simple test. It consists of the phlebotomist drawing a small vial of blood for testing. On the day of the test,do not eat or drink anything at least twelve hours prior to testing. Most physicians want their patients to keep it under 200. We all have both good and bad cholesterol in our bodies. The bad cholesterol is known as LDL, or low-density lipoproteins. The good cholesterol is known as HDL, or high-density proteins. Good cholesterol eliminates the excess cholesterol from your body. HDL picks up the fatty material and takes them to the liver for removal. Bad cholesterol can build up causing an artery wall to tear or it may cause a blood clot.
This can result in a heart attack. Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood. If your overall number is 200-239, your cholesterol is borderline. If it is 240 or higher, it is considered high. However, if your HDL (good) cholesterol is below 60, there should be cause for concern. And if your LDL (bad) cholesterol is above 129, your doctor may prescribe treatment. To help lower cholesterol, exercise regularly at least thirty minutes a day. Stop smoking, if you can. Maintain a healthy diet. If your physician finds that exercising and dieting are not lowering it enough, he may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication. For more information, you can check out the American Heart Association's website: www.americanheartassociation.org. This article by Don Bennett will give you a unique perspective on high cholesterol. It is located at http://www.health101.org/art_High_Cholesterol.htm