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Answering Your Cholesterol Questions

Jun 21, 2008
As we get older there are important numbers that begin to weigh heavily upon us. We have to worry about our blood pressure, weight and our cholesterol level. Things we may have ignored our entire lives now suddenly have great importance.

But these are things that should not have been ignored. A lifetime of abuse on the body yields only negative things when left unchecked. Your cholesterol level is absolutely important if you want to stay healthy and your body functioning properly.

High levels can lead to heart attacks and stroke, both things you do not want to have to deal with. Being concerned about your cholesterol level is not just for the elderly. It is something young and old must worry and be aware of if they want to lead a healthy life. In this article we will cover the basics of cholesterol and hopefully you will understand how important a healthy level is to your body and peace of mind.

What is good cholesterol?

Good cholesterol is called HDL which is high-density lipoproteins. Doctor's believe that the high levels of HDL can actually protect your heart whereas low levels of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease. It is thought that HDL can carry cholesterol away from your arteries and back to the liver where it is passed from the body.

What happens when cholesterol gets too high?

Well when LDL gets too high then the cholesterol begins to accumulate on the artery walls and then hardens into plaque. The build up continues until the entire artery is blocked off. This added blockage makes it hard for blood to get to the heart where it can be pumped to the rest of the body. It can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

When HDL levels are high this is a good thing because researchers believe that HDL helps rid the body of cholesterol build-up. That is why a diet rich in foods that promote HDL is always heavily recommended.

How is the blockage from the arteries removed?

The first stage is through medicines but if there is a serious narrowing or blockage in the artery or blood vessel then a slightly more invasive procedure is needed. The actual procedures may vary but one popular method is through a balloon angioplasty.

The mechanical device is inserted into the artery and navigated to the blockage where the plaque build up has occurred. The balloon is then inflated to clear the passage. Nowadays the procedure is minimally invasive and most patients are able to go home that day.

How do I know what my cholesterol is?

Well in order to know what your cholesterol is you should have a blood cholesterol testing performed at least every five years. The most recommended test is a fasting lipoprotein blood profile.

This test measures not only your total cholesterol but it also specifies the LDL and the HDL levels. It is a great idea to be knowledgeable about where your numbers are and to ensure that they are in the proper healthy range.
About the Author
Learn more about cholesterol at Mike Selvon portal. While you are there leave is a comment at our nutrition blog, and receive your FREE gift.
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