Cholesterol

2561 WordsMay 16, 200511 Pages
Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like, waxy substance found in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It's normal to have cholesterol. It's an important part of a healthy body because it's used for producing cell membranes and some hormones, and serves other needed bodily functions. But too high a level of cholesterol in the blood is a major risk for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack. It's also a risk factor for stroke. Hypercholesterolemia is the term for high levels of blood cholesterol. You get cholesterol in two ways. Your body makes some of it, and the rest comes from cholesterol in animal products that you eat, such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, butter, cheese and whole milk. Food from plants — like fruits,…show more content…
Some people — such as women before menopause and young, active men who have no other risk factors — may have high HDL cholesterol and desirable LDL levels. Ask your doctor to interpret your results. Everyone's case is different. High risk if your total cholesterol level is 240 or more, it's definitely high. Your risk of heart attack and stroke is greater. In general, people who have a total cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL have twice the risk of heart attack as people whose cholesterol level is 200 mg/dL. You need more tests. Ask your doctor for advice. About 20 percent of the U.S. population has high blood cholesterol levels. Your LDL cholesterol level greatly affects your risk of heart attack and stroke. The lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk. In fact, it's a better gauge of risk than total blood cholesterol. Your LDL cholesterol will fall into one of these categories: LDL Cholesterol Levels Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal 100 to 129 mg/dL Near Optimal/ Above Optimal 130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline High 160 to 189 mg/dL High 190 mg/dL and above Very High The key point to remember is the lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk. Your doctor may prescribe a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, regular exercise and a weight management program if you're overweight. If you can't lower your cholesterol with these efforts, medications may also be prescribed to lower your LDL
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