Cholesterol Advice

How to Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Step 1: Get your cholesterol test once every five years if you are healthy or as suggested by your doctor if you are a patient.

Normal cholesterol levels are necessary to ensure healthy living. Elevated cholesterol levels may not make you feel sick but it can lead to fatal cardiac diseases. Hence, it is necessary for all adults to get their cholesterol levels checked after every five years.

Step 2: Know your condition as per the results. Factor in all the causes so as to act timely and smartly.

To analyze how cholesterol levels can increase your threat for heart disease, many risk factors such as family history, high blood pressure, age and smoking are taken into account. Once you have measured different cholesterol levels, precautionary measures can be taken accordingly.

* Desirable cholesterol level measures below 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter of blood). When HDL, triglyceride and LDL levels are within their desirable levels along with total cholesterol level, this would mean that your risk for coronary heart disease is quite low. However, it is still essential to have a healthy diet, follow a regular exercise regime and avoid the intake of smoke and tobacco. Also, make sure that you get your cholesterol level checked within a span of every five years.
       
* Borderline high risk or 200-239 mg/dL - To declare your cholesterol levels at borderline, the doctor would need to know about your triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. This is because it is quite possible that the total cholesterol might show borderline cholesterol level but with normal LDL cholesterol level and high HDL cholesterol.

You need to work out with your doctor to reduce borderline cholesterol level according to your LDL level. Also, you must emphasis on making some lifestyle changes such as avoiding smoke and tobacco, besides following a healthy diet plan.

* High risk level or 240 mg/dL - People with high risk cholesterol level have almost double the risk for coronary heart disease as compared to people who have a desirable cholesterol level. In case, your entire lipid profile is not revealed by this test, fasting profile is advised by the doctor.

Prevention and treatment is also recommended by the doctor. Some cholesterol medications are also advised to some patients along with regular exercise and various lifestyle changes.

Step 3: Be well aware. Talk to your doctor. Read FAQs and ask questions if you have any.

Here is a list of useful resources:

How to talk to your doctor about cholesterol
Know the causes of cholesterol and work to curb them out of your life
Here is a list of foods that lower cholesterol

Step 4: Understand the relationship between HDL, LDL and triglycerides. Adopt medical advice and lifestyle changes as per your total cholesterol results only. That too in accordance with your doctor.

If you have any more doubts about the levels of cholesterol, read a guide on reading HDL, LDL and triglycerides .

Apart from the desirable level of total cholesterol, it is also important to take into consideration the normal levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol. Desirable HDL cholesterol level for an average man is 40-50 mg/dL and for a woman is 50-60 mg/dL. So, HDL cholesterol level of above 60 mg/dL provides you good safety against heart disease. In case of LDL cholesterol level, above 40 mg/dL for men and above 50 mg/dL for women is the safe level.

So, instead of going for just total cholesterol level test, you may also be advised to go for other cholesterol tests such as LDL test, HDL test and triglyceride test. These tests are also necessary to check if there are any improvements made by medications and lifestyle changes recommended by the doctor and for how long the patient has to continue with the same routine. Hence, timely cholesterol tests are necessary to know the cholesterol and lipoprotein levels.