Archive for March, 2013

When you get a cholesterol test (Lipid Panel), the results show 5 numbers:


1.  Total Cholesterol

2.  Triglycerides

3.  High Density Lipoprotein

4.  Very Low Density Lipoprotein

5.  Low Density Lipoprotein

Many people are just concerned about their Total Cholesterol number but physician’s are increasingly monitoring the other blood lipid numbers to assess overall health.


The Body Needs Cholesterol

Yes, we need to keep our cholesterol in check, but the body needs cholesterol to function.  Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is used for the creation of cell membranes and hormones and it also protects the nerves.  Too much of the waxy substance clogs arteries and increases the risk factor for heart disease.

  • Low Density Lipoprotein has been called, “bad cholesterol” and this number should be low : less than 100.
  • High Density Lipoprotein is called, “good cholesterol because it takes unused cholesterol away from cells to the liver to be excreted.  High levels of HDL can be more efficient at removing excess cholesterol so unused cholesterol is eliminated from the body. Your number should be greater than 60.
  • Triglycerides are the fats that your body uses for energy, so they are necessary, but not in excess.  If your body does not use them for energy, they remain in the blood and can exacerbate hardening of the arteries.  Your number should be less than 150.
  • VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol is the “bad” triglyceride. Elevation represents a risk of heart disease and/or pancreatitis. Your number should be between 5-40.

The lipid panel is the blood test that is used to measure all the cholesterol levels and it is a fasting test.  Most physicians recommend you get tested annually or more frequently if you have certain risk factors.  Also, your physician may recommend a frequent lipid panel test if you are on cholesterol lowering medication to be sure the medication and dosage is working. 

 

www.HealthOneLabs.com for discount lab tests.

 

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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Factors that Increase Mortality

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According to The American Journal of Epidemiology (edition 173: 319-329) which cited a Harvard University study of 50,000 people, these factors increase the risk of early mortality:

  • Personal history of diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure (140/90 or higher)
  • Smoking
  • Diet high in cholesterol (animal products)
  • Being overweight at age 18
  • Eating foods with high glycemic load (white bread, white rice, soft drinks, French fries, refined grains and sweets)
  • Family history of early heart disease (before age 60 in parents or siblings)
  • Heavy drinking of alcoholic beverages

These factors decrease the risk of early mortality:

  • Eating cereal fiber including whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, etc. Aim for 3 to 4 servings of whole grains daily.
  • Eating nuts. Eat an ounce of nuts most days.
  • Getting regular physical activity – at least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 or more days per week.
  • Including polyunsaturated fats in your diet. Best choices: soy and soy foods, sunflower, olive, canola and corn oils, as well as walnuts, almonds, avocado, flax meal, and hazelnuts.

Health One Labs

According to the article, the above 12 risk factors all exert an independent effect on health and mortality. But, when taken together, they have profound effect on your health. In the study, those who did not follow the good health practices above were six times more likely to die from cancer, 12 times more likely to die early from any cause, and 24 times more likely to die early from cardiovascular disease.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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