Your cholesterol levels play a vital role in your heart health. High cholesterol usually results in clogged arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart. If you’ve been to the doctor recently, they may have advised you about lowering cholesterol. Lowering your cholesterol levels is important if you want to avoid heart problems in the future.
Good vs Bad Cholesterol
Many patients hear about “good” and “bad” cholesterol, but what do they mean?
“Bad” cholesterol is known as low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. When you have high LDL levels, plaque starts to form in your arteries. This can result in a having a heart attack or blood clot. When you have high cholesterol, you have high LDL levels.
“Good” cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein, or HDL. HDL can actually reduce your risk of heart problems.
Testing For High Cholesterol
Generally, there are no symptoms of high cholesterol. Because of this, many patients don’t know about their high cholesterol until it’s too late. All patients, no matter their health, should be going to their doctor at least once a year.
A simple blood test is all that’s needed to determine your cholesterol levels. If your cholesterol levels are normal after your initial test, you may only need to be tested every 5 years. If your cholesterol levels are high or you have other risks for hear problems, you may need to be tested more frequently.
Tips For Lowering Cholesterol
Lifestyle changes can make a big difference in lowering cholesterol levels. You can lower your cholesterol levels by exercising more, quitting smoking, eating less saturated fats, and eating more fiber. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough, you may be prescribed cholesterol medication.