As part of your regular checkup, it is likely that the doctor will order bloodwork that among other things will measure your levels of total cholesterol and also High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). Should the numbers show outside of the normal range, your doctor may ask for a fasting cholesterol test. For this, you won't eat or drink other than water for twelve hours prior to the test. This test will show your Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride levels, in addition to the total cholesterol and HDL.
The National Cholesterol Education Program has presented goal cholesterol levels, which are as follows:
Total Cholesterol Level (mg/dl) Desirable: Below 200 Borderline: 200-239 Undesirable: 240 and above
LDL Cholesterol (mg/dl) Desirable: Below 100 Above Average: 100-129 Borderline: 130-159 Undesirable: 160-189 Very Undesirable: 190 and above
Serum Triglycerides (mg/dl) Normal: Below 150 Borderline: 150-199 Undesirable: 200-499 Very Undesirable: 500 or above
Some laboratories will calculate the cholesterol ratio (total/HDL), but it is far more important to get the individual numbers for the total cholesterol, HDL and LDL. Notice that lower numbers are desirable for everything except HDL. The high density lipoproteins are known as good cholesterol. If your HDL levels are lower than 40 mg/dl, you can increase them by
Quitting smoking Losing weight Getting physically active for at least 30-60 minutes per day.
Your cholesterol levels, along with your other risk factors will determine the course of action that your physician will recommend. Some of these risk factors are Obesity Family history Lack of physical activity Age Sex Alcohol consumption Stress Body shape Diabetes Smoking
Some of these factors you have no control over, such as age, family history and sex. But you need to take care of business with the others. Quitting smoking is a given. Adding exercise to your daily schedule can help you with multiple factors, including reducing weight, reducing stress and lowering cholesterol levels. Watch your diet by eating less saturated fats and trans fats.
Another alternative treatment method is medication. There are many to choose from, prescription and non-prescription, but there may be side effects or they may react unfavorably with other medicines that you are taking. Be sure to check with your physician before trying any of these.
Make sure to check with your physician before starting any new diet or exercise regimen.
Copyright 2005, K. MacKenzie http://www.lower-your-cholesterol.net
[ You have permission to publish this article in your web sites, newsletters, ezines or electronic publications, as long as the complete article is used including the resource box, all links (clickable) and copyright information. ]
About the author:
Ken is a successful writer and online entrepreneur. He has developed http://www.lower-your-cholesterol.netas a portal for presenting articles, information, resources and links about lowering your cholesterol.