Lipid Panels & A Healthy Weight
What is a lipid panel? A lipid panel consists of a total cholesterol level, LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL( good cholesterol), and triglycerides. These levels are obtained by a blood test ordered by your physician. Some recommend that everyone over age 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every 5 years.
When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries, causing a process called atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease. The arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart muscle is slowed down or blocked. The blood carries oxygen to the heart, and if enough blood and oxygen cannot reach your heart, you may suffer chest pain. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockage, the result is a heart attack.
What are the symptoms of high cholesterol? High cholesterol itself does not cause any symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol levels are too high. Therefore, it is important to find out what your cholesterol numbers are. Lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens the risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of a heart attack or dying of heart disease, even if you already have it.
What can I do to lower my cholesterol? Carrying some extra pounds – even just a few – contributes to high cholesterol. Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help significantly reduce cholesterol levels.
Also, look for ways to incorporate more activity into your daily routine, such as using the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Take stock of what you currently eat and your physical activity level and slowly work in changes.