If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), you may be wondering what your future has in store. Any medical diagnosis can be scary, and knowing that high cholesterol can lead to some serious complications make it even worse. Luckily, with diet, lifestyle, medication, and monitoring, high cholesterol can be safely managed.
What is High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol is a condition in which there are too many cholesterol molecules in the blood. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s found naturally in the body and is used to make cell membranes, vitamin D, and some hormones. Your body needs cholesterol to function properly, but when there’s too much of it, it can be dangerous. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems.
What is Considered High?
Cholesterol testing consists of measuring three components – HDLs, LDLs, and triglycerides. The appropriate levels of each depending on age and gender, as outlined below:
Strive for 60 mg/dL or more for the most heart-protecting power. Average levels are between 40 and 50 mg/dL. Anything below 40 mg/dL is a risk factor for heart disease.
For most healthy adults, LDL levels of 100 mg/dL or below are acceptable. For people with heart disease risk factors or diabetes, a target of 70 mg/dL or below is preferred.
Adults should strive for 150 mg/dL or less. Anything above this, especially above 200 mg/dL, is a risk factor for heart disease.
How Can I Manage High Cholesterol?
If your cholesterol test has come back with not-so-great results, don’t worry. High cholesterol can usually be managed by making some dietary and lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising. If you try this for a period of time, but your cholesterol is still too high, your doctor may prescribe medication to help bring it down more. You’ll want to check in with your doctor quarterly during this time for repeat testing.
Cholesterol Testing in Tampa Bay
If you have concerns about high cholesterol or heart disease, contact TLC Medical at (813) 874-1852 or online. We offer physicals and comprehensive testing services, including cholesterol and lipid panels, to keep an eye on your health and help you achieve optimal functioning.