Understanding Your LDL
Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:52 PM
LDL is the cholesterol that gums up your arteries and causes the buildup of blockages. Itís also the cholesterol that is toxic to the lining of your arteries, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Itís not surprising then that LDL cholesterol most often becomes the target for treatment in patients with coronary artery disease or those patients at high risk for developing coronary artery or vascular disease.
Most cardiologists agree that 130 mg/dL represents the upper limit of normal for LDL levels, and otherwise healthy individuals should try to attain a number close to or below that. As we accumulate other risk factors (older age, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, or tobacco use), the LDL level should optimally fall closer to or below 100. Once heart disease is known to be present, or there is evidence of vascular disease elsewhere, a history of stroke, or the patient has diabetes, the LDL cholesterol level should fall close to or below 70. Achieving an LDL level below 70 is very difficult if you depend on lifestyle changes alone; it usually requires the use of cholesterol-lowering medications. The reason that we want to attain extremely low LDL levels in this latter group of patients, is that studies have shown that with very aggressive LDL lowering, we can actually see some regression in the blockages which have accumulated over time.
How can you lower your LDL cholesterol? By consuming a healthy diet (rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, but low in saturated fat), by getting regular exercise, and by attaining and maintaining a normal weight. LDL levels can change dramatically with lifestyle changes. You can see 30- or 40-point drops ó especially if your lifestyle is particularly unhealthy to begin with.
LDL levels that start very high ó well over 160 ó tend to be at least partially genetically determined. Although adherence to a healthy lifestyle is still critical for these individuals, many will end up on cholesterol-lowering medications to attain goal LDL levels.
Medications for lowering LDL are plentiful and effective. From a treatment perspective, of the three cholesterol particles that make up the cholesterol profile, LDL is the easiest to control with medications. Nevertheless, these medications are not a substitute for good eating habits or healthy lifestyle choices. Medications will also be much more effective (meaning you will need lower doses) if you do your part and live healthfully.
"Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it." -Buddha
"So often times it happens, that we live ours life's in chains, and we never even knew we held the key" The Eagles
"There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it" Alfred Hitchcock
"We have enough religion to make us hate one another, but not enough to make us love each other" Jonathan Swift
"My heart is ruled by Venus, my head by Mars" Phil Lynott
Posted 14 December 2009 - 08:16 AM
My total cholesterol is always around 120. HDL is 60, so happy with that, but LDL is too low.
I am IgA deficient and was biopsy-diagnosed with celiac disease in 1996.
Does anyone have any suggestions about raising cholesterol? It seems our society is only bent on lowering it. Too low is dangerous and can cut short life, from what I understand.
Posted 14 December 2009 - 09:39 AM
I can tell you all the wrong ways to raise cholesterol lol but will leave this thread for someone more in the know as to how to do it the right way lol! I know fish is a good source of good stuff...I just hate fish tho'!
Be who you are and say what you feel...
Because those that matter... don't mind...
And those that mind... don't matter.
I CAN'T BE LOST BECAUSE I DON'T CARE WHERE I AM GOING!!
Posted 14 December 2009 - 12:44 PM
Fish oil (Omega 3) is what my husband takes. I think avocadoes are one of the foods that is high in the "good" fat.
I'm sure there'll be others here who know much more than this, guess it's obvious that I don't know much about it!
(Quote from the movie "Kung Fu Panda")