Isn't it amazing, Boomer, how our cholesterol numbers have become so important in our lives today? Particularly since cholesterol was never even on our vocabularly lists when we were kids! So, I thought it might be a good idea to answer the question
Just what is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is necessary for your body and is found in cell walls throughout all parts of your body. It's a waxy, fat-like substance that is used to make many substances such as vitamin D, bile acids, hormones as well as other substances your body uses. It circulates in your bloodstream in little packets called lipoproteins which are composed of lipids (fat) on the inside and proteins on the outside. The lipoprotein count in your blood is the “cholesterol numbers” your doctor is looking at.
Why are our cholesterol numbers so important?
Well, it all boils down to lowering your risk for heart attack or stroke. You see, the primary cause of heart attacks and strokes is a condition known as atherosclerosis which is caused by excessive cholesterol buildup in our arteries. Basically, the greater your cholesterol build up, the more likely you are to have a stroke or heart attack. Yet, not all lipoproteins are bad for you!
The two main kinds of lipoproteins are:
Low density lipoprotein, (LDL) is referred to as the “bad” cholesterol because it is the one which carries cholesterol to the tissues (arteries). Unfortunately, LDL is the majority of the cholesterol that is carried in your blood. And the higher the level of LDL you have in your blood, the higher your risk for heart disease.
High density lipoprotein,
(HDL) is considered the “good” cholesterol as it removes cholesterol
from tissues and takes it to the liver where it is removed from the
body. Therefore, if your HDL number is low, then that is bad for you as
you want it to be high in order to remove the bad LDL from your body.
This video will give you a quick overview of lipoproteins.
Other important numbers contained in your lipid panel (blood test)
Triglycerides – Although not cholesterol, these are another form of fat in your blood that are monitored closely by your doctor.
Total Cholesterol – A base number that is important to your doctor.
Here are the generally preferred cholesterol levels that health care providers are looking for...
(These are measured as milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood, or mg/dL.)
Your own personal health care provider should be consulted for his/her preferred numbers for you!
What to do if your cholesterol numbers are not “good”?
If your numbers are not what your doctor would like to see, then he/she will suggest lifestyle changes for you such as adjusting your diet, increasing your physical activity and managing your weight.
Your doctor may also recommend some medication(s) to help assist in lowering your cholesterol numbers.
This video will give you some pointers about making Lifestyle Changes
Something I suggest you should also become familiar with is Metabolic Syndrome.
It's a crucial medical tool for evaluating many of we Baby Boomer's
health risks. It's important enough to we Boomers, that there is a
whole section devoted to it here on The Baby Boomers Webplace. You can
learn about it here.
You may also find these pages to be of some help to you:
And don't forget to share your thoughts about your cholesterol numbers! Anytime we can help each other, we should. OK?
If you do you, Please Share it!
Where to go now?
All of the contents of this website is for informational purposes only. Should you chose to act on any information contained on this website or websites we link to without first consulting the appropriate counsel whether financial, legal, medical or otherwise; you will be acting on your own. Neither IT-BGC Information Services LLC nor any of it's members can be held responsible for any such action(s) on your part.
The Baby Boomer Times
Our Free Newsletter