Hyperlipemia (or high cholesterol/high triglycerides) affects millions of Americans, including at least one of the leading presidential candidates. The liver is primarily responsible for the body’s production of cholesterol, and makes all you need, but it also comes from animal products, so dietary habits greatly affect cholesterol levels. Your cholesterol number is determined by this equation: Your HDL+ your LDL+20% of your triglyceride level.
There are “good” and “bad” types of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol is associated with a healthier heart. HDL cholesterol transports the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol to the liver, where it is broken down (and slated to exit the body). LDL, or “bad” cholesterol is associated with heart disease and stroke, and is responsible for the plaque that builds up and clogs arteries.
Triglycerides are another type of fat found in your blood. They are an important energy source for the body, but a high triglyceride count can contribute to an unhealthy hardening/narrowing of the arteries called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is largely responsible for a variety of life-threatening cardiovascular diseases.
Managing your cholesterol should include limiting your intake of animal products, saturated fats and trans fats, staying at a healthy weight and eating plenty of fiber. Genetics play a part as well, so statin medications (to lower cholesterol) are often used to control cholesterol levels. New guidelines set by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have shifted away from the “know your number” slogan towards individuated analysis of risk factors for heart disease. Yes, the numbers still matter, but creating an appropriate treatment plan for each patient is the now ultimate goal.
Guest post by Michelle Poe. This website is for informational and/or entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
“Hyperlimidemia” American Heart Association, heart.org
“Good vs. Bad Cholesterol” American Heart Association heart.org
“About Cholesterol” American Heart Association, heart.org
“What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean” American Heart Association, heart.org
“High Triglycerides – Topic Overview” WebMD webmd.com
Beckerman MD, FACC, James (reviewed by on August 31, 2016) “What is Atherosclerosis” WebMD webmd.com