What You Need to Know About High Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels in a person's blood can increase the risks of heart disease. When your body produces or consumes too much cholesterol in your blood, it accumulates in the wall of your arteries and eventually causes the hardening of your arteries. When this happens, the arteries become narrow, slowing down or blocking the blood flow to your heart.

Since blood transfers oxygen to the heart, this blockage can make you experience chest pains. If the blood supply for your heart is interrupted completely due to blockage, you will have a heart attack.

Understanding Cholesterol Numbers

High blood cholesterol does not cause symptoms that warn you of a high level in cholesterol. Because of this, you need to determine cholesterol numbers by obtaining a cholesterol measurement at least once every two years.

The most recommend procedure to check high blood cholesterol level is through a test called lipoprotein profile. Nine to twelve hours before a lipoprotein profile, the patient needs to abstain from any kind of food. This blood test will provide you with information about your total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol), and information about another type of fat called "triglycerides".

At normal levels, cholesterol is not a harmful thing. In fact, it is the substance used by your body to create cell walls and produce hormones. The human body naturally produces cholesterol in the liver, but it can also be obtained through your diet from milk, eggs, dairy products and meat. When you consume large amounts of cholesterol, your body responds by producing more cholesterol, resulting in high cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is measured in "milligrams per deciliter" of blood. According to experts, the healthy profile consists of a total cholesterol level of not more than 200, an HDL level greater than 40 and an LDL level depending on your condition. People with low risks of heart disease should aim for less than 160 LDL, people with high risks of heart disease should target an LDL level of 130 and below and patients with heart disease should have less than 100 LDL.

It is important to take lipoprotein profile regularly, especially if you have a family background of heart disease. The numbers provided by this blood test will give you an idea about your blood cholesterol levels. For instance, if you discover a high cholesterol level at an early stage, you can prevent the occurrence of heart disease by seeking medical treatment and changing lifestyle habits that can reduce symptoms of heart disease.

Be aware that while high cholesterol levels can be a dangerous condition, it can be treated through proper supervision, medication and discipline in changing food habits, physical activities and choosing other lifestyle changes.