High Cholesterol Silent but potentially deadly

Fall 2006 CSANews Issue 60  |  Posted date : May 30, 2007.Back to list

High cholesterol can be an especially dangerous ailment, as it usually does not manifest itself in typical symptoms. This is why it is so important to have your cholesterol levels checked regularly. Having too much cholesterol in your blood causes the risk of heart attack and stroke. This is because the extra cholesterol coats your arteries, and can eventually block your arteries if levels become too concentrated. In this case, blood flow to the heart and/or brain becomes seriously compromised. Certain health factors can lead to high cholesterol, such as:

  • Cigarette smoking ·
  • High blood pressure and/or diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being overweight
  • Having a family history of heart disease

Talk to your doctor about safely altering your lifestyle in order to reduce your cholesterol levels (or to keep levels at an acceptable reading). Ideally, your total cholesterol should be no more than 200 mg/dL. Remember that there are two types of cholesterol; LDL, the“bad” cholesterol, builds up in the arteries and can cause blockage. HDL, the “good” cholesterol, helps to remove plaque from the arteries, thereby slowing the build-up of the“bad” cholesterol.

If modification of diet, increased physical activity and weight management don’t do the trick to sufficiently reduce cholesterol levels, your doctor will most likely prescribe drug therapy in addition to lifestyle changes.