Did you know that you should check your cholesterol every five years when you’re over the age of 20?
The cholesterol levels in your body have a lot to say about your overall health. Too much bad cholesterol and you could find your heart in some trouble in the years to come. But, when you start looking into cholesterol it can all get a bit confusing.
From LDL to a lipid profile, there’s a lot of jargon involved that is tricky to understand if you’re not a fully-fledged doctor. Luckily, we’re here to help.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about your cholesterol levels.
- What Is Cholesterol?
Okay, let’s get right back to the basics. Cholesterol is a substance found in everyone’s bodies, in every cell, and it’s essential to keeping you alive and well. If you’ve had the idea in your head that all cholesterol is bad, think again!
A good level of cholesterol is essential to a healthy body. But, if you start to have too much in your blood, that’s when problems can arise.
- How Do You Check Your Cholesterol Levels?
Cholesterol levels are checked when you have something known as a lipid profile, which is basically a blood test. This will show the level of cholesterol you have in your body and whether you’re healthy or you need to make some lifestyle changes. Your results usually come in the form of numbers and can be hard to understand, but our next section will help you with this.
- What Your Cholesterol Results Mean
On your results, you should get some different readings. Here’s a summary of what these mean:
- LDL is the bad type of cholesterol that can block your arteries
- HDL is the good type of cholesterol that actually removes LDL from your arteries
- Non-HDL is the total amount of bad cholesterol in your body which includes LDL and other types
- Triglycerides are another fat in your blood that can increase your risk of heart disease
You’ll also get a figure for your total cholesterol. In anyone over the age of 20, this should be 125 to 200mg/dl and under.
- What Should You Do if Your Cholesterol Is Too High?
If your cholesterol is too high, don’t panic! There are ways that you can lower it and keep your heart healthy for longer. This includes eating healthily and reducing the saturated and trans fats in your diet, as well as losing weight if you’re overweight.
You should also quit smoking if you do, and take up more exercise to lower your levels. You can also try statins, which are drugs designed to lower your cholesterol. Find out more about this treatment option in this post.
Live Healthy and Keep Your Heart Happy
Keeping your cholesterol levels under control is vital if you want to live a long and happy life. Luckily, it’s not too hard to do! Just keep up a healthy lifestyle and get checked every 5 years to keep an eye on your levels.
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