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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses cholesterol, the causes of your cholesterol being elevated and what you can do naturally to lower your cholesterol naturally.
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Read the article below for complete understanding for your health.
Why Is Cholesterol Important? Consider Shop With The Doc
Your blood cholesterol level may have a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. A risk factor is a condition that increases your chance of getting a disease. In fact, the higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. Each year, more than a million Americans have heart attacks, and about 55 percent of those people die from heart disease.
How Does Cholesterol Lead To Heart Disease?
When there is too much cholesterol (a fat-like substance) in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, this buildup causes "hardening of the arteries" so that arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart is slowed down or blocked. The blood carries oxygen to the heart, and if enough blood and oxygen cannot reach your heart, you may suffer chest pain. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockage, the result is a heart attack.
High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high. It is important to find out what your cholesterol numbers are because lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens the risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of a heart attack or dying of heart disease, even if you already have it. Cholesterol lowering is important for everyone--younger, middle age, and older adults; women and men; and people with or without heart disease.
What Do Your Cholesterol Numbers Mean?
Everyone age 20 and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years. It is best to have a blood test called a "lipoprotein profile" to find out your cholesterol numbers. This blood test is done after a 9- to 12-hour fast and gives information about your:
If it is not possible to get a lipoprotein profile done, knowing your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol can give you a general idea about your cholesterol levels. If your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL* or more or if your HDL is less than 40 mg/dL, you will need to have a lipoprotein profile done. See how your cholesterol numbers compare to the tables below.
|Total Cholesterol Level||Category|
|Less than 200 mg/dL||Desirable|
|200-239 mg/dL||Borderline High|
|240 mg/dL and above||High|
|LDL Cholesterol Level||LDL-Cholesterol Category|
|Less than 100 mg/dL||Optimal|
|100-129 mg/dL||Near optimal/above optimal|
|130-159 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|190 mg/dL and above||Very high|
HDL (good) cholesterol protects against heart disease, so for HDL, higher numbers are better. A level less than 40 mg/dL is low and is considered a major risk factor because it increases your risk for developing heart disease. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL or more help to lower your risk for heart disease.
Triglycerides can also raise heart disease risk. Levels that are high (100-199 mg/dL) or extremely high (200 mg/dL or more) may need treatment in some people.
What Affects Cholesterol Levels?
A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are things you can do something about:
Things you cannot do anything about also can affect cholesterol levels. These include:
What Is Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease or Having a Heart Attack?
In general, the higher your LDL level and the more risk factors you have (other than LDL), the greater your chances of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Some people are at high risk for a heart attack because they already have heart disease. Other people are at high risk for developing heart disease because they have diabetes (which is a strong risk factor) or a combination of risk factors for heart disease. Follow these steps to find out your risk for developing heart disease.
Step 1: Check the table below to see how many of the listed risk factors you have; these are the risk factors that affect your LDL goal.
Major Risk Factors That Affect Your LDL Goal
* If your HDL cholesterol is 60 mg/dL or higher, subtract 1 from your total count.
Even though obesity and physical inactivity are not counted in this list, they are conditions that need to be corrected.
Step 2: How many major risk factors do you have? If you have 2 or more risk factors in the table above, use the attached risk scoring tables (which include your cholesterol levels) to find your risk score. Risk score refers to the chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years, given as a percentage. My risk score is ________%.
Step 3: Use your medical history, number of risk factors, and risk score to find your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack in the table below.
|If You Have||You Are in Category|
|Heart disease, diabetes, or risk score more than 20%*||I. High Risk|
|2 or more risk factors and risk score 10-20%||II. Next Highest Risk|
|2 or more risk factors and risk score less than 10%||III. Moderate Risk|
|0 or 1 risk factor||IV. Low-to-Moderate Risk|
* Means that more than 20 of 100 people in this category will have a heart attack within 10 years.
My risk category is ______________________.
Treating High Cholesterol
The main goal of cholesterol-lowering treatment is to lower your LDL level enough to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. The higher your risk, the lower your LDL goal will be. To find your LDL goal, see the boxes below for your risk category. There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:
If you are in...
To reduce your risk for heart disease or keep it low, it is very important to control any other risk factors you may have such as high blood pressure and smoking.
Lowering Cholesterol With Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC)
TLC is a set of things you can do to help lower your LDL cholesterol. The main parts of TLC are:
Even if you begin drug treatment to lower your cholesterol, you will need to continue your treatment with lifestyle changes. This will keep the dose of medicine as low as possible, and lower your risk in other ways as well. There are several types of drugs available for cholesterol lowering including statins, bile acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, fibric acids, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors. Your doctor can help decide which type of drug is best for you. The statin drugs are very effective in lowering LDL levels and are safe for most people. Potential side-effects of these popular drugs are the increased potential for developing Diabetes. Bile acid sequestrants also lower LDL and can be used alone or in combination with statin drugs. Again, the potential for Diabetes is greatly increased by using these medications. Nicotinic acid lowers LDL and triglycerides and raises HDL. Fibric acids lower LDL somewhat but are used mainly to treat high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors lower LDL and can be used alone or in combination with statin drugs. Again the risk for Diabetes and other more serious health concerns needs to be understood. Talk with your medical doctor or your pharmacist to determine if there are better methods available.
Once your LDL goal has been reached, your medical doctor may prescribe treatment for high triglycerides and/or a low HDL level, if present. The treatment includes losing weight if needed, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and possibly taking a drug.
Alternative Treatment and Hope
Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you develop a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to restoring balance in your body by addressing life-style and dietary changes will be best for your overall health. Whole Food Supplementation is the best initial change anyone can make when looking to restore balance and address the underlying cause of elevated cholesterol. Eliminating or greatly reducing the Completely Refined And Processed (CRAP) foods from your diet while starting on specific Heart Health Whole Food Supplements will create the most amount of change in the shortest time.
Developing a healthy life-style with proper guidance from your Holistic Chiropractor is the best prevention when considering how to approach your health.
Acupuncture, Homeopathy or Naturopathy may also be considered when looking to restore balance and harmony to your body.
For more information about lowering cholesterol and lowering your risk for heart disease, write to the NHLBI Health Information Center, P.O. Box 30105, Bethesda, MD, 20824-0105 or call 301-592-8573, or visit the Web sites listed below:
Click the link for a description of this week's show and a link to the podcast from:
Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
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Dr. Richard A. Huntoon