Controlling Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that travels in your bloodstream. When you have high cholesterol, it builds up in the walls of your blood vessels. This makes the blood vessels narrower and blood flow decrease. Then you could have a heart attack or a stroke. Many people do not know their cholesterol is too high because there are usually no symptoms. That’s why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked by your doctor

What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean

What do your levels mean?How’s your cholesterol? Time to get it checked!Keeping your cholesterol levels healthy is a great way to keep your heart healthy – and lower your chances of getting heart disease or having a stroke.But first, you have to know your cholesterol numbers.The American Heart Association recommends all adults age 20 or older have their cholesterol, and other traditional risk factors, checked every four to six years.View an animation of cholesterol score. (opens in new window)Your test report will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Your total cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Your test report will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). To determine how your cholesterol levels affect your risk of heart disease, your doctor will also take into account other risk factors such as age, family history, smoking and high blood pressure.

Good and Bad Cholesterol
Lipids are fats, and blood is mostly water. Fat and water don’t mix. So we need lipoproteins (lipids packaged in a protein shell) to carry the lipids. The protein shell lets lipoproteins enter the bloodstream, carrying their cargo of lipids. There are two main kinds of lipoproteins:
• LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is known as “bad cholesterol.” Its cargo is mainly cholesterol. It delivers this cholesterol to body cells. If there’s too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in artery walls. This increases your risk for heart disease and stroke.
• HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is known as “good cholesterol.” It consists mostly of a protein shell. This lipoprotein collects excess cholesterol that LDLs have left behind on blood vessel walls. That’s why high levels of HDL cholesterol can               decrease your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Controlling Cholesterol Levels
Total cholesterol includes LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as other fats in the bloodstream. If your total cholesterol is high, follow the steps below to help lower your total cholesterol level.

Healthy Cholesterol Targets
These are common targets. Ask your doctor for target numbers that are right for you.
Total cholesterol: Under 200
HDL: 40 or higher
LDL: Under 100
Triglycerides: Under 150
Eat Less Unhealthy Fat
• Cut back on saturated fats and trans (also called hydrogenated) fats. A diet that’s high in these fats increases your bad cholesterol. It’s not enough to just cut back on foods containing cholesterol.
• Eat about 2 servings of fish per week. Most fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. These help lower blood cholesterol.
• Eat more whole grains and soluble fiber (such as oat bran). These lower overall cholesterol.
Choose an activity you enjoy. Walking, swimming, and riding a bike are some good ways to be active. Start at a level where you feel comfortable. Increase your time and pace a little each week. Work up to 30 minutes on most days. You can break this up into three 10-minute periods.
• Remember, some activity is better than none.
• If you haven’t been exercising regularly, start slowly. Check with your doctor to make sure the exercise plan is right for you.
Quit Smoking
• Quitting smoking can improve your lipid levels. It also lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Medication
Many people need medication to get their LDL levels to a safe level. Medication to lower cholesterol levels is effective and safe. (But taking medication is not a substitute for exercise or watching your diet!) Your doctor can tell you whether you might benefit from a cholesterol- lowering medication.

 Medication for  cholesterol:

  1. Statins or HMG CO_A Inhibitor: Crestor, Lescol, Lipitor, Mevacor, Pravachol, and Zocor work by blocking the effects of an enzyme that helps make cholesterol. They can lower bad LDL cholesterol by an impressive 20-55%. They have a modest effect on triglycerides and give a mild boost to your good cholesterol, too. “Statins are a complement to dietary changes.

    Side effects: They can cause muscle aches, an increase in liver enzymes, and other issues. But the risks are low and it’s important to keep them in perspective. statins can reduce your risk of death, heart attack, stroke by 30-35%,”. “On the other, they pose a 1-2% risk of generally mild side effects.” The benefits are often worth the small risk.

  2. Bile acid resins like Colestid, Lo-Cholest, Prevalite, Questran, and WelChol. They stick to cholesterol in the intestines and prevent it from being absorbed. They can lower LDL cholesterol by 15-30%.
  3. Ezetimibe (Zetia) blocks some of the cholesterol from being absorbed by your body. It can lower LDL levels by 18-25%.
  4. Fibric acid like Antara, Atromid, Lopid, and Tricor. They reduce your triglycerides and may give a mild boost to your HDL.
  5. Niacin: Niacor, Niaspan, and Nicolar. Niacinmodestly lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and can raise HDL cholesterol at low doses. LDL levels are usually cut by 5-15%.

 

Como controlar su colesterol

El colesterol es una sustancia parecida a Ia cera que circula en Ia sangre. Cuando el five1 de colesterol es muy alto, se acumula en las paredes de los vasos sanguineos, haciendo que éstos se estrechen y se reduzca el flujo de sangre. Esto puede Ilegar a producir un ataque al corazon o al cerebro (embolia o derrame cerebral).

El colesterol bueno y colesterol malo
Los lipidos son grasas, y la sangre esta conformada principalmente de agua. Como Ia grasa no se disuelve en el agua, se necesitan lipoproteinas
(lipidos envueltos en una capa de protelna) pan transportar los ilpidos. El revestimiento extemo de proteina permite que las lipoproteinas
entren en Ia sangre con su carga de lipidos. Existen dos clases principales de lipoproteinas:

• Las lipoproteinas LDL (de baja densidad) conocidas también como “colesterol malo”. Estan compuestas principalmente de colesterol, el cual es depositado en las células del organismo. Si hay demasiado colesterol LDL, éste puede acumularse en las paredes de las arterias, aumentando el riesgo de trastornos cardiacos y ataques cerebrales.
• Las lipoproteinas HDL (de alta densidad) se conocen como “colesterol bueno” y consisten principalmente del revestimiento de Ia proteina. Esta lipoproteina recoge el exceso de colesterol malo que las lipoprotelnas LDL han dejado en las paredes de los vasos sanguineos. Por eso un nivel alto de colesterol HDL puede reducir el riesgo de trastomos cardiacos y ataques cerebrales.
Como controlar ci nivel de colesterol
El colesterol total incluye el colesterol LDL y el HOL, asi como otras grasas presentes en Ia sangre. Si su nivel total de colesterol es alto, siga los consejos a continuaciOn pan ayudar a reducirlo.
Consuma menos grasa no saludable
• Reduzca el consumo de grasas saturadas y trans (tambien llamadas hidrogenadas). Una dieta rica en estas grasas aumenta su nivel de     colesterol malo. Pero no es suficiente reducir el consumo de alimentos con alto contenido de colesterol.
• Coma aproximadamente 2 porciones de pescado cada semana. La mayoria de pescados contienen ãcidos grasos omega-3 que ayudan     a reducir el nivel de colesterol en la sangre.
• Coma mas alimentos de grano integral que contengan fibra soluble (como el salvado de avena). Estos alimentos reducen el nivel total de colesterol.Manténgase activo
• Elija una actividad que le agrade. Caminar, nadar y montar en bicicleta son algunas buenas maneras de mantenerse activo.
• Comience con un nivel de actividad que le resulte comodo y vaya aumentando cada semana el tienipo y el ritmo de Ia actividad.
• Haga 30 minutos de ejercicio casi todos los dias. Puede distribuir el ejercicio en tres periodos de 10 minutos.
• Recuerde: es mejor hacer un poco de ejercicio que nada.
• Si no ha estado haciendo ejercicio regularmente, comience poco a poco. Consulte con su medico para asegurarse de que su plan de          ejercicio sea adecuado para usted.Deje de fumar
• Dejar de fumar puede mejorar sus niveles de lipidos. Tambien disminuye el riesgo de trastornos cardiacos y ataques cerebrales.

Medicamento
Muchas personas necesitan medicamentos para reducir sus niveles de colesterol LDL hasta un nivel que no implique peligro. Los medicamentos para reducir los niveles de colesterol son eficaces y seguros. (Pero recuerde que estos medicamentos no sustituyen el ejercicio ni el seguimiento de una dieta sana.) Su medico le dira silos medicamentos pan bajar el nivel de colesterol son adecuados pan usted.

Objetivos para lograr niveles de colesterol saludables

Estos son los niveles más comunes. Pregunte a su medico cuäles son los niveles más adecuados pan usted.
Colesterol total:  Menos de 200 Su objetivo:
HDL:  40 o mãs Su objetivo:
LDL:  Menos de 100 Suobjetivo:
Trigliceridos:  Menos de 150 Su objetivo:_______