When we hear the word “cholesterol,” it’s almost always about the numbers and why it’s important to know them. That’s especially true when it comes to high cholesterol. A clinician might use the term dyslipidemia. While there are different types of dyslipidemia, the term simply means having an abnormal level of lipids in the blood.
We always hear why it’s important to keep cholesterol levels under control, but how? Here are a few things you can do and some facts you should know to help keep your cholesterol levels in check.
What Can I Do?
- Check your cholesterol levels and know your numbers. One in four people has NEVER had a cholesterol check. Chances are you or someone you know needs to schedule one!
- Change your diet and lifestyle to help improve your levels by eating a healthy diet and getting regular aerobic exercise. Both will help you maintain a healthy weight, which is also going to help you control your cholesterol levels.
- Control your cholesterol with help from your doctor if needed.
- High cholesterol can be genetic.
- Having high cholesterol means you double your risk of having heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
- There are NO symptoms from having high cholesterol.
- Only about 20 percent of the cholesterol in your body comes from the food you eat.
- Children can have problems with high cholesterol. Children and adolescents with an elevated risk of high cholesterol should be tested.
- Hormones can affect your cholesterol levels, especially if you have certain conditions such as PCOS (or Polycystic ovary syndrome), diabetes, metabolic syndrome or hypothyroidism.
What Should My Numbers Look Like?
|Desirable Cholesterol Levels1|
|Total cholesterol||Less than 200 mg/dL|
|LDL (“bad” cholesterol)||Less than 100 mg/dL|
|HDL (“good” cholesterol)||60 mg/dL or higher|
|Triglycerides||Less than 150 mg/dL|
What More Can I Do?
Engage with a Health Advisor at Pack Health! We offer lifestyle modification programs proven to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) by 13% and they can help you stay motivated.
To learn more, download Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources.
American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Overview
American Heart Association: Common Misconceptions About Cholesterol
American Heart Association: Cholesterol
American Heart Association: Cholesterol 101: An introduction
American Thyroid Association: Hypothyroidism FAQs
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Cholesterol Facts
Mayo Clinic: Metabolic Syndrome – symptoms and causes
MedlinePlus.gov: High Cholesterol in Children and Teens
U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources: Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol with Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes
Women’s Health.gov: Polycystic ovary syndrome
- National Cholesterol Education Program. Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults . NIH Publication No. 01-3670. Bethesda, MD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2001.