One important thing to remember when you're worrying about cholesterol levels, is that not all cholesterol is bad. In fact, some of the cholesterol in your system is essential, and it's required by the cells in your body for a number of reasons. If you're wondering about guidelines for treating LDL cholesterol then chances are that you've been informed that your level of the bad cholesterol, LDL, is high. LDL cholesterol is made up of an outside rim of lipoprotein surrounding a cholesterol center. The reason that it is bad for a person's health is that it can frequently build up on the walls of arteries and lead to arterial thickening or hardening.
Examining LDL Cholesterol Test Results:
If you undergo an LDL cholesterol test and find that your numbers are higher than they should be, then your doctor should discuss a course of action with you based on the guidelines for treating LDL cholesterol. While heart attacks and other heart-related problems are generally quite unpredictable, most experts agree that higher levels of LDL can substantially raise your risk of suffering from heart disease. Until recently, the guidelines that were laid out for reducing the risk of heart disease in most people put a great deal of emphasis on reducing the amount of bad LDL cholesterol to certain levels.
Today, the focus isn't entirely on LDL. Instead, you and your doctor will work together to develop a customized strategy based on the guidelines for treating LDL cholesterol and improving your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels. This strategy for treatment will be based on your specific risk level for stroke or heart disease. To figure the numbers out doctors use a calculator to determine your chances of suffering from these problems over the course of the next ten years. This calculator will consider various factors, including your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, age, and lifestyle factors. Your doctor may also discuss other risk factors with you, such as a family history of heart disease or diabetes.
Developing a Treatment Program:
Once your LDL cholesterol levels have been examined in depth, your doctor will be able to give you an insight into the various different measures you can take to reduce your LDL levels and improve your HDL levels. Usually, planning for a healthy diet and regular exercise will be the major starting point. This means eating foods that are low in saturated fats and dietary cholesterol. You can also lower your numbers more if you add fiber to your diet. Regular aerobic exercise is also recommended.
However, if simply making lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise isn't enough, then your doctor might suggest that you take certain medications. Certain drugs, such as statins, will help to prevent your system from making cholesterol as frequently as before, whereas other medications can help to reduce the amount of cholesterol your body takes in from your diet. There is also a recent class of drugs that are designed to block the activity of the protein, which interferes with the way that your liver works to remove LDL from your blood.