According to medical experts, those who are currently over the age of 20 should be thinking about having their cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years. In some cases, it may be recommended to have those levels checked more frequently if you have one of a number of different risk factors. Through the use of a lipoprotein panel, your doctor will be able to determine your risk of suffering from coronary heart disease by looking at everything that your blood carries, including LDL or bad cholesterol, HDL or good cholesterol, and triglycerides.
If your levels of LDL cholesterol are significantly high, or over 190, then your doctor will probably suggest that you make some changes to your diet and lifestyle habits to reduce that number. Often, this will mean coming up with personalized LDL cholesterol goals and measures to improve your health.
Factors that Can Affect Your LDL Cholesterol Goals:
When setting lifestyle goals and making changes to your health in the hope to positively change your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, it’s important to remember the various extraneous factors that can have an impact on your results. For example, you might find that it’s more difficult to reach LDL cholesterol goals if you are smoking cigarettes on a regular basis, or you have a high blood pressure level of 140/90 or more. Some people find that reaching their LDL cholesterol goals is also a great deal more difficult when their total lipoprotein panel reveals that they don’t have much HDL cholesterol in their system. If you have less than 40 mg/dl of HDL in your blood, then you’re missing out on some of the substances that can help to rid LDL from your body, and prevent it from having a negative impact on your health.
Other risk factors associated with LDL cholesterol include a family history of heart disease, which may make you more prone to the condition, and your age. Typically, women over the age of 55 are more likely to suffer with higher levels of LDL, while men over the age of 45 have a harder time reaching their LDL goals.
Ways of Reaching Your LDL Cholesterol Goals:
Once your doctor has fully evaluated your cholesterol levels and your ten-year risk for heart disease, he or she will be able to give you a goal to work towards in terms of reducing your LDL by a certain percentage. To help you do this, your healthcare professional will give you a plan of action to consider, which will often include things like changing your diet to improve your intake of HDL, and reduce your intake of LDL, and engaging in regular exercise for weight management.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend that you begin a course of drug treatment to help manage extremely high levels of LDL cholesterol. This could involve taking statins, which are designed to stop the liver from producing cholesterol, or cholesterol absorption inhibitors. Vitamins and supplements are also recommended in some cases, depending on the unique circumstances of your condition.