Generally, when you think of testing cholesterol, you will think of LDL or bad cholesterol, but recently scientists have found that it is more beneficial to know the overall non HDL cholesterol range, and not just the low-density lipoprotein count.
HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, is also considered as the good cholesterol. This is because it works to carry LDL back to the liver, ultimately acting as a natural cleaning tool for your body to keep arteries clear of blockages. Unfortunately, many men and women produce far too many LDL and other cholesterol, for the HDL to make enough of a difference. When this happens, heart disease becomes prevalent, and heart attack and stroke risks are heightened.
Taking The Test:
Testing for non LDL cholesterol range is a simple process during which your doctor will draw blood and check the liquid panel for indications as to how much cholesterol is in your system. The test will indicate the amounts for HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. Doctors can determine the non HDL count by subtracting the amount of high-density lipoprotein from the total amount of cholesterol found in your system.
Recent studies prove that while high LDL does lead to heart disease, it is not the only cause of heart attack and stroke. Individuals with high cholesterol, but standard levels of LDL, can still be at a higher risk for these issues, leading scientists to consider all non HDL as a source of trouble when levels get too high.
You are probably aware that when you get tested for high cholesterol, you want your overall count to reflect a number of 200 mg/dL or even lower. This is the healthy place where the risks of heart disease and other cholesterol related disorders are low. At levels starting from 240 mg/dL and higher, the risks are very high and may require immediate medical attention. Generally, you want your LDL levels in this mix to be below 100 mg/dL, especially if you are at a high risk due to genetics. In fact, below 70 mg/dL is suggested for those who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol in the past. A level of 190 mg/dL for the LDL reading is way above normal and should be discussed with a medical professional to seek treatment. Similarly, HDL levels are best when above 40 mg/dL.
If your amount of overall cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or less, and your HDL is 50 mg/dL, you know that your non HDL reading is 150 mg/dL or less, and this can be healthy depending on the LDL levels. More than 150 mg/dL, and there may be a problem.
Treating High non HDL:
Once you know and understand your non HDL cholesterol range, you can begin working to improve it, if it is at an unhealthy level. This usually means making a few changes in eating and drinking habits, as well as kicking smoking to the curb, and creating healthy goals in terms of physical activity. Your doctor can help you create a treatment plan that works for you and your lifestyle.