Hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, LDLs, and HDLs: what do they all mean, and are they putting you at risk for a heart attack?
Although the terminology might be confusing, it’s worthwhile to understand the fundamentals of cholesterol and its effect on our heart health – and more importantly, what practical steps you can take to verify your cholesterol levels are within a healthy range before a heart problem develops.
Live Free Home Health Care offers the following straightforward meanings to help you better understand cholesterol do’s and don’ts:
LDL: LDL, or bad cholesterol, causes deposits of fat to form in the arteries, increasing your chance of a blockage.
HDL: HDL is the term for the good cholesterol that has to be maintained in proper quantities to eliminate LDL cholesterol and protect the arteries.
Hyperlipidemia: Hyperlipidemia is a state in which levels of lipids (fats) in the blood are too high.
Hypercholesterolemia: Hypercholesterolemia is a specific form of hyperlipidemia, indicating high levels of LDL in the blood.
A quick blood test to assess cholesterol levels is a good idea for all adults age 20 and above, and if high cholesterol is discovered, making the following lifestyle changes will likely be recommended by the doctor to protect your heart:
- Quit (or never start) smoking. And to go a step further, keep clear of others who are smoking as well to protect against the dangers of secondhand smoke. Not only does tobacco smoke bring down HDL levels, but it greatly increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Sustain a healthy weight. LDL levels are higher in individuals who are overweight or obese. A loss of even ten pounds can go a long way towards minimizing bad cholesterol.
- Stay active. Moderately intensive physical activity (such as dancing, riding a bike, swimming, and walking briskly) for at least 150 minutes a week is ideal to ensure adequate levels of HDL in the blood.
- Eat for your heart. The American Heart Association encourages a diet high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, and nuts, and low in red meat, whole milk dairy products, and saturated fat.
Implementing lifestyle changes and developing healthier habits is less difficult with support and encouragement. Live Free Home Health Care, providers of home health care in Concord, NH and the surrounding areas, is always readily available to work together with seniors to strengthen senior heart health in a wide variety of ways:
- Preparing heart-healthy meals for seniors
- Helping seniors to become engaged in doctor-approved exercise routines
- Supplying safe, reliable transportation for seniors to outings to boost activity levels
- Shopping for groceries for seniors to make certain the refrigerator and pantry are stocked with healthy foods
- Serving as a friendly companion to encourage seniors to live their best possible lives
- And more
Contact us any time at 603-217-0149 for more tips and resources to improve senior heart health, and to request a free in-home meeting to take the first step in making life healthier for your senior loved ones. To learn about each of the communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.