High cholesterol is a hot topic these days. Cholesterol is a lipid which is naturally produced by the body to maintain cell membranes. The body actually makes all the cholesterol it needs for its functions. Our cholesterol level becomes high when either our bodies overproduce cholesterol or we eat foods high in cholesterol.
Having high cholesterol is dangerous because it can build up in your arteries, causing heart disease and heart attack. High cholesterol is also responsible for strokes.
Your doctor can perform a blood test to determine what the level of cholesterol is in your blood. Sometimes your doctor may want you to take a fasting blood test, which means he will test the cholesterol level in your blood after you have gone without eating for a specified number of hours.
A high cholesterol level is medically defined as more than 240 mg/DL total. Your doctor may also divide your cholesterol level into “good” cholesterol or HDL cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.
If your physician feels that your cholesterol level is high, there are several things that can be done. These things include eating a healthy low-fat diet and exercising regularly to improve heart and overall health. Your doctor may put you on cholesterol lowering prescription medication.
Your cholesterol level has a very important impact on your total body health and your heart. It can even be life threatening if not controlled. See your doctor for a cholesterol test. If your cholesterol level is not within normal ranges, take action to lower it.