What should your cholesterol level be?-the numbers

Cholesterol chart

Heart disease is without doubt the single biggest killer in the world, it is also known as cardiovascular disease (angina, heart attack or stroke)the best way to prevent a heart attack is to make sure your cholesterol is kept at a good healthy level.
So what is a good healthy cholesterol level or what should your cholesterol be ?
200 mg/ dl or less is the desired level
239 mg/dl is on the border
240 mg/dl is too high


What is the difference between mmol/l and mg/dl?
In the United States your blood cholesterol level is measured in mg/dl or milligrams per decilitre but in the United Kingdom and Europe blood cholesterol level is measured in mmol/I or mill moles per litre
How do you convert your blood cholesterol levels mmol/l to mg/dl?
Use this formula, mg/dl Cholesterol=38.6xmmol/l
mmol Cholesterol ÷ 38.6 mg/dl
How to convert your blood Triglyceride levels
Use this formula, Triglyceride mg/dl = 88.5 x mmol/l
Triglyceride mmol/l ÷ 88.5


What is cholesterol?

It is a kind of fat that is present in your blood; we do need a certain amount of cholesterol for example to facilitate hormone production. As we age plaque can form in our arteries which may narrow or block the blood flow. In this case a heart attack may follow, if the blood flow to the brain becomes effected the brain may become damaged (stroke).High cholesterol is one of the main causes of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) so it is really important to have healthy cholesterol.


Cholesterol- there is two types
HDL (high density lipoprotein) called good cholesterol or healthy cholesterol
because it clears up cholesterol in your blood vessels and brings it to the liver where it breaks down and passes from your body.
LDL (low density lipoprotein): LDL goes from your liver to other parts of the body through your arteries. Called bad cholesterol because it is like sticky Velcro as it clings to the walls of the arteries, this narrows the arteries and causes a reduction of blood flow to the heart and brain. Saturated fats don’t help because they can raise the bad cholesterol LDL.


Cholesterol levels:
A simple blood test will determine your cholesterol levels; here are the numbers to look for:
Cholesterol/ Triglyceride levels
Total cholesterol: Not more than 5 MMOL/1
LDL (bad cholesterol) Not more than 3 MMOL/1
HDL (good cholesterol) Not more than 1 MMOL/1
Triglycerides Not more than 2 MMOL/1


What is the mmol?
Some medical tests report results in mill moles per litre (mmol/L). A mole describes a type of substance and usually has a big number 6 which has twenty three zeros in atoms or molecules after that. . A mill mole is one multiplied by ten to the power of three.


How often should your cholesterol be checked?

Your cholesterol level should be checked at a minimum every 5 years once you reach the age of 20.However, medical experts do recommend that women and men over the age of 35 should undergo a blood screening test known as a lipid profile every year.


What does this lipid profile show?

It will include your total cholesterol numbers,

Low density lipoprotein cholesterol LDL, (Bad cholesterol)

High density lipoprotein cholesterol HDL, (Good Cholesterol)

Triglycerides:the fats in our blood that we get from our food.


Blood test results

The results of your cholesterol blood test will be in number form. The numbers on their own are not enough information as to whether you are at risk of a heart attack or stroke or not. Your doctor will need to look at the bigger picture to give an opinion on the risk of heart disease. Other risk factors include blood pressure, whether you smoke or not, your age, and your family history.


Statin drugs for lowering cholesterol
Statin drugs are regularly prescribed by the medical profession as a way to lower your cholesterol levels.In doing so the statins may help to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.Some studies have shown that statin drugs have reduced the risk of stroke and heart attack by up to as much as 25%-30% in some patients.


Which statin drugs are used?

In the United States the most common statin drugs are
Pitavastatin (Livalo)
Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
Pravastatin (Pravachol)
Lovastatin Altoprev,Mevacor)
Fluvastatin (Lescol XL. Lescol)
Atorvastatin (Lipitor)


Drugs for heart disease

According to MD and Holistic Physician Robert Rountree, it’s been established that by taking statins you can lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke, however some new research has shown that statin drugs decrease inflammation which is now more accepted as the primary cause of heart disease.


So if this is true it is important that people know the side effects statin drugs have on cholesterol such as muscle pain and liver damage,it is equally important to know all the dangers of long term use of statin drugs

There are natural alternatives to statin drugs or ways to lower cholesterol without statin drugs. These include lifestyle changes, diet changes and the use of supplements.


Let’s say that you have been taking statin drugs for a number of years and you may have read about the possible side effects if taking statins for a long period of time and you are willing to look at  a natural alternative with guidance from your health professional, then anything is possible.


Make an informed decision

Statin drugs versus natural alternatives

According to MD Mark Houston Director of the Hypertension Institute of Nashville, statins do reduce LDL cholesterol (Bad cholesterol) bad cholesterol is known to build up plaque inside the artery walls and in turn leads to a heart attack.By doing this the underlying problem hasn’t been addressed chronic inflammation has damaged the artery wall caused by high blood pressure, chronic inflammation,autoimmune disorders and blood pressure.

Simply treating the high cholesterol should be part of the bigger picture but the inflammation needs to be tackled before this.


What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s way of trying to heal itself from a foreign body.

How do you treat inflammation in your body?

There are many ways to treat inflammation, your doctor will prescribe drugs but there are other more natural ways, click here for more on this


Summary
What should your cholesterol level be?
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What should your cholesterol level be?
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the best way to prevent a heart attack is to make sure your cholesterol is kept at a good healthy level. So what is a good healthy cholesterol level? 200 mg/ dl or less is the desired level 239 mg/dl is on the border 240 mg/dl is too high
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Fintan Duggan
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