Why High Cholesterol is the Silent Killer
Cholesterol is one of many key measurements for the body that cannot be viewed with the human eye. There are no warning signs of high cholesterol; thus, receiving this diagnosis can be a shock and a disappointment. It has been linked for years to artery degradation and eventually catastrophic events such as strokes and heart attacks. Managing cholesterol levels is critical for maintaining a healthy body.
How to Get Measurements
Cholesterol levels should be tested by a professional health care provider or medical personnel. Many people receive cholesterol checks as part of a corporate wellness program through an employer. However, you can get checked at your doctor during a regular checkup. The sample will then be sent off to a certified laboratory to determine if you have high cholesterol or normal cholesterol levels.
Genetics play a role in an individual’s likelihood of developing high cholesterol. People with a family history of high cholesterol should regularly check their cholesterol levels. This is best done by visiting your physician, onsite clinic, or attending a health fair. The test will require a blood sample. Of course, there are many other risk factors for developing high cholesterol. Some of these can be controlled by lifestyle choices.
What are the Health Implications?
Chronically high levels of cholesterol can wreak havoc on many aspects of your health. The major risks include heart attack, which is one of the leading causes of death in America. Another huge problem is that high cholesterol levels leads to an increased risk of suffering from an acute stroke. The cause of most of these issues appears to be damage to blood transport mechanisms in the body. Narrowing or blockage of arteries restricts normal blood flow, which can make the heart work harder to supply blood throughout the body. This is why the risk of heart attack or stroke is elevated for people who have issues with high cholesterol.
How to Manage or Lower Cholesterol
There are many steps that individuals can take to lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Of course, there is a wide array of supplements available. Under direction of a qualified physician, many people will undergo prescription drug programs to manage high cholesterol levels. The goal for anyone with a diagnosis of cholesterol issues should be to reach and maintain normal levels. This is best achieved through meaningful lifestyle changes.
Sticking to a long-term exercise plan can be extremely helpful. Walking, running, and resistance exercises can all be added to your lifestyle with very positive results. Generally, these types of behaviors contribute to a healthy BMI, or Body Mass Index. Other lifestyle choices that can help with this issue include avoiding risky behaviors such as smoking and alcohol abuse.
Regardless of predisposition to cholesterol problems, it is wise to get regular measurements and track changes in your readings. As mentioned, cholesterol readings should be performed by a licensed medical professional. Making healthier choices when it comes to food, exercise, and tobacco use will also go a long way towards preventing unnecessary risks. If possible, follow guidelines for recommended exercise and try to maintain healthy body fat levels. If you have questions or concerns about your health, consult your medical provider.