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Medical Monday; Cholesterol

| September 2, 2013

When you hear the word cholesterol, you may automatically think of greasy burgers and clogged arteries, but not all cholesterol is bad.  Family Medicine Physician. Pines Health Services, Samuela Manages says “the body always makes its own cholesterol and it makes enough that it needs. And as a matter of fact, when it needs more, it actually recycles what it has in it’s body. HDL, what we consider the good cholesterol…h stands for high, you know we want that at a higher number, so typically the goal is greater than 40.”  And it’s that bad cholesterol or LDL that people really need to control, as that can cause clogged arteries which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Manages says the best way to control it, is through a healthy diet. Avoiding options like fried foods and large amounts of red meat.  She adds that people often don’t realize that “high sugar content products or high alcohol content products can also increase your cholesterol.”  So, adding foods to your diet like fruits, vegetables and soy based products along with taking omega 3 or fish oil and adding exercise can help lower or sustain your cholesterol levels, but sometimes that just isn’t enough and medical help is required.  Manages says it’s important to “talk to your provider about medication options. Most common we use statins like for example people have heard of lipitor or crestor.”  Manages says that high cholesterol is a rising problem, but management is possible and the reward will be a healthier lifestyle overall.   She adds that because there are no symptoms connected to high cholesterol, it’s important to visit your doctor and have those levels checked. She says they recommend people start having that test, which is a blood test, done in their 20s.

 

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