Hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, HDLs and LDLs: what exactly do they all mean, and are they putting you at risk for a heart attack?
While the terminology may be confusing, it’s very important to be aware of the basics of cholesterol and its impact on our heart health – and most importantly, what practical measures you can take to verify your cholesterol levels are within a healthy range before a heart problem happens.
The experts in senior care Edwardsville, IL families trust at Morning Glory Home Care share the following straightforward meanings to help you better understand the do’s and don’ts of cholesterol:
LDL: LDL, or bad cholesterol, results in the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, increasing your risk of a blockage.
HDL: HDL is the term for the good cholesterol that must be retained in sufficient quantities to clear away LDL cholesterol and protect the arteries.
Hyperlipidemia: Hyperlipidemia is a state in which amounts of lipids (fats) in the blood are too high.
Hypercholesterolemia: Hypercholesterolemia is a particular form of hyperlipidemia, indicating high levels of LDL in the blood.
A quick blood test to assess cholesterol levels is suggested for all adults age 20 and above, and if high cholesterol is determined, making the following lifestyle changes will most likely be recommended by the physician to protect your heart:
- Cease (or never start) smoking. And to take it a step further, stay clear of others who are smoking as well to protect against the negative effects of secondhand smoke. Not only does tobacco smoke decrease HDL levels, but it greatly increases the chance for coronary heart disease.
- Sustain a healthy weight. LDL levels are elevated in individuals who are overweight or obese. A loss of even ten pounds can go a long way towards cutting down on bad cholesterol.
- Stay active. A moderate intensity of physical activity (for instance walking briskly, dancing, bicycling, or swimming) for at least 150 minutes every week is suggested to ensure proper levels of HDL in the blood.
- Eat for your heart. The American Heart Association recommends a diet high in poultry, fish, whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and low in whole milk dairy products, saturated fat, and red meat.
Making lifestyle changes and creating healthier habits is less difficult with encouragement and support. The professional home care team at Morning Glory Home Care is always on hand to work together with older individuals to strengthen heart health in a variety of ways:
- Preparing heart-healthy meals for seniors
- Helping seniors to become engaged in physician-approved exercise routines
- Offering safe, reliable transportation for seniors to outings to enhance activity levels
- Shopping for groceries for seniors to ensure the refrigerator and pantry are stocked with healthy foods
- Serving as a friendly companion to inspire seniors to live their best possible lives
- And more
Contact us any time at 618-667- 8400 for more helpful resources to improve heart health, and to request a free in-home assessment to take the first step in making life healthier for your senior loved ones. We’re pleased to provide the highest quality senior care in Edwardsville, IL and the surrounding areas.