LDLs, HDLs, hypercholesterolemia, and hyperlipidemia: what exactly do they mean, and are they putting you in danger of a heart attack?
Though the terms may very well be confusing, it’s very important to understand the fundamentals of cholesterol and its effect on our heart health – and even more importantly, what practical steps you can take to make certain that your cholesterol levels are in a healthy range before a heart emergency unfolds.
The providers of the highest quality home health Kansas City seniors trust at Enhanced Home Care share the following straightforward definitions to help you better understand the do’s and don’ts of cholesterol:
LDL: LDL, or bad cholesterol, causes fatty deposits to build up in the arteries, elevating your risk of a blockage.
HDL: HDL is the term for the good cholesterol that is required to be kept in proper quantities to get rid of LDL cholesterol and safeguard the arteries.
Hyperlipidemia: Hyperlipidemia is a state in which levels of lipids (fats) in the blood are higher than normal.
Hypercholesterolemia: Hypercholesterolemia is a certain form of hyperlipidemia, indicating elevated levels of LDL in the blood.
A routine blood test to confirm cholesterol levels is recommended for all adults age 20 and above, and if high cholesterol is discovered, making the lifestyle changes below will very likely be advised by the physician to protect your heart:
- Stop (or never begin) smoking. And to go a step further, keep away from other smokers as well to protect against the risks of secondhand smoke. Not only does tobacco smoke lower HDL levels, but it substantially increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Maintain a healthy weight. LDL levels are heightened in those who are overweight or obese. A weight loss of even ten pounds can go a long way towards lowering bad cholesterol.
- Stay active. Moderately intensive physical activity (for instance dancing, riding a bike, swimming, and walking briskly) for at least 150 minutes every week is recommended to ensure sufficient levels of HDL in the blood.
- Eat for your heart. The American Heart Association encourages a diet high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, and nuts, and low in red meat, whole milk dairy products, and saturated fat.
Making lifestyle changes and developing healthier habits is easier with support and encouragement. The professional senior care team at Enhanced Home Care is always readily available to work together with older individuals to strengthen heart health in a wide variety of ways:
- Preparing heart-healthy meals for seniors
- Helping seniors to become engaged in physician-approved exercise programs
- Providing safe, reliable transportation for seniors to outings to enhance activity levels
- Shopping for groceries to make certain the refrigerator and pantry are stocked with healthy choices
- Serving as a friendly companion to inspire seniors to live their best possible lives
- And more
Contact us any time at 913-327-0000 for more tips and resources to improve heart health, and to schedule a free in-home consultation to take the first step in making life healthier for your senior loved ones. We’re honored to provide the very best senior care Kansas City and the surrounding area have to offer.