Cholesterol is a fatty substance which, when deposited in blood vessels over time, causes blockage of blood flow. Cholesterol is in many foods, but direct consumption is not the only place that our body gets it. The body easily changes saturated fatty acids (unlike polyunsaturated fatty acids) into cholesterol.

There are two main carriers of cholesterol in the blood: HDL or high density lipoproteins and LDL low density lipoproteins. HDL (Happy or Healthy) is the good guy. He is very tidy, wherever he finds cholesterol, such as a blood vessel, he cleans it up and takes it to the liver for disposal. LDL (Lazy or Lousy) cholesterol is the bad guy. He's a slob. Cholesterol left in his care is liable to end up littered anywhere in the blood vessels.

When you have your cholesterol tested, we look at these two carriers. People with high levels of HDL have less risk of heart attack. Elevated LDL puts a person at increased risk, especially if they smoke, are over weight or have high blood pressure. A family history of heart problems is also a risk factor.

Cholesterol can be managed with diet, exercise and occasionally with medicine, but we have to discover the problem to know to treat it. If you would like, I can tell you more end test you on your next visit!


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