Cholesterol Numbers: What They Mean & Why They Matter
December 3, 2017
Cholesterol is a word we hear a lot. It’s a substance that’s produced in the body that is a part of every cell. But we also hear numbers associated with the word “cholesterol.” HDL, LDL, “good” cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol. Depending on the numbers associated with each, you could be at greater risk for heart attack or cardiovascular disease.
In this post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast family medicine expert Dr. Philip Pippin discusses and answers questions about cholesterol. To make an appointment with Dr. Pippin or any of our experts in the Family Medicine Clinic, call (903) 877-7200.
- What is a physician describing when he or she talks about cholesterol?
- Why is it important to know our cholesterol numbers?
- We hear about 'good' cholesterol (HDL) and we hear about 'bad' cholesterol (LDL). To what do these terms refer and why is it important to know the values for each?
- What is an ideal range for a person's HDL, LDL and total cholesterol?
- How significantly does high cholesterol increase a person's risk for heart attack, stroke or other serious health problems?
- Discuss how our diet can positively or negatively affect our cholesterol. What foods should we eat? What foods should we avoid?
- Does high cholesterol have any symptoms or is it only detected via a test?
- What is the test for cholesterol?
- At what age should someone begin having his or her cholesterol checked? And how often should the test be repeated?
- Discuss the role of genetics with respect to one's propensity to have a problem with cholesterol.
- If you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, what role can cholesterol medications such as statins play? How do statins work?
- Are there serious side effects attendant to taking statin medications?
- What are some basic recommendations that can help keep our cholesterol numbers where they need to be?