Hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, HDLs and LDLs: what 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 know the basics of cholesterol and its effect on our heart health – and most importantly, what proactive steps you can take to verify your cholesterol levels are in a healthy range before a heart problem takes place.
The experts in home health Kansas City seniors need at Hearts at Home In-Home Care provide the following basic definitions to help you better understand the ins and outs of cholesterol:
LDL: LDL, or bad cholesterol, leads to the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, boosting your chance of a blockage.
HDL: HDL is the terminology for the good cholesterol that has to be maintained in ample quantities to eliminate LDL cholesterol and safeguard the arteries.
Hyperlipidemia: Hyperlipidemia is a condition in which levels of lipids (fats) in the blood are excessive.
Hypercholesterolemia: Hypercholesterolemia is a particular form of hyperlipidemia, indicating elevated levels of LDL in the blood.
A simple blood test to evaluate cholesterol levels is recommended for all adults age 20 and over, and if high cholesterol is determined, making the following lifestyle changes will probably be suggested by the physician to protect your heart:
- Quit (or never begin) smoking. And to go a step further, stay away from others who are smoking as well to protect against the negative effects of secondhand smoke. Not only does tobacco smoke bring down HDL levels, but it greatly increases the chance of coronary heart disease.
- Sustain a healthy BMI. LDL levels are heightened in individuals who are overweight or obese. A weight loss of even 10 pounds can go a long way towards cutting down on bad cholesterol.
- Get moving. A moderate intensity of physical activity (for example walking briskly, dancing, bicycling, or swimming) for at least 150 minutes a week is ideal to ensure appropriate levels of HDL in the blood.
- Plan meals for your heart. The American Heart Association recommends a diet high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, and nuts, and low in whole milk dairy products, saturated fat, and red meat.
Making lifestyle changes and developing healthier habits is quite a bit easier with support and encouragement. The professional senior care team at Hearts at Home In-Home Care is always at the ready to work together with older individuals to enhance heart health in a wide variety of ways:
- Preparing heart-healthy meals for seniors
- Engaging seniors in doctor-approved exercise programs
- Offering safe, dependable transportation for seniors to outings to boost activity levels
- Picking up groceries for seniors to ensure the refrigerator and pantry are stocked with healthy selections
- Serving as a friendly companion to motivate seniors to live their best possible lives
- And more
Contact us any time at 913-440-4209 for more tips and resources to improve heart health, and to request a free in-home evaluation to take the first step in making life healthier for your senior loved ones. We’re pleased to provide the highest quality home health Kansas City and the surrounding area has to offer.