Hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, LDLs, and HDLs: what exactly do these terms mean, and are they putting you at risk for a heart attack?
Although the terminology may very well be confusing, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of cholesterol and its impact on our heart health – and more importantly, what practical actions you can take to be certain that your cholesterol levels are in a healthy range before a heart emergency happens.
The experts in the elderly care St. Louis families need at Compassionate Nursing Services share the following straightforward explanations to help you better understand cholesterol do’s and don’ts:
LDL: LDL, or bad cholesterol, leads to the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, escalating your risk of a blockage.
HDL: HDL is the term for the good cholesterol that has to be retained in proper quantities to remove LDL cholesterol and safeguard the arteries.
Hyperlipidemia: Hyperlipidemia is a condition in which quantities of lipids (fats) in the blood are elevated.
Hypercholesterolemia: Hypercholesterolemia is a certain type of hyperlipidemia, signifying elevated levels of LDL in the blood.
A quick blood test to verify cholesterol levels is recommended for all adults age 20 and above, and if high cholesterol is identified, making the following lifestyle changes will most likely be suggested by the medical professional to protect your heart:
- Stop (or never start) smoking. And to take it a step further, keep clear of other smokers as well to protect against the danger of secondhand smoke. Not only does tobacco smoke decrease HDL levels, but it greatly increases the chance for coronary heart disease.
- Sustain a healthy BMI. LDL levels are heightened in individuals who are overweight or obese. A weight loss of even ten pounds can go a long way towards minimizing bad cholesterol.
- Stay active. Moderately intensive physical activity (for instance briskly walking, swimming, riding a bike, or dancing) for at least 150 minutes every week is recommended to ensure acceptable levels of HDL in the blood.
- Eat for your heart. The American Heart Association advises 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.
Putting into practice these lifestyle changes and developing healthier habits is more effective with encouragement and support. The professional home care team at Compassionate Nursing Services is always at the ready to work together with older adults to enhance heart health in a multitude of ways:
- Fixing heart-healthy meals for seniors
- Engaging seniors in physician-approved exercise routines
- Supplying safe, reliable transportation for seniors to outings to boost activity levels
- Shopping for groceries to ensure the refrigerator and pantry are stocked with healthy selections
- Serving as a friendly companion to encourage seniors to live their best possible lives
- And more
Contact us any time at 314-432-4312 for more helpful resources to improve heart health, and to schedule a free in-home meeting to take the first step in making life healthier for your senior loved ones. We’re honored to provide the highest quality respite care in St. Louis and the surrounding area.