What Do Your Cholesterol Numbers Mean?
Knowing your cholesterol numbers can help you stay in control of your health! A high level of cholesterol in the blood doesn’t have obvious symptoms, which is why getting your cholesterol levels checked is so important. Left untreated, high blood cholesterol can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, putting you at risk of heart disease and stroke.
October: National Cholesterol Month
Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is made in the liver but can also be found in some foods. We all need some cholesterol in our bodies to keep us ticking over, but having too much can clog up our arteries and lead to health problems in the future.
What Are Risk Factors for High Blood Cholesterol?
Having risk factors such as the following make it more essential to know your numbers…
💜 Family History
Some people have a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, which can cause high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol from a young age.
Type 2 diabetes raises “bad” cholesterol and lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol, raising the risk for heart disease and stroke.
💜 Older age
As you age, your body can’t clear cholesterol as well as it used to.
💜 Being male
Men tend to have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels than women do. But after menopause (around age 55), LDL cholesterol levels in women increase.
💜 Being overweight or obese
Unhealthy eating habits, and lack of physical activity can lead to high cholesterol.
💜Previously having had high cholesterol
If you have a history of high cholesterol, your doctor may want you to keep a closer watch on your levels.
Keep Your Cholesterol Under Control
❤️ Choose healthy foods
Limit foods that are high in saturated fats, sugar, and sodium (salt). Choose foods high in fibre such as fresh fruits and veggies, and high in unsaturated fats such as avocados and nuts.
❤️ Stay physically active
We should be getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise every week. Moderate physical activity helps manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
❤️ Don’t smoke
Smoking damages the blood vessels and greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
❤️ Take medicine if necessary
A healthy diet and physical activity can help many people reach healthy cholesterol levels but some people may need medicines to lower cholesterol. Always take your medicine as prescribed.
How Tonic Can Help…
As we mentioned earlier, your blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease; and as high cholesterol does not cause symptoms, you can only find out if you have it from a blood test.
The lipid profile test we offer is quick and easy and we do them in the workplace. In our tests we cover your:
• Total Cholesterol (TC)
• High Density Lipoproteins (HDL’s) – the good
• Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL’s) – the bad
• Triglycerides (TG)
Plus we calculate your:
• TC / HDL ratio
• TG / HDL ratio
Once you are aware of your risk factors, together we can do something about it. The great news is that this can often be treated with lifestyle modifications, in particular dietary modifications. When these problems are addressed early it can prevent a future heath issue that could take you off work for weeks or even worse.
In the Tonic Toolbox we also offer group workshops covering all pillars of wellbeing to support these sessions – providing help, information and pathways to support behaviour change; bringing true value to the testing we offer.
During our 1-2-1 sessions, our qualified practitioners can check the following as well as covering additional significant lifestyle markers linked to emotional wellbeing:
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
- Body Composition including Visceral Fat
- Blood Pressure
- Hydration Levels
- Cholesterol (Full Lipid Profile)
- Blood Sugar (Glucose)
- Physique Rating
- Resting Heart Rate
- Muscle Mass Score
- Bone Mass
- Waist: Hip Ratio & Circumferences
If you are interested in bringing wellbeing to the heart of your organisation or as a member of staff want us to contact your employer – contact us today. It’s time to know your numbers…