What Is Cholesterol

Understanding Cholesterol

In the human body, cholesterol is produced by our liver. It is a fatty and waxy substance which is required to protect nerves, construct cell tissues and make certain hormones. Cholesterol is very important to our health, although excess amount of cholesterol level brings negative impact to our overall system. If you go to check your cholesterol level, it is estimated in milligram per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). While determining whether your
cholesterol levels put you at high risk, the doctor may take into account other factors such as family history, age, sex, high blood pressure, and smoking habits. During the diagnosis, a complete lipoprotein profile will reveal the details regarding total blood cholesterol level, HDL (good) cholesterol level, LDL (bad) cholesterol level, and triglyceride level.

Total Blood Cholesterol Level

If your HDL, LDL and triglyceride level are within the desirable limit and you have your total blood cholesterol level less than 200mg/dL, this means you are at low risk for developing coronary heart diseases. If you are diagnosed between 200-239mg/dL for your total cholesterol level, you are at borderline-high risk condition. At this time, doctors will thoroughly examine the LDL, HDL and triglyceride level and ratio. It may happen that your LDL can be balanced by the HDL count. If you have your total cholesterol level of 240mg/dL or more, you are at higher risk for developing coronary heart disease twice more likely than people having cholesterol at their desirable level.

HDL (good) Cholesterol Level

HDL is good and higher level of HDL is better for health. Men having HDL less than 40mg/dL and women 50mg/dL are at risk for developing heart disease. HDL level more than 60mg/dL offers safeguard against developing cardiac complications. On average, men and women have HDL of 40-50mg/dL and 50-60mg/dL respectively. Smoking and obesity may result in low level of HDL. In order to increase and maintain a perfect HDL level, one should strictly avoid tobacco smoking, must maintain healthy diet and practice exercise on regular basis. If someone has higher triglyceride level, he typically has a lower level of HDL and consequently is at higher risk for heart attack and stroke.

LDL (bad) Cholesterol Level

If you have a lower LDL level, that means you have at lower risk for developing heart problems. Typically less than 100mg/dL implies an optimal level of LDL while 190mg/dL may pose a serious threat on health. While determining appropriate treatment plan for someone having higher level of LDL, doctors first take into account the other risk factors as well. It greatly varies person to person. If a healthy level of LDL is applicable to you; that does not mean it will be suitable in a same way for your neighbor. So it is highly recommended adhere the treatment plan as suggested by your doctor so that it can work for you in the best suitable fashion.

Triglyceride Level

Triglyceride is a kind of fat that is produced within our system. Typically people with higher triglyceride level have a higher level of total cholesterol in addition to high LDL and low HDL. Normally, your triglyceride level should fall below 150mg/dL. If you are having your triglyceride level higher than 500mg/dL, you are certainly at risk. The risk factors identified for developing higher triglyceride level are obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and high carbohydrate diet. Additionally, genetic disorders may pose a threat.