Hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, LDLs, and HDLs: what exactly do they all mean, and are they contributing to your risk of a heart attack?
Although the terms might be confusing, it’s worthwhile to comprehend the basics of cholesterol and its impact on our heart health – and most importantly, what practical measures you can take to assure your cholesterol levels are within a healthy range before a heart emergency unfolds.
The Chicago senior care team at Inspired Home Care provides you with the following straightforward definitions to help you better understand cholesterol dos and don’ts:
LDL: LDL, or bad cholesterol, leads to the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, elevating your chance of a blockage.
HDL: HDL is the terminology for the good cholesterol that needs to be maintained in proper quantities to clear away LDL cholesterol and protect the arteries.
Hyperlipidemia: Hyperlipidemia is a state in which quantities of lipids (fats) in the blood are excessive.
Hypercholesterolemia: Hypercholesterolemia is a specific type of hyperlipidemia, signifying elevated levels of LDL in the blood.
A quick blood test to confirm cholesterol levels is advised for all adults age 20 and older, and if high cholesterol is determined, making the lifestyle changes below will very likely be recommended by the health care professional to protect your heart:
- Quit (or never begin) smoking. And to take it a step further, keep clear of others who are smoking as well to protect against the risks of secondhand smoke. Not only does tobacco smoke reduce HDL levels, but it dramatically increases the chance of coronary heart disease.
- Maintain a healthy BMI. LDL levels are greater in people who are overweight or obese. A weight loss of even ten pounds can go a long way towards minimizing bad cholesterol.
- Stay active. A moderate intensity of physical activity (for instance dancing, riding a bike, swimming, and walking briskly) for at least 150 minutes each week is advisable to ensure ample levels of HDL in the blood.
- Plan meals for your heart. The American Heart Association encourages a diet high in poultry, fish, whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and low in red meat, whole milk dairy products, and saturated fat.
Implementing lifestyle changes and creating healthier habits is quite a bit easier with support and encouragement. The professional care team at Inspired Home Care is always readily available to work together with older adults to improve heart health in a variety of ways:
- Preparing heart-healthy meals for seniors
- Engaging seniors in physician-approved exercise programs
- Supplying safe, dependable transportation for seniors to outings to enhance activity levels
- Picking up groceries for seniors to make certain the refrigerator and pantry are stocked with healthy choices
- Serving as a friendly companion to motivate seniors to live their best possible lives
- And more
Contact us any time at 847-787-7572 for more helpful tips to improve heart health, and to schedule a free in-home assessment to take the first step in making life healthier for your senior loved ones. We’re honored to offer the highest quality Chicago senior care that families need. To see if our services are available in your area, click here.