2012 Total Cholesterol

The next part of the BioIQ test focuses on cholesterol and breaks down the results into 4 parts:  total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.

Today, I will focus on the total cholesterol piece and provide a general overview of what it tells you and how it impacts your health, based on what I have learned while researching this.

Let me be very clear – I am by no means a medical expert, so I am leaving some of the information to the experts at the American Heart Association (AHA). Below is a collection of information from their website, which is a fantastic resource for understanding everything there is to know about cholesterol – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Why is it important to know your cholesterol levels?

There are two types of cholesterol: “good” and “bad.” It’s important to understand the difference, and to know the levels of “good” and “bad” cholesterol in your blood. Too much of one type — or not enough of another — can put you at risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75 percent of blood cholesterol. The other 25 percent comes from the foods you eat. Cholesterol is only found in animal products.

How often should I be tested for cholesterol levels?

All adults age 20 or older should have a fasting lipoprotein profile — which measures total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol and triglycerides — once every five years.

You may need to have your cholesterol checked more often than every five years if one or more of these situations applies to you:

> Your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or more
> You are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 50
> Your HDL (good) cholesterol is less than 40 mg/dL
> You have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke

How are cholesterol levels measured?  How does this help me?

Your test report will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). To determine how your cholesterol levels affect your risk of heart disease, your doctor will also take into account other risk factors such as age, family history, smoking and high blood pressure.

What do the numbers mean?

Less than 200 mg/dL – Desirable level that puts you at lower risk for coronary heart disease. A cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or higher raises your risk

200 to 239 mg/dL – Borderline high

240 mg/dL and above – High blood cholesterol. A person with this level has more than twice the risk of coronary heart disease as someone whose cholesterol is below 200 mg/dL

Hopefully, these posts are helping someone out there understand how to keep a better handle on their health and utilize some of the resources offered for FREE by many employers.

For me, I was excited to see that, from the diagram at the top of this post, my total cholesterol was within desirable ranges.  But that doesn’t mean I am out of the woods.  More to come tomorrow.

P.S. – The AHA cholesterol IQ test is a great way to test your knowledge about something that many people don’t understand is SO important to know.

In case you missed my previous posts about test results, here they are.