Cholesterol: Do not think of it as bad or good!
Cholesterol comes in many forms, in the past some where labeled as bad and others as good. This is not a correct way of looking at them, cholesterol is an essential fat that is required for normal body functions. It is produced by the liver and is needed to build cells, helps in fat digestion, but most of all it is required building block for most hormones (estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and vitamin D).
Cholesterol travels through the body with the aid of a substances called lipoproteins. HDL (high density lipoprotein) carries the fat from the arteries to the liver where it is then removed from the body, hence HDL was named the “good” cholesterol as it removed fat from the body. Whereas, LDL (low density lipoprotein) carries it through the bloodstream where clots may form, and was named the “bad” cholesterol. There is also VLDL, which transforms LDL.
We now measure the total cholesterol and compare the totals, as ratios between HDL and LDL determine risk factors for heart disease. We also check sizes of HDL as larger particles are better for health outcomes.
What causes high LDL? Obesity, binge eating, chronic stress, high blood pressure, hypothyroid, insulin resistance, kidney disease, pregnancy, genetics, age and sex.
There are so many factors that can influence your cholesterol numbers therefore testing for more than just lipids is important to find the root cause. Therefore we test, liver, kidneys, hormones, glucose/insulin, and thyroid.
There are some severe symptoms you should look out for and should seek immediate medical interventions: shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, frequent leg pains, poor circulation.
Do not wait for these symptoms to arise, prevention is key.
Book an appointment with Dr. Matthew Pace, Naturopathic Doctor to get your blood work up done. Find
out your levels and determine your risks for heart disease.