Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

Too much cholesterol is never a good thing and if you have too much in your blood, it could easily lead to a heart attack or stroke. In order to prevent these risk factors, it is important to stay informed about your health and learn how to detect cholesterol and treat it when it is found.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body actually needs, but if you have too much of it in your blood, it can build up walls in your arteries. When that occurs, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Two out of three adults have high cholesterol which is why it is so important to learn how to prevent it now.
There are actually two kinds of cholesterol: high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). While HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol, LDL is not. It is recommended that adults aged 20 years or older should have their cholesterol checked every five years. For those under 20 years old, you still need to take precautions so that your cholesterol does not end up affecting your health or life.
Screening is actually the key to detecting high cholesterol because high cholesterol does not have any symptoms. So in order to know if your cholesterol is good, make a doctor’s appointment where they will do a simple blood test to find out the results. But what are some things you can do to be proactive regarding your health and cholesterol? Here are a few healthy lifestyle changes that are sure to help:

*Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt, low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
*Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
*Maintain a healthy weight.
*Don’t smoke
*Take at least one brisk 10-minute walk, three times a day, five days a week.

If you think you might be having a stroke or a heart attack, do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1 for emergency assistance. For more information on cholesterol and your health, visit: http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/win/info/cholesterol.pdf

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