What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that the liver makes but it also comes in foods. Commonly cholesterol comes in animal meats. If you have high cholesterol you could be at risk of having coronary heart disease, or other heart diseases. The reason cholesterol could be harmful for the heart is because it builds up in coronary arteries. This is called plaques. Since the arteries are blocked this reduces the amount of oxygen being carried by them to your heart. Cholesterol is usually carried by lipoproteins.

What are lipoproteins?

There are two kinds of lipoproteins. The first kind is Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and the second kind is High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is usually referred as the "bad" cholesterol because this is the waxy substance that builds up on the walls of the arteries. HDL is usually referred as the "good" cholesterol because since LDL can't dissolve in the blood HDL helps to get rid of it. Low HDL show and increased risk of having a heart disease.

How are the concentrations of LDL and HDL associated with the risk for heart diseases?

The concentrations of LDL and HDL associated with the risk for heart disease because if there is a low amount of HDL then there isnt enough amount of this substance in the blood to get rid of the excess of LDL.

What kinds of food can affect my cholesterol levels?

All foods that include saturated fats or trans fats will affect your cholesterol levels.

What other molecules in a patient's blood are monitored along with LDL and HDL?

Triglycerides are molecules found in cholesterol that are monitored along with LDL and HDL.

What do the results of a cholesterol test mean?

Your cholesterol test results can tell your physician your lifetime or your risk of getting a heart attack or a stroke.

What can patients do to change the levels of LDL and HDL in their blood?

There are many things a patient could do to change the levels of LDL and HDL in their blood. They could eat a healthy diet with low fats. If the patient does eat saturated fat then it should be limited.

Why do doctors monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL in the patients blood?

Doctors monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL in the patiens blood because it helps them know the risk of the patient of getting a heart disease.