National Cholesterol Education Month
Americans young and old can be affected by high cholesterol. September is National Cholesterol Education month, the perfect time to have your blood cholesterol checked and take the recommended steps to lower it if yours is high.
Even if your numbers aren’t high, take some time to learn about lipid profiles and what foods and lifestyle habits can be incorporated into the daily life of you or your loved ones to maintain your normal levels.
What is Cholesterol and How Do I Know If Mine Is High?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in our body and many foods. Your body makes cholesterol in your liver and needs it to function normally, making just as much as your body needs. Unfortunately, if your cholesterol is high, there aren’t typically any symptoms, which means many people may not even know they have high cholesterol! There is a simple blood test that can be ordered by your physician, called a lipoprotein profile, which measures your total cholesterol levels, including LDL (“bad” cholesterol”) and HDL (“good” cholesterol”) and triglycerides.
The Doctor’s Recommendations:
|Desirable Cholesterol Levels
||Less than 170 mb/dL
|Low LDL ("bad") cholesterol
||Less than 110 mg/dL
|High HDL ("good ") cholesterol
||35 mg/dL or higher
||Less than 150 mg/dL
“National guidelines recommends that adults age 20 or older have their cholesterol checked every 5 years,” suggests Dr. Jerome Daly, a Family Practice doctor with Silver Cross Medical Group. “However, if there are any risk factors for coronary heart disease such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history, screenings should begin earlier in life and more frequently.” Though there are medications you can take to lower your cholesterol, diet and lifestyle adjustments can help significantly before the need for medical intervention. “I recommend my patients to always be conscious of their diet first. Eating foods low in fat, but high in fiber like fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and whole grains can positively impact your cholesterol levels. Also, increase your physical activity levels by getting at least 2 ½ hours of moderate activity a week, maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke!”
More about Dr. Daly and Silver Cross Medical Group
Dr. Jerome Daly is a board-certified Family Practice doctor who is part of the Silver Cross Medical Group located in the newPavilion D on campus in New Lenox. Silver Cross Medical Group offers an integrated network of caregivers and clinical programs that puts you at the center, with access to a team that coordinates your care across all settings, including your doctor’s office, hospital, testing facilities and other places you may receive care. We’re committed to providing care of the highest quality and treating our patients and family members with the courtesy and respect that’s synonymous with Silver Cross Hospital. Quite simply, it’s the way you should be treated.