One of the many things we can advise on here at Vaughn Pharmacy is how best to go about managing cholesterol levels. However, many of our patients are interested to know a little bit more about what the numbers on their cholesterol test mean, so we have put together a basic guide to help you learn more.
What is Cholesterol?
Let’s start by briefly outlining what cholesterol is and why it is important. Cholesterol is produced in the liver and is a waxy, odorless substance. It has an important role to play in several of our body functions including digestion and the production of hormones. However, as well as producing our own source of cholesterol, we also consume it from some of the food we eat. If there is an excessive amount of cholesterol in our blood that is when things start to get out of hand and plaque starts to build up in the artery walls.
Symptoms of High Cholesterol
It is estimated that over 100 million Americans have dangerously high levels of cholesterol. However, here at Vaughn Pharmacy when we discuss cholesterol or recommend a cholesterol check, we often hear patients say ‘I don’t think I have any symptoms of that!’ The truth is, high cholesterol rarely causes any noticeable symptoms until the damage is already done. Over time, an elevated level of cholesterol can cause a build-up of plaque in the arteries resulting in a narrowing of the passages where blood flows which can trigger heart disease. You would likely not know it was there until it was too late which is one of the reasons we believe in making customers more aware of cholesterol issues. It’s simple for a doctor to detect using a simple test, and we can offer advice on how to bring it down if it is too high.
It is recommended that anyone over the age of 20 has a cholesterol check once every 4 to 6 years. The test is a very simple blood test to measure the different types of cholesterol present in your blood. The test is a fasting one, so it is important to avoid eating for 9 to 12 hours beforehand. What a doctor is looking for in the test is high levels of Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) aka ‘bad cholesterol.’ In the average person, an LDL score of under 100 is acceptable. Doctors also look at triglyceride levels. These are converted from excess calories, alcohol, and sugar. A score greater than 150 will put you in the ‘at risk’ category for metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.
Combating High Cholesterol
Vaughn Pharmacy can provide tips on how to reduce high levels. For example, making some changes to your diet can help to lower cholesterol. Look for foods that are high in soluble fiber such as whole-grain bread, cereals, oatmeal, fruit, and vegetables. When it comes to fats, try to choose healthy fats over saturated ones. These can be found in avocados, olive oil, and peanuts.
If you have concerns about your cholesterol levels, stop by Vaughn Pharmacy and get some great advice today.
Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966
Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!