Perhaps like some of you, my cholesterol was fine and dandy until recently, when my "bad" cholesterol (LDL) started to creep up and then skyrocketed as my body entered full-tilt menopause. I wondered why. I know that SOMETHING will eventually kill me but I really dislike the idea of a heart attack or stroke, and keeping bad cholesterol down (and "good" cholesterol, or HDL, up) has gotten harder and harder as I make my way through this journey called menopause.
Now a study in this month's Journal of American College of Cardiology explains it, sort of. Doctors and researchers have long known that women going through menopause have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. They assumed (and it turns out they were right) that cholesterol was the culprit. Cholesterol is an important factor in your health but too much of it starts to clog your arteries. Cleaning them out is the hardest cleaning job of your life, harder than cleaning the gunk aroun...
Highlights Coronary Artery Disease Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called heart disease, is a condition in which fatty deposits called plaque build-up in the hearts arteries. These deposits cause arteries to become narrow and blocked, which restricts blood and oxygen flow to the heart muscle. CAD is the leading cause of death, for both men and women, in the United States. Risk Factors Some of the main risk factors that increase the risk for CAD are: Smoking Unhealthy cholesterol and lipid levels High blood pressure Diabetes Lack of exercise Obesity Symptoms Angina is the primary symptom of coronary artery disease. Angina feels like gripping pain or pressure in the chest area. Stable angina is predictable chest pain that lasts a few minutes or less and is usually relieved by rest or medication. It is often triggered by physical exertion or emotional stress. Unstable angina is unpredictable chest pain that occurs unexpectedly, even when at rest. It is a more serious condition than stable angina a...
Since I knew almost nothing about peripheral arterial disease (PAD) , I jumped at the chance to talk with Dr.
Michael Jaff a few days ago. He is the medical director of the Vascular
Diagnostic Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and a
specialist in treating PAD . Diabetes often causes it, and it is so often undiagnosed that only about
one-fourth of the eight million people over 40 with PAD who have it know that they have this
complication. PAD develops when
the arteries in our legs become clogged with plaque -- fatty deposits
cholesterol -- and blood flow to the legs becomes blocked or limited.
Because those of us with diabetes have difficulty properly using the
glucose in our food, the buildup of glucose in our blood can cause a
change in our blood
vessels that can lead to these circulation problems.
PAD can also cause chronic
foot ulcers that can lead to amputations among people with diabetes. Those of us who have
diabetes are at greater risk for severe PAD and are...
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