Okay, you've just found out you have high cholesterol. Now what? Well, you need to know the breakdown of your "lipid panel" in order to decide what changes will be most effective.
The lipid panel includes:
HDL (good) cholesterol
LDL (bad) cholesterol
Triglycerides (or VLDL cholesterol)
Here's the first step to take depending on which number is elevated:
If LDL cholesterol is elevated, reduce saturated and trans fat intake.
If triglycerides are elevated, cut back on sugar and alcohol in your diet.
If HDL cholesterol is low, increase your physical activity.
Alternative Names Very low density lipoprotein test References Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Executive summary of the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) expert panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA . 2001;285:2486-2497. Implications of recent clinical trials for the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. Circulation . 2004 Jul 13; 110(2):227-39. Semenkovich CF. Disorders of lipid metabolism. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine . 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 217.
Alternative Names Triacylglycerol test Normal Values Normal : Less than 150 mg/dL Borderline High : 150 - 199 mg/dL High : 200 - 499 mg/dL Very High : 500 mg/dL or above What abnormal results mean High triglyceride levels may be due to: Cirrhosis Diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates Familial hyperlipoproteinemia (rare) Hypothyroidism Nephrotic syndrome Pancreatitis Poorly controlled diabetes Low triglyceride levels may be due to: Low fat diet Hyperthyroidism Malabsorption syndrome Malnutrition Additional conditions under which the test may be performed: Chylomicronemia syndrome Hyperlipidemia; acquired Familial combined hyperlipidemia Familial dysbetalipoproteinemia Familial hypertriglyceridemia Familial lipoprotein lipase deficiency Noninsulin-dependent diabetes (NIDD) Stroke secondary to atherosclerosis
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