Saturday, June 9, 2012

What Cholesterol Tests Can Tell You

Men and women who have a history of heart disease within their families may want to make themselves available for periodic cholesterol tests. These tests provide excellent information on the overall state of the arteries, which can ultimately help determine which people are at risk for heart disease later in life. Physicians will administer the test and interpret the results. They will then usually assist the patient in developing a plan of action to lower their cholesterol levels. If the test shows, on the other hand, that someone is in overall good health, then he/she will only need to maintain what they've been doing in terms of diet and nutrition.
The tests should allow people to determine how much they need to modify their lifestyles. Individuals who eat a lot of meats and cheeses will likely end up with cholesterol problems. If they want, they can begin working with nutritionists to develop better meal plans. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables should bring the bad cholesterol numbers down. Fiber will also help to push some of the bad food products through the digestive tract at a faster pace. Whole grain breads, beans, and other legumes are all excellent sources of both fiber and antioxidants.
Men and women should also give physical exercise a try. If they can build up the strength of the heart, the circulatory system will be able to pump blood throughout the body much easier. Some medical professionals believe that this will facilitate the removal of artery-hardening plaque from the body altogether. Exercisers can begin slowly, perhaps by walking a mile or two a few times per week. Once they have reached a base level of fitness, they can begin to jog or even run. As added motivation, they might even enter a five-kilometer road race with a good group of friends. The cholesterol should come way down.
Older individuals who have not had a full examination for many years should consider the benefits of cholesterol tests. If they are obese, inactive, or have been suffering from dizziness or chest pains, then a full suite of tests will likely be needed. Physicians will examine the lipid profile and suggest lifestyle modifications to their patients. Individuals might even be immediately put on some kind of medication, which will help lower the cholesterol while dietary changes are in the process of being made. Patients may eventually be removed from the medication once their overall health profile becomes much better. As long as they stick with their nutritional changes, they should be fine as they move forward with their lives.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not, nor is it ever intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice or professional recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician(s) or other qualified healthcare provider(s).