Conquer Cholesterol’s Complications

Of course the human body is complicated -- and that’s why we’re here to be your guide. One of the more difficult areas of medicine for patients is the relationship between blood lipid values and heart disease. But you can navigate these waters.

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As recently as the 2000s and early 2010s, physicians largely looked at four numbers on your blood laboratory report to assist in the reduction of your risk for cardiovascular disease:

  • Total cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • LDL or 'bad' cholesterol
  • HDL or 'good' cholesterol

Oversimplification of this relationship in the body has led many patients into a false sense of security when they only look at their blood values. In fact, heart disease is much more complicated than lipids alone.

Here are two things we’ve learned in more recent years:

  1. Some LDL molecules aren’t so bad. LDL particles that are large or less dense are not as dangerous for arteries because they don’t easily get stuck inside the artery wall. On the other hand, small LDL particles that are dense -- similar to sticky grains of sand -- easily find their way inside microscopic cracks in your arteries, where they are far more likely to cause irritation and damage. They can get stuck and trigger cardiovascular inflammation. In summary: If your LDL particles are large and not dense, a high number of LDL does not matter as much as if your LDL particles are small and compacted.
  2. Two very different plaque formations result from cholesterol, and which type forms does not have to do with blood cholesterol value. Instead, it has to do with inflammation in your arteries, which is directly related to diet and inflammation status. Two types are vulnerable plaque and stable plaque. Extensive research shows how you can make your plaque more stable.

How It Works

When you think of heart disease, you can think of it as the formation of pimples on the inside of your arteries. They do not need to be large in order to trigger a heart attack. And these small pimples cannot be detected on a cardiac stress test. Many patients go for a stress test and get a normal result because they have normal circulation, but they have small plaque pimples in their arteries that can rupture.

This can create a blood clot and, ultimately, trigger a heart attack.

Boiling It Down

Sound like a lot to digest? It certainly is! That’s why the Leadership Health team is here. Let us do the heavy lifting where research and knowledge is concerned and you can benefit from it. Our trained medical professionals understand the latest in health information, and they are here to share it with you.

Our focus is to help you lower the inflammation in your arteries through diet, in addition to reducing your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, to help prevent a heart attack. Aggressive diabetes management is essential as well, since the disease causes inflammation. Contact us today to get started on better protecting your heart!

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