Cholesterol can’t dissolve in the blood. It has to be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is known as “bad” cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is known as “good” cholesterol. These two types of lipids, along with triglycerides and Lp(a) cholesterol (genetic), make up your total cholesterol count, which can be determined through a blood test.
LDL (Bad) Cholesterol
When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances, it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result. Your desirable LDL is bellow 200mg/dL.
HDL (Good) Cholesterol
About one-fourth to one-third of blood cholesterol is carried by high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attack. Low levels of HDL (less than 40 mg/dL) also increase the risk of heart disease. Some experts believe that HDL removes excess cholesterol from arterial plaque, slowing its buildup. Your HDL ideal numberis around 100-129 mg/dL.
Triglyceride is a form of fat made in the body. Elevated triglycerides can be due to overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and a diet very high in carbohydrates. People with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol level. Your desirable number is 150mg/dL. Let’s watch the video and practice our Spanish level:
Peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood.
When plaque builds up in the body’s arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. P.A.D. usually affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach. This article focuses on P.A.D. that affects blood flow to the legs.
Blocked blood flow to your legs can cause pain and numbness. If you have leg pain when you walk or climb stairs, talk with your doctor. Sometimes older people think that leg pain is just a symptom of aging. However, the cause of the pain could be P.A.D. Tell your doctor if you’re feeling pain in your legs and discuss whether you should be tested for P.A.D. Smoking is the main risk factor for P.A.D. If you smoke or have a history of smoking, your risk of P.A.D. increases up to four times. Other factors, such as age and having certain diseases or conditions, also increase your risk of P.A.D.
P.A.D. increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD; also called coronary artery disease), heart attack, stroke, and transient ischemic attackexternal link icon (“mini-stroke“). If you have CHD, you have a 1 in 3 chance of having blocked leg arteries.
Although P.A.D. is serious, it’s treatable. If you have the disease, see your doctor regularly and treat the underlying atherosclerosis.