What men need to know about cholesterol

For men, cholesterol screenings are a regular part of preventative health care. Checking cholesterol levels allows doctors to spot risk factors for heart disease and stroke, but cholesterol is not the only risk to consider. Here are the facts that men need to know about cholesterol and how it affects their health.

Cholesterol is not all bad.

When most people think of cholesterol, they think of negative things that they have heard about high cholesterol and its impact on heart attack and stroke risks. However, cholesterol is not inherently a bad thing. In fact, your body needs cholesterol to survive.

As explained in the featured video, cholesterol is a building block of most of the hormones in your body, and it exists in high levels in the brain to support healthy functioning. It is when cholesterol levels become unbalanced that it can become dangerous.

There are different types of cholesterol.

When you talk to your doctor about cholesterol, he or she may mention LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is low-density lipoprotein cholesterol made up of small particles. This is the so-called bad cholesterol that is associated with atherosclerosis, which in turn can cause heart disease and stroke.

HDL cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, consists of large particles and helps to counteract the negative impacts of too much LDL cholesterol. Having a high level of HDL cholesterol and low level of LDL cholesterol is preferable for good health.

Regular cholesterol monitoring is part of good preventative health

Having your cholesterol numbers checked regularly will help your physician spot unhealthy levels, so you can take steps to reverse them before they can lead to heart disease and stroke. Diet, exercise and medication can all help to control cholesterol.

Your physician will tell you how often you should get your cholesterol checked, based on your age, current health and family medical history.

The Heart Center of Las Vegas at MountainView Hospita l provides critical diagnostics and treatments for patients with heart disease and may work in conjunction with your physician if you have arterial blockages or other conditions linked to high cholesterol. You can learn more about our hospital services and request a referral to one of our physicians by calling (702) 962-5021

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