Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

You’ve probably spent most of your life thinking of cholesterol as “bad.” You’ve probably associated heart health with low cholesterol levels and cardiac risk with elevated ones.


But here’s the skinny on cholesterol: It’s a bit more complicated than you think.

In fact, low cholesterol does not necessarily make a happy, healthy heart. Likewise, elevated cholesterols don’t necessarily mean you need to keep the heart surgeon on speed dial.


When it comes to cholesterol, what matters most is not how much cholesterol you have in total, but rather how much of each type you have.


HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol


“Cholesterol” is essentially a blanket term to refer to the various lipoproteins that can be found in the blood, the vessels and arteries, and the organs. Though total cholesterol levels were once used to assess a patient’s risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke, physicians now understand that only certain forms of cholesterol appear to increase the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.


More specifically, there is substantial evidence that low density lipids (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol, may make you more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease because LDL cholesterol has the nasty habit of accumulating along arterial walls. An LDL level of about 190 is often associated with significant heart disease risk and may require treatment with pharmaceuticals, such as statins, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes. This is especially true if other risk factors are present, such as smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes.


While elevated LDL may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, there’s evidence that another type of cholesterol, high density lipids (HDL), may actually be protective. In fact, it appears that HDL can reduce your risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and may inhibit arterial plaque formations. This is great news because these arterial plaques are usually the catalyst for serious and even life-threatening heart attacks and strokes.


A Perfect Balance


Given the seemingly significant role that the two principal types of cholesterol play in determining your risk of heart attack and stroke, healthcare providers often recommend strategies to reduce LDL while increasing HDL.


It’s not always so easy, however. Risk factors associated with lifestyle, such as smoking, a lack of physical activity, and a diet high in saturated fats, can raise your LDL while lowering your HDL. There are also factors that can be more difficult to control. For example, genetics can play a significant role in increasing your LDL and or reducing your “good” HDL. Similarly, some common medications, including corticosteroids, may raise your “bad” cholesterol levels. Likewise, some chronic illnesses, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), have also been associated with high LDL levels.


How Prime Wellness Can Help


At Prime Wellness, we offer a range of services to help you optimize your cardiovascular health. This includes blood lipids screening to determine your HDL and LDL levels and devise a complementary care approach tailored to your individual needs. Our team can guide you in using medications, nutrition and lifestyle strategies, herbal therapies, and supplementation to help you manage your cholesterol. Contact us today to discuss how our caring team at Prime Wellness can help you!


 

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Cholesterol Blood Tests

One of our core focuses is preventing cardiovascular disease.


We provide patients with the most extensive blood testing to date. Our highly comprehensive cholesterol test allows us to see the quality of your cholesterol. It is a test you have likely never done before.


We're able to identify the size, stickiness, and oxidation level of your cholesterol - a panel that your regular MD does not test for.


Through our preventative approach to health and wellness, we keep you At Your Prime. If you have any concerns or questions about your heart health, you should take this test.


This test can be completed independently or with other tests.

 

MIC Lipo Shots


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Click here to view our B12 injection schedule.


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Prime Wellness will work with you to uncover the root causes of your health concerns and customize a treatment program to get you back to feeling your best – inside and out. Our team of naturopathic doctors and experts use advanced functional lab testing to uncover exactly what is causing your health concerns. This proven method takes the guesswork out of the equation so you get the right treatment program for you specifically, ensuring fast and effective results.


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