admin - February 24, 2012
How do you feel about the latest news regarding testing children for high cholesterol?
It sounds a bit cruel to draw blood from a young child until you realize that heart disease can start at a young age, especially if it runs in the family. This can lead to a heart attack at an extremely young age, which can be considered even more cruel.
According to a whattoexpect.com (which is part of EveryDay Health) article, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children with risk factors, like obesity or a family history of heart disease, get screened as young as two years old.
“Ideally, you want your toddler’s total cholesterol to be below 170 mg/dL and his LDL cholesterol to be below 110 mg/dL,” the article states.
In order to keep your child healthy, the article suggests regular exercise and a diet that includes lean protein, soy products, whole grains, egg whites, low-fat dairy products, and fresh produce.
Also use canola and olive oils when necessary but avoid frying foods, and buy dressings, orange juices, margarines, yogurts and cereals that are fortified with plant stanols and sterols.
Don’t buy commercially baked goods either, as they are loaded with trans fats. For a special treat, offer dark chocolate or put dark chocolate in homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Learn About Familial Hypercholesterolemia
Another type of heart-related disease you should be aware of is an inherited gene-related disease called familial hypercholesterolemia. Patients with this disease have inherited a “bad” gene from their parent(s). While rare, patients with this disease, do not survive past a young age without treatment.
Familial hypercholesterolemia can show symptoms, even in young children, consistent with ischemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, or aortic stenosis. Or, they can have symptoms similar to tendonitis or arthralgias.
A telltale sign of this disease is skin lesions (nodules) on the hands, elbows, buttocks, knees or tendons. These nodules can be orangish in color
Learn more from the resources section below and talk to your child’s pediatrician about cholesterol screening today.