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Posts Tagged ‘high cholesterol’

Your Weekly Inspiration: Take the First Step

August 5, 2013

When it comes to staying active, the beginning is usually the hardest. Whether you’re highly motivated or not, the beginning of a new fitness regimen is often difficult to stick with because it’s not yet habit. You’re not used to it and you may not be seeing immediate results.

The important thing to remember is that the difficulties won’t last. The first step is the hardest, which means every step after that is easier. Keep going. If you stick with your new fitness journey, you can benefit from it in more ways than one.

You know that regular physical activity helps keep you healthy by lowering disease risk, keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels healthy, preventing obesity and more. But did you know that exercise can also:

  • Make new skills easier to learn
  • Strengthen the potency of vaccines, like the flu shot
  • Improve your memory
  • Help you make better decisions
  • Improve your skin health
  • And more

Take the first step in your journey to stay active today.

 

Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step




What are Triglycerides and Why Should You Care?

December 18, 2012

When you get your cholesterol screening results, what do you pay most attention to? The good, bad and total cholesterol numbers? It’s not uncommon for many people to overlook the triglycerides when reviewing results from a cholesterol screening. But paying attention to triglycerides could benefit your health.

In this HealthDay TV video, explore the reasons why you should start paying more attention to the triglyercides in your cholesterol. View the video to discover the best ways you can keep your triglyceride levels low. Visit Life Line Screening’s YouTube channel  to learn more about healthy lifestyles. For those without video capability, the text is provided below.

Triglycerides and Cholesterol Screenings

 

Here is the audio text to the video:

“The next time you have your cholesterol checked, pay special attention to this number. It can serve as a warning sign of future problems.

Though most of us just skip over to the good, bad and total cholesterol in our test results, a cholesterol check-up will also tell you about your triglycerides. A new paper from the American Heart Association shows why you should pay attention to your triglycerides, which are a type of fat found widely throughout the body.

High triglycerides are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other diseases. If your triglycerides are too high, simple ways to bring them down include cutting back on foods and beverages with added sugar. Since most of the added sugar we get is from drinks containing sugar, steering clear of them is a good first step.

Eating less fructose, which is a type of sugar—you can do this by eating less processed food and choosing lower fructose fruits like strawberries and bananas.

Getting at least 2 and a half hours of moderate exercise a week—even brisk walking can help lower your triglycerides. And shedding a few pounds—if you’re overweight, just losing 5 to 10 percent of your weight can lower your triglycerides by twenty percent.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines with HealthDay TV, wishing you and your family the best of health.”




Moderate Drinking May Benefit Bones, The Link Between Diabetes and Cosmetics, Can this PolyPill Save Lives?

July 27, 2012

Friday Roundup:
 

A Glass of Wine a Day Keeps Osteoporosis Away?

For women who like a glass of wine every now and then, we have some good news. New research shows that moderate alcohol consumption, when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, may reduce a woman’s risk of osteoporosis.

The study published in the journal Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society focused on a small group of about 40 women averaging 56 years old. The women consumed on average 1.4 alcoholic beverages per day. More than 90 percent of the women drank wine.

The process of the study involved taking blood samples from all participants at different stages—some before alcohol consumption and some after. Results showed that soon after drinking alcohol, the women’s rate of bone turnover lowered.

“What alcohol seems to do is lower the overall rate of turnover, which may reduce your bone loss,” said Urszula Iwaniec, PhD, researcher and associate professor at Oregon State University in a WebMD article. “[But] excessive drinking is bad for your bones.”

There are other ways to keep your bones healthy, like weight-bearing exercise and getting enough calcium and vitamin D. But this study goes to show it’s okay to put your feet up and enjoy a small glass of wine now and then. So don’t feel guilty—it’s good for your bones.

Life Line Screening conducts osteoporosis screenings for people at risk or simply looking to gain peace of mind. Take control of the health of your bones and schedule a health screening today.

Read the full WebMD article about this study on alcohol and bone health here: http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/news/20120711/moderate-drinking-may-help-older-womens-bones

 

Study: Can this PolyPill Save Lives?

Wouldn’t it be nice if a simple, once-a-day pill could prevent illness? Okay, so this pill might not prevent all illnesses, but it might save some lives.

A study conducted at Queen Mary, University of London shows a new pill might be able to prevent thousands of people from suffering heart attacks and strokes. The UK study focused on a “polypill” that combines a statin and blood pressure medication taken by a group of 84 people over the age of 50. Results showed:

  • 12% decrease in blood pressure levels
  • 39% decrease in LDL cholesterol levels

Researchers believe that if more than half of all people over the age of 50 in the UK took the pill once a day, there would be 94,000 less heart attacks and strokes every year.

“If people took the polypill from age 50, an estimated 28 percent would benefit by avoiding or delaying a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime,” said Dr. David Wald, consultant cardiologist, in a BBC News article.

The study did not research the safety of the pill and it was only tested on a small number of people, so further testing of a larger scale would be needed before the pill could be mass-produced.

“Whilst these results are promising, further research is needed before a wide scale rollout of such a strategy,” Wald said.

Life Line Screening urges everyone to make smart and healthy lifestyle choices to decrease risk of stroke or heart attack. If you or someone you know is at risk for one of these conditions, consider scheduling a health screening today.

To read the full BBC News article on the study conducted on this new polypill, view this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18883163

 

The Link Between Diabetes and Cosmetics

Could certain cosmetics up your odds of developing diabetes? This study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives says yes.

Common products such as perfumes, scented lotions, synthetic leathers, food packaging and more contain a chemical called phthalates. A study was conducted to find out whether there is a clear connection between phthalates and diabetes in women.

Researchers of the study discovered that in women with the highest levels of specific phthalates, the risk of developing diabetes was twice as high as women with lower levels of phthalates. According to CNN Health, when comparing women with the highest levels of phthalates to women with lowest levels, there could be 40 extra diabetes cases for every 1,000 women.

Cosmetics and Type 2 DiabetesPhthalates cling to cells in the body that control fat-cell development and blood-glucose metabolism. People with higher levels of phthalates tend to have higher blood glucose levels, which is a precursor for diabetes. Keep in mind the study did not rule out women that have higher phthalate levels due to the use of certain medications that contain the chemical.

As a consumer, you can become more aware of the chemicals in the products you use. Almost anything that has a fragrance contains some type of phthalate. Some companies are releasing products with labels that say “phthalate-free”, but keep in mind that the packaging surrounding the product could still contain phthalate.

If you or a loved one is at risk for diabetes, consider a preventive screening. Life Line Screening conducts health screenings for type 2 diabetes that could identify oncoming development of the disease. Schedule a screening today.

Visit the following link to read the full CNN Health article on this new study linking cosmetics with diabetes: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/13/diabetes-and-cosmetics-a-connection/




Friday Roundup: Keeping Your Child Protected from a Future of Heart Disease

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

family heart disease and high cholesterol

Click on picture to learn more 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.

Resources:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/121298-overview
http://www.jci.org/articles/view/107670




Statin Medications Lower Stroke Risk

August 3, 2010

I’ve known that statin medications, those cholesterol-lowering drugs that we’ve heard so much about, are good to lower heart attack risk, but I did not know the extent to which they have been proven to lower stroke risk as well.

The Heart Protection Study, a study out of Great Britain, looked at 20,536 people with high-risk disease and examined the effect of a statin drug called simvastatin. The authors write,

“Overall, there was a highly significant 25% proportional reduction in the first event rate for stroke…”

And…

“The results demonstrate that statin therapy rapidly reduces the incidence not only of coronary events but also of ischaemic strokes…even among individuals who do not have high cholesterol concentrations.”

The take-home message: If you have blocked arteries or diabetes, talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of taking a statin, even if your cholesterol isn’t high. There may be a protective effect against both heart attack and stroke.




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