HDL And LDL Cholesterol: Why Distinguish?

Is high cholesterol bad for the body? Well, yes and no. You have to distinguish because there are 2 types: HDL and LDL cholesterol. One is good for the body while the other is bad for the body.

Your blood plasma contains waxy white matter called cholesterol. There was a time when people saw all cholesterol as dangerous and bad as it is linked to many kinds of heart disease. Cholesterol is transported through the bloodstream and is a carrier of lipoproteins, which is what the body needs to restore tissues. But some other forms of cholesterol may cause harm to the body, as it does solidify easily. When it is transported inside the body, it may stay in the bloodstream and can cause blockages. This is what causes stroke or heart attacks. And this is why doctors advise everyone about the danger of high cholesterol.

Today however, doctors note that too little cholesterol in the body is also just as harmful. They now realize that cholesterol in fact contains complicated components, both good and bad. Two of the most common forms of cholesterol are HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) and LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) and a distinction must be made for both in order to understand what the body needs to live in a healthy way.

LDL Cholesterol is often called the bad cholesterol. As its name suggests, it is a form that does not do very well in mobilizing inside the bloodstream and can also leave deposits that may narrow down the tiny blood capillary passage ways inside the body. LDL types are the ones that block the arteries. Many people have LDL forms of cholesterol in their bodies. It is, in fact, a fairly common occurrence. The danger though lies in the kind of mass or concentration it forms into when it begins to congest the arteries; more so when it inhibits nutrients from going through the other organs.

HDL Cholesterol, on the other hand, is the good type. It transports lipoproteins in the body with ease and are also known to sometimes push or remove the LDL cholesterol blocking the small arteries or capillaries. In a way, it functions to work against the bad cholesterol. At least a third of HDL cholesterol may be found in the blood, in spite of it being the smallest form in the lipoprotein family. The higher HDL count a person has, the better it is, in order to avoid heart disease. Studies have shown that men normally have lower HDL cholesterol levels, which is why they are more prone to heart attacks.

Determining how much HDL and LDL cholesterol you have in your body is done through a series of tests. You may be asked to skip meals before the tests are done and then blood samples will be drawn from you for this. Apart from testing your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, you will be also screened for other procedures like a lipid profile. You may also have to undergo triglycerides test and a total cholesterol test.

Laboratory tests will often provide reports indicating the ratio of your total cholesterol content against the good type, HDL. And doctors will base their recommendations on this report.

If you are at risk and have a very high LDL cholesterol level, the diagnosis and prescription is easy and logical: you need to have a lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking, regular exercise or a new diet plan. On the other hand, if you have a very low HDL cholesterol level, treatment may come in form of drugs, to help increase your HDL cholesterol. A slight shift in your lifestyle may also be in order.

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