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Cholesterol Month – Part 1

Know Your Numbers

High cholesterol affects millions of us, with Heart UK estimating over half of British adults have high cholesterol levels.

This October is National Cholesterol Month by Heart UK which aims to raise awareness of cholesterol and how it can be managed. 

We all need some cholesterol in our bodies to help keep us ticking over, but having too much can clog up your arteries and lead to health problems in the future.  Made in the liver, cholesterol is a fatty substance which can be found in every cell of your body. It’s particularly important for your skin, brain and nerves.

By getting a simple cholesterol test and making positive lifestyle changes, most people can keep their cholesterol levels healthy. Because high cholesterol can be caused by many different things, including diet, lifestyle and genetics, anyone can have high cholesterol, even if you are young, fit and healthy.

However, there are certain habits which do put you at increased risk 

  • Smoking
  • Drinking excessively
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Eating a high-fat diet

Heart UK recommends that all adults should get a cholesterol check – no matter what your age or how healthy you feel. The only way to do this is to have a blood test. 

When you have a cholesterol test, it is really important that your GP, nurse or pharmacist explains the results to you, so you understand all the numbers. It’s not just your total cholesterol that’s important, your results will include different types of cholesterol. Ask for a break-down of the other numbers. It’s possible to have a healthy total cholesterol (TC) number but an unhealthy balance of the different types of cholesterol. 

So it’s vital you know your numbers and what they mean.  You can also see the Heart UK website for more information on ideal cholesterol levels.

Being active is a major part of looking after your cholesterol levels and keeping your heart healthy, so with that in mind, next week we will be looking at cholesterol and exercise.

See you next week and see you at the Club soon,