Do you know what a blood lipid is? Do you know what numbers indicate a high blood lipid level?
Defining a Blood Lipid
Blood lipids are the fats that your body needs to build cells, make hormones and store energy. There are two types of lipids that are generally measured through blood tests: cholesterol and triglycerides (which is often considered a fatty acid since it is made up of three fatty acids and one molecule).
Cholesterol is made of two forms of lipids, high density lipids (HDL) and low density lipids (good cholesterol). High Density Lipids (HDL) is also known as the good cholesterol because it is the type of cholesterol that can decrease one’s chances for heart disease and stroke. Low density lipids (LDL) is also known as the bad cholesterol because it can increase one’s chances of stroke and heart disease.
A high amount of triglycerides in the short term can increase your risk of developing pancreatitis, and if this amount remains high for a long period of time, it can increase your risk of developing heart attacks and strokes.
What are Normal Blood Lipid Levels
Normal total cholesterol readings are those that are below 200, no matter what your lifestyle. Borderline readings are those that measure from 200 to 239. Physicians usually become concerned once your total cholesterol reading is that of anything above 240, since this increases your risk of developing heart problems and strokes. Physicians also would like to see your HDL readings to be 40 or above since this increases your chance to combat heart disease.
Possible Reasons For Elevated Blood Lipids
Some possible reasons for elevated blood lipids can be:
- Poor diet, eating a lot of high fat foods
- Living a Sedentary Lifestyle
- Weight (being overweight)
- Taking certain medications such as protease inhibitors, birth control pills, or blood pressure pills
- Certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease or liver disease
Although some of the above reasons can not be altered, some can. You can try to lose weight and eat better and healthier foods. These are two ways that can help you lower your blood lipid levels and return them to normal.