Handling High Cholesterol

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

– Welcome to Living Healthy
Chicago, I’m Jane Monzures. You know, it’s always
important to stay on top of your health and check in
with your doctor regularly. Recognizing potential
problems early can help your doctors guide
you back to good health. So let’s find out how
this next man took action when he found out he
had high cholesterol. (soft music) – [Jane] Like most of
us, Bob Fogle is careful to check in with his
doctor regularly. – I like to think I’m pretty
good getting annual physicals and my doctor reminds
me if I don’t. Once or twice a year you
find out how it’s going. – [Jane] It was on one
of these routine visits about 15 to 20 years
ago that his blood tests came back with some
concerning results. – One of the things we
would check is a blood test to check cholesterol,
triglycerides and mine was rather elevated. – All of his values
were really out of whack so the good cholesterol,
the HDL was way too low his LDL, or the bad
cholesterol, was way too high and, interestingly,
in Bob’s case his triglycerides
were really high. – What’s this non-HCL? I mean, is that good
that it’s lower, or? – Cholesterol and
triglycerides are really fat, oily, fat-like substances
that are in your blood. And in order to travel
around your blood cholesterol and triglycerides
actually travel in these individual particles
we call lipoproteins. There’s different sizes
of these particles. If you have a higher level
of high density lipoprotein cholesterol or HDL, on
average you’re actually at lower cardiovascular
disease risk. That’s why we call HDL
the good cholesterol. But then if you move to
slightly larger particles called LDL cholesterol,
or low density lipoprotein cholesterol, it turns
out that those are positively associated
and actually cause most forms of atherosclerosis
and atherosclerotic-related disease like heart attack. – The thing about cholesterol
and triglycerides is you can’t see it, you don’t
really feel it, there are no signs or symptoms
other than a blood test. – That’s one of the reasons why the American Heart
Association recommends that adults over 20 years old
get their serum cholesterol checked every four to six years. Adopting a
heart-healthy lifestyle can do a lot to actually
reduce their overall cardiovascular disease
risk, even independent of what it does to their
cholesterol levels. – [Jane] With his family in mind Bob worked with his
doctors to take action and make some changes. (soft guitar music) – My wife, I wanna
be there for her. Got three kids, I wanna
be around for them. So if I can modify my
behavior, the hope is I’m reducing risk factors. – [Jane] The first
step was medication followed by a change in diet. – They’re overweight. Having a slight calorie-deficit so they start to
lose weight and then getting most of their
calories from plant-based sources, eating a modest
amount of carbohydrates usually in the form
of whole grains really trying to
minimize simple sugars and minimize high salt foods. – I just try to pay attention to avoiding fats
or avoiding sugars. I’m doing my best. – [Jane] Bob’s doctors also
encouraged him to get moving. – I have an elliptical
machine that I try to do two or three times a week. Trying not to sit on my
butt too much is a goal. Moving is better than sitting. I feel energized as a result. – Regular physical activity
can help in multiple ways. Our skeletal muscle uses
triglycerides, actually as an energy source and so
when you exercise and engage your skeletal muscles repeatedly then the triglycerides
that are actually in some of those
lipoprotein particles get metabolized and therefore the amount of triglyceride
in your blood goes down. – [Jane] Bob also
didn’t have to look far to find an eager
workout partner. – We have a Golden
Retriever so I walk him. He’s two years old and
strong and likes to walk fast and so I use him as an assistant
to get me to walk fast. Just taking those little moments to be as active as I
can, I think, is helpful. – [Jane] Bob hopes
to inspire others to learn their numbers
and take action if their cholesterol
levels are elevated. – Recognize that
you do have control over your diet, your activity. You have to recognize
those things that contribute to that
risk and take as many steps as you can to
alter, reduce that risk. If there’s some lifestyle
changes you have to make they’re well worth it. – Through optimization of
his lifestyle, his risk for developing a heart disease
are much, much lower. So I think what’s most important is that people
know their numbers and that you have
your cholesterol
checked at some point. But you also have to keep
in mind the context, as well which means you need to know
what your blood pressure is you need to try to maintain
an optimal body weight follow a heart
healthy lifestyle. – It’s something we can do
for ourselves, so why not? I think I’m doing well. If I can do it, anybody
can do it, that’s for sure.

3 thoughts on “Handling High Cholesterol

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