CHOLESTEROL

What Affects Cholesterol Levels?

A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels.

·         Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise. Saturated fat is the main problem, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level.

·         Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL and total cholesterol levels, as well as raise your HDL and lower your triglyceride levels.

·         Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should aim to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.

Things outside of your control that also can affect cholesterol levels include:

·         Age and Gender. As women and men get older, their cholesterol levels rise. Before the age of menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After the age of menopause, women's LDL levels tend to rise.

·         Heredity. Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.

Lowering Cholesterol Using Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC)

TLC is a set of lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your LDL cholesterol. The main parts of TLC are:

·         The TLC Diet. This is a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol eating plan that calls for less than 7 percent of calories from saturated fat and less than 200mg of dietary cholesterol per day. The TLC diet encourages you to choose a variety of nutritious and tasty foods. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish, poultry without the skin, and, in moderate amounts, lean meats. The TLC diet recommends only enough calories to maintain a desirable weight and avoid weight gain. If LDL is not lowered enough by reducing saturated fat and cholesterol intake, the amount of soluble fiber in your diet can be increased. Certain food products that contain naturally occurring substances found in some plants (for example, cholesterol-lowering margarines) can also be added to the TLC diet to boost its LDL-lowering power.

·         More information on the TLC diet is available in the Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf

·         Weight Management. Losing weight if you are overweight can help lower LDL and is especially important for those with a cluster of risk factors that includes high triglyceride and/or low HDL levels and being overweight with a large waist measurement (more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women).

·         Physical Activity. Regular physical activity (30 minutes on most, if not all, days) is recommended for everyone.

·         Drug Treatment. Even if you begin drug treatment to lower your cholesterol, you will need to continue your treatment with lifestyle changes. This will keep the dose of medicine as low as possible, and lower your risk in other ways as well. There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available, including:

o    Statins, which block the liver from making cholesterol.

o    Bile acid sequestrants, which decrease the amount of fat absorbed from food.

o    Cholesterol absorption inhibitors, which decrease the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food and lower triglycerides

o    Vitamins and supplements—Niacin, which blocks the liver from removing HDL and lowers triglycerides, and omega-3 fatty acids, which increase the level of HDL and lowers triglycerides.

·         Your healthcare provider can help decide which type of drug is best for you.

DISCLAIMER: The above article is intended for educational purposes only and it is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.                               

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR FOR ANY MEDICAL PROBLEMS OR BEFORE YOU CHANGE YOUR MEDICAL PLAN.

 

 





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                                                                                          HEMATOCRIT

Results from your hematocrit test are reported as the percentage of blood cells that are red blood cells. Normal ranges vary substantially with race, age and sex.

The definition of normal red-blood cell percentage also varies from one medical practice to another.
Generally, a normal range is considered to be:

 ·         For men, 38.8 to 50 percent

·         For women, 34.9 to 44.5 percent


 For children ages 15 and younger, the normal range varies by age and sex.
Your hematocrit test provides just one piece of information about your health. Talk to your doctor about what your hematocrit test result means in light of the symptoms you're experiencing and the results of other diagnostic tests.
Accuracy of test results
A number of factors can affect the outcome of a hematocrit test and yield inaccurate or misleading results, including:

·         Living at a high altitude

·         Pregnancy

·         Significant recent blood loss

·         Recent blood transfusion

·         Severe dehydration

Your doctor will take into account possible complicating factors when interpreting the results of your hematocrit test. Your doctor may want to repeat the hematocrit test and do other blood tests if results provide conflicting or unexpected information.

Disclaimer: The above article is not intended to diagnose,treat or cure any disease.
Always consult your doctor for any medical problems or if you intend to change your medical plan.


 

                                                                                     TRIGLYCERIDES

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Your body uses them for energy.
You need some triglycerides for good health. But high triglycerides might raise your risk of heart disease and may be a sign of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is the combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, too much fat around the waist, low HDL ("good")cholesterol, and high triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
A blood test that measures your cholesterol also measures your triglycerides.

For a general idea about your triglycerides level, compare your test results to the following:

Normal is less than 150.
Borderline-high is 150 to 199.
High is 200 to 499.
Very high is 500 or higher.


High triglycerides are usually caused by other conditions, such as:
Obesity.
Poorly controlled diabetes.
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Kidney disease.
Regularly eating more calories than you burn.
Drinking a lot of alcohol.

How can you lower your high triglycerides?
You can make diet and lifestyle changes to help lower your levels.
Lose weight and stay at a healthy weight.
Limit fats and sugars in your diet.
Be more active.
Quit smoking.
Limit alcohol.
You also may need medicine to help lower your triglycerides. But your doctor likely will ask you to try diet and lifestyle changes first.
DISCLAIMER: The above article is not intended to diagnose,treat or cure any disease. 
ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR FOR ANY MEDICAL PROBLEMS.NEVER CHANGE YOUR MEDICAL PLAN WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR.

 

                                                     BLOOD URIC ACID

Uric acid is a chemical created when the body breaks down substances called purines. Purines are found in some foods and drinks. These include liver, anchovies, mackerel, dried beans and peas, and beer.

Most uric acid dissolves in blood and travels to the kidneys. From there, it passes out in urine. If your body produces too much uric acid or does not remove enough if it, you can get sick. A high level of uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia.

This test checks to see how much uric acid you have in your blood. Another test can be used to check the level of uric acid in your urine

Normal Results

Normal values range between 3.5 and 7.2 mg/dL.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

The example above shows the common measurement range for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Greater-than-normal levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia) may be due to:
Acidosis
Alcoholism
Chemotherapy-related side effects
Diabetes
Excessive exercise
Gout
Hypoparathyroidism
Lead poisoning
Leukemia
Medullary cystic kidney disease
Nephrolithiasis
Polycythemia vera
Purine-rich diet
Renal failure
Toxemia of pregnancy

Lower-than-normal levels of uric acid may be due to:
Fanconi syndrome
Low purine diet
Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) secretion
Wilson disease

Other reasons this test may be performed include:
Chronic gouty arthritis
Chronic kidney disease
Injury of the kidney and ureter

 DISCLAIMER: The above article is intended for educational purposes only and it is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.                               
 ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR FOR ANY MEDICAL PROBLEMS OR BEFORE YOU CHANGE YOUR MEDICAL PLAN.

                                                                                     HEMOGLOBIN

A low hemoglobin count is a commonly seen blood test result. Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.
In many cases, a low hemoglobin count is only slightly lower than normal and doesn't affect how you feel. If it gets more severe and causes symptoms, your low hemoglobin count may indicate you have anemia.
A low hemoglobin count is generally defined as less than 13.5 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter (135 grams per liter) of blood for men and less than 12 grams per deciliter (120 grams per liter) for women. In children, the definition varies with age and sex. The threshold differs slightly from one medical practice to another.
A low hemoglobin count can be associated with a disease or condition that causes your body to have too few red blood cells. This can occur if:
Your body produces fewer red blood cells than usual
Your body destroys red blood cells faster than they can be produced
You experience blood loss
Diseases and conditions that cause your body to produce fewer red blood cells than normal include:
Aplastic anemia
Cancer
Certain medications, such as anti-retroviral drugs for HIV infection and chemotherapy drugs for cancer and other conditions
Cirrhosis
Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease)
Hypothyroidism
Iron deficiency anemia
Chronic kidney disease
Lead poisoning
Leukemia
Multiple myeloma
Myelodysplastic syndromes
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Vitamin deficiency anemia
Diseases and conditions that cause your body to destroy red blood cells faster than they can be made include:
Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) 
Porphyria
Sickle cell anemia
Thalassemia
Vasculitis
Hemolysis
A low hemoglobin count can also be due to blood loss, which can occur because of:
Bleeding from a wound
Bleeding in your digestive tract, such as from ulcers, cancers or hemorrhoids
Bleeding in your urinary tract
Frequent blood donation
Heavy menstrual bleeding
Higher than normal results.
If your hemoglobin level is higher than normal, it may be the result of:
Polycythemia vera — a blood disorder in which your bone marrow makes too many red blood cells
Lung disease
Dehydration
Living at a high altitude
Heavy smoking
Burns
Excessive vomiting
Extreme physical exercise
If you've been previously diagnosed with polycythemia vera, an elevated hemoglobin level may indicate a need to alter your treatment plan.
If your hemoglobin level is below or above normal, your doctor may want to evaluate the hemoglobin test results along with those of other tests, or additional tests may be necessary, to determine next steps.
For specifics about what your hemoglobin test results mean, talk to your doctor.
The normal range for hemoglobin is:
For men, 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter
For women, 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter

Normal ranges for children vary with age and sex. The range for a normal hemoglobin level may differ from one medical practice to another.
DISCLAIMER. The above article and statements are not intended to Diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
Always consult your doctor for any medical problems or if you intend to change your medical plan.