When was the last time you had your blood cholesterol level checked? If it’s been awhile, better do it soon. There’s simply no excuse not to take this simple test for it could save your life.
When blood contains too much cholesterol, especially low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, you’re in trouble. This bad type of cholesterol can stick to your artery walls along with fat, waste products and calcium.
Not all LDL is bad though. A certain amount is needed in the blood to deliver cholesterol to parts of the body where it’s needed. However, excess LDL can cause a buildup of cholesterol in the lining of arteries.
Over time, fatty deposits called plaque form and obstruct the space inside your arteries where blood flows. When blood flow is totally blocked, you could suffer from a heart attack or stroke that could kill you.
The buildup of plaque is called atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries and this happens silently. Plaque may build up for years before you experience any symptoms. Experts say the whole process can begin early in life. When people reach their 50s, they eventually succumb to the effects of plaque buildup by suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
It’s not clear how high cholesterol injures arteries. But researchers believe the fatty acids carried by LDL are oxidized and injure blood vessel walls. Therefore, the higher the LDL levels in the blood, the greater the injury to the wall.
Often, atherosclerosis affects the left anterior descending coronary artery of the heart. Other affected areas are the carotid arteries in the neck and the abdominal aorta. To play safe, get a cholesterol lipid panel test today and have peace of mind. Blood is drawn at the test facility to assess your cholesterol profile.