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Normal Cholesterol Reading: What Is It?

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Normal Cholesterol Reading: What Is It?

If you are concerned about your cholesterol level, a simple blood test will give you the information you need, and your doctor will be able to go over some of the changes you might need to make. But what is a normal cholesterol reading?
There are two ways of approaching cholesterol measurement. One answer is based on total blood cholesterol levels. The alternative is to study the ratio of the ratio bad cholesterol to good cholesterol.

Good cholesterol, known as “HDL” (high density lipoproteins), is responsible for removing bad cholesterol, known as or “LDL” (low density lipoproteins). HDL operates by removing LDL from the blood stream and moves it to the liver. LDL can then leave the body in the form of waste. If the blood stream contains high levels of LDL, this can lead to a build-up of plaque in the arteries. Deposits of plaque can cause arteries to clog. Clogged arteries are known to be symptomatic of coronary artery disease. Plaque may also cause a complete arterial blockage which in turn can cause cardiac arrest. Also, if a deposit of plaque becomes free, it may result in a stroke.

Total cholesterol readings: this is calculated by adding the amount of low density lipoproteins to the amount of high density lipoproteins. Once this total has been calculated, your doctor can analyze the figures and discuss with you any measures you might need to take in order to reduce your cholesterol. Your doctor will pay particular attention to your LDL cholesterol because it is LDLs that can be responsible for the type of damage that may lead to heart disease.

The following figures are used for guidance:

1. Normal levels of cholesterol: – A combined total under 200 mg/dl or an LDL cholesterol level that is under 130 mg/dl is thought to be normal for most people. If your cholesterol is within this range, you are considered to have a low risk of stroke or heart disease that would result from cholesterol.

2. Borderline to high cholesterol levels : A combined total cholesterol level of between 200-239 mg/dl is considered borderline-high. It is also thought to be borderline-high if your LDL cholesterol level is between 130-159 mg/dl. Those whose cholesterol falls within this range are usually advised to make changes to their lifestyle, including improved diet and exercise. Prescribed medicine is not usually necessary in this range as lifestyle changes should be sufficient to bring levels within a healthier range.

3. High cholesterol levels: Total cholesterol of above 240 mg/dl or an LDL cholesterol level over 160 mg/dl is thought to be too high. If your cholesterol level falls into this range, your doctor will most likely recommend an exercise program and dietary changes. Your doctor may also prescribe medication designed to lower your cholesterol.

Cholesterol ratios are calculated by taking your total cholesterol figure and dividing it by the HDL cholesterol level. In general, if the resulting figure is greater than 4, it may be time to take action in order to lower LDL and overall cholesterol levels.

If you are in any doubt about your cholesterol level, or the steps that you need to take to maintain it within a healthy range, contact your doctor for specific advice.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

2 Responses to “Normal Cholesterol Reading: What Is It?”

  1. 1
    bill c. Says:
    I didn't know that cholesterol could actually be "good". Does anyone know more about this? I'm wondering exactly what the difference is between the good and the bad and how to get a higher level of this "good" cholesterol.
  2. 2
    bill c. Says:
    I didn't know that cholesterol could actually be "good". Does anyone know more about this? I'm wondering exactly what the difference is between the good and the bad and how to get a higher level of this "good" cholesterol.