people talk about diseases of the cardio-vascular system, they always
end up mentioning cholesterol. It is true that each person needs a certain
amount of cholesterol and one's organism produces the amount one needs
all by itself. But when the cholesterol level exceeds the acceptable norm,
it turns into the accursed enemy. And from this moment on, a person with
common sense will begin looking for a way to drive the foe from the territory
which it has conquered. If you have a lot of cholesterol in your blood,
tiny particles will accumulate along the walls of the blood vessels. As
a result of such accumulations, the arterial openings are narrowed and
begin to block the normal flow of blood through the body's passageways.
All of this recalls the pipes of a plumbing system when they get clogged
with junk. Sooner or later the arteries of the heart or the brain become
obstructed, which in turn leads to serious complications, such as a heart
attack, stroke, or even death. This is why it is extremely important to
know how much cholesterol you have in your blood. Three factors are to
be evaluated: the overall level of cholesterol, as well as the levels
of good and bad cholesterol. If after the analysis it turns out that everything
is in order, great, we'll go on to the explanation of your future risk
factors for a high cholesterol level. There already exist methods which
make it possible to predict what your or your children's cholesterol level
might be in the near future, as well as in the mid-range or even far into
the future. If it is demonstrated on the basis of this investigation that
there are no threatening signs for your health - just maintain your healthy
lifestyle and live to your heart's content. But, if the indices of general
and bad cholesterol are higher than the norm, and good cholesterol is
lower than the norm, which would indicate the development of pathological
or near-pathological processes, then strategies and tactics for prophylactic
treatment and responses must be determined. The blood cholesterol level
can be brought within the normal range in a number of ways: 1) proper
nutrition, 2) specific physical exercises, 3) normalization of body weight
and 4) special medication, if necessary.
is meant by proper nutrition?
Usually you get general recommendations such as: eat
more fruits and vegetables, eat whole-grain bread and cereals, buy non-fat
dairy products, lean meats, fish, etc. In addition to this, we use methods
which allow one to develop individual prophylactic and therapeutic diets,
including anti-cholesterol diets, for various illnesses. At the same time,
all possible associated health problems are taken into account, for example,
diabetes and hypertension. A strictly individual approach to the composition
of balanced nutrition, without which any attempt to normalize cholesterol
levels or body weight will be unsuccessful, is rather difficult. You won't
manage it without a computer! All the objective information about the
condition of the patient's health, his/her food preferences, his/her habits,
etc., are logged into the computer. As a result, a detailed, strictly
verified program of balanced nutrition and vitamin supplements is achieved.
sort of exercise do you need?
One usually receives an answer to this question along
these lines: exercise 3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes, and that walking,
running, biking and swimming are good for you. However, the real issue
is that without physical exertion of sufficient force (specialists call
this "optimal load") it is impossible to achieve lower blood
cholesterol levels, to strengthen the heart, the muscular system or the
connective tissues. At the same time, incorrectly selected exercises and
weights can do more harm than good.
need to lose weight?
If you have excess weight, then losing a few pounds
is absolutely necessary in order to lower your blood cholesterol levels.
The only question is how much and how quickly you will be able to do this
- and how much you feel you really need to do this. The fact is that many
people who are heavyset consider themselves to be fat, although their
weight is actually within the relative norm. In other words, it happens
sometimes that someone's muscular mass is sufficiently large (and muscles
are heavier than fat), but, since the muscles are covered with a perhaps
insignificant layer of fat, the impression is created that the person
is overweight. It is necessary to clarify the relative percentages of
muscle and fat in the body. If a man's fat tissue, for example, constitutes
20 percent of his overall body mass, we don't see that as too fat, even
if the overall body weight exceeds the height-weight norm.
should one take medication?
Perhaps your attempts to eat right, to exercise and
to lose weight don't get positive results due to incorrect advice. Or
perhaps your own lack of drive or organization defeats your efforts! Or
perhaps, despite the fact that you're doing everything right, still your
cholesterol level isn't reduced. In that situation a cholesterol -reducing
prescription is the only way. But in this case, the choice of medication
must not be made without taking into account associated illnesses and
many other factors which influence production of cholesterol by the body