Dyslipidemia refers to an abnormal level of lipids (fats) in the blood. It is a condition in which there is an imbalance in the levels of various types of lipids in the blood, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Generally, dyslipidemia is identified when the total cholesterol is above 199, triglycerides are above 149, HDL is less than 39, and LDL cholesterol is above 99. High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can accumulate in the walls of blood vessels, leading to the formation of plaques that can narrow or block the arteries. This can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events. In contrast, high levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, can help to remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dyslipidemia can occur due to a variety of factors such as genetics, dietary intake, absence
or limited exercise, excess body fat, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. Having dyslipidemia is a significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack or stroke, and has been traditionally managed by telling people to “lose weight”, “exercise” and/or take a prescription medication without much more information on how exactly to meet these goals. The most commonly prescribed medications are in a class called “statins” and while they can be effective at lowering cholesterol levels they are not without significant side effects and sometimes cannot be tolerated by people. So then what? Traditionally, Providers spend your next 7 minute appointment reminding you to lose weight and exercise and writing a referral to a Cardiology Provider to transfer this part of your care to someone else.
Here at The Health Lab, we take the time to meet with you one on one and carefully review your lab results and consider them with your family history and personal lifestyle choices. We then take the opportunity to help customize a functional and fitness forward approach to helping you lower your CVD risk. We consider the whole person and what your lifestyle needs are and work together with you on a plan that can move you closer to your health goals in a sustainable way. We don’t believe that extremes are sustainable and they certainly don’t improve the quality of your life. Medication is sometimes a necessary choice but it is certainly not the only choice and we want you to be part of that choice- your quality of life matters. What is quantity without quality?
Want more information on how we dive a little deeper with helping to identify and work with your dyslipidemia here at The Health Lab? Follow our next blog where we discuss Apolipoprotein B (ApoB). Would you like to meet with our primary care provider to see how your blood panel is doing and what can be done about it? Schedule your initial visit today!