Blood Cholesterol and Health

Posted: Mar 16 in Obesity and your Health by

A person’s blood cholesterol level relates to the potential of developing heart disease. Doctors agree that high blood cholesterol is among the major risk factors for developing heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States – annually, more than one million have a heart attack and half a million people die from heart disease.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that builds up in your artery walls. As time goes on it causes hardening of the arteries. That means that your arteries are narrow and the flow of blood to the heart diminishes or stops. Blood provides oxygen to the heart and too little oxygen causes chest pain. If the blood supply flowing to a particular area of the heart is completely stopped a heart attack occurs.

Only blood tests can find a person’s cholesterol level. Once the test results are in the doctor explains the numbers to you. Diet and exercise can help patients with slightly raised cholesterol levels, but, some may need medication to help bring the level down.

Losing weight is an important part of managing your heart health. Weight loss reduces many risk factors for heart disease including cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is more risk for heart disease in obese patients with large waists – men over 40 inches and women over 35 inches. Unfortunately, this group of people likely have struggled with weight loss all their lives.

Patients who are greatly overweight often consider bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery for improving their overall heart health. Studies have shown that damage done to the heart is reversible in patients who undergo weight loss surgery. These patients show reduced cholesterol levels, improved blood circulation, and reduced heart mass and volume. These findings strongly suggest that weight loss surgery causes less heart stress, allows the heart to pump blood more easily, and structural damage to the heart improves.

Patients living in cities such as Fort Meyers or Naples, Florida can talk with their doctors to decide if weight loss surgery is important to lower their risk of heart disease or failure.

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