Women’s health specialists state that it matters! Let’s dig in. So, cholesterol and triglycerides, we hear about them all the time. Even foods that might seem good for you on the surface, like fruit-filled yogurt or bran muffins, can contribute to abnormal levels if they contain too much saturated fat or refined sugar. What’s more, many women are at risk for high cholesterol and don’t realize it.
Scarier still: Triglycerides, a type of blood fat typically measured alongside cholesterol, are even riskier in women compared with men. This is a problem because women’s cholesterol levels can fluctuate quite a bit after menopause and tend to increase with age, putting us at greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Knowing your cholesterol numbers and how to control them is a big step toward staying healthy.
Women's health: Understanding the highs and lows of cholesterol
You know that too much is dangerous. But what is cholesterol, anyway? Where does it come from? And is it all bad? Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in every cell in the body. It’s either made by the body or absorbed from food. Your body needs cholesterol to make important steroid hormones such as Estrogen, progesterone, and vitamin D. It’s also used to make bile acids in the liver; these absorb fat during digestion.
So, some cholesterol is necessary — but bad cholesterol is something you can do without. Excess bad cholesterol in the bloodstream can deposit into the body’s arteries. These deposits are called plaques and result in atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. This is the major cause of heart attacks, strokes, and other vascular problems. Your total cholesterol level is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream.
What to know about triglycerides?
Women’s health specialists say that in addition to cholesterol, triglycerides are another kind of fat found in the bloodstream. Women should pay particular attention to this. “A high level of triglycerides seems to predict an even greater risk for heart disease in women compared with men”.
Triglycerides also circulate in the bloodstream on particles that may contribute to plaque formation. Many people with high triglycerides have other risk factors for atherosclerosis, including high LDL levels or low HDL levels, or abnormal blood sugar (glucose) levels. Genetic studies have also shown some association between triglycerides and cardiovascular disease.
Atlanta and Alpharetta’s best women's health clinic
It is important for both men and women in Atlanta to know how important it is to always check the cholesterol and triglycerides level. Book a consultation with your top Alpharetta and Atlanta OBGYN for your obstetrics and gynecology care.
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