Cholesterol Levels can be Reduced Without Medications

Cholesterol, when excess in the body can lead to a myriad of health
ailments. It may cause plaque build-up and clog your arteries and
ultimately lead to cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, strokes and
more. Crazy, right? If you want to know how to best protect yourself
from plaque build-up, then make sure to check the tips below for ways to
lessen your body’s cholesterol deposits.

DefiningCholesterols

Usually a doctor will order a cholesterol test, and when the results are
out, the doctor will take a look at a few numbers.

LDL (low density lipoproteins). This is what is referred to as the
“bad” cholesterol and is well-linked to the development of heart
diseases also if left UN-treated for long periods of time. So, if you
happen to have high LDL levels, relax, you still have time to reverse
this process and lower your results. For healthy people, usually the
goal is to have LDL levels of less than 130.

HDL (high density lipoprotein). In contrast, this is the ‘good”
cholesterol. Exercising regularly and proper weight maintenance helps
increase this number. The goal here is to get an HDL level of more than 40.

Triglycerides. Another type of “bad” cholesterol and is typically seen
as elevated with people who consume a high carbs or high fat diet. The
therapeutic goal for healthy adults is less than 150.

Total cholesterol is the combination of both your good and bad
cholesterol levels.

Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels Minus the Medications

Now that you’re familiar to the fact that high cholesterol levels need
your attention, then you might as well employ some strategies to lower
those numbers. There are of course medications that can help you achieve
your goal, but if you want to do it the natural way and without the use
of any maintenance pills, then please feel free to discuss the following
tips with your doctor before proceeding with your plan.

1. Limiting your total cholesterol.

Your daily cholesterol threshold should be no more than 100 mg. Make sure to keep count of your intake by reading the labels of the food you eat. If reading labels is not your forte, ask a dietician’s help for some explanation and basic know how.

2. Steer clear of trans fat. This kind of fat is mostly included in
processed and fried foods, and sweets. Your daily diet should
contain as little amount of trans fats as possible to get your
cholesterol levels lowered.

3. Limit your saturated fat intake. Your saturated fat intake should be
no more than 5% of your total caloric intake for the day. That’s
roughly 10 grams a day for most people.

4. Limit carbohydrates. Make sure to eat a complete and balanced diet.
Eat complex carbohydrates that are easier to metabolize by the body
like brown rice and whole wheat breads instead of white ones. Lesser
carbohydrate intake will help lower your cholesterol levels and can
aid in achieving your weight loss goals too.

5. Increase fiber intake. For adults, the daily recommended fiber
consumption is a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
(around 25 grams fiber). Fiber can also be found in oats, barley,
fortified cereals and whole wheats.

6. Limit alcohol consumption. This is a big source of fats and
triglycerides, not to mention calories which can make you gain
weight. So make sure that you limit your drinking, and if you must
drink, op for red wine which is a much healthier alternative to beer.

7. Consume Non-fat dairy.

8. Eat plant-based proteins such as tofu, soy beans and more.

9. Shed excess weight.

10. Exercise and strive to lead an active and healthier lifestyle.

Breast implants may cause false ECG diagnosis of heart attack

Electrocardiogram recordings are often used to diagnose heart attacks and other conditions. But a new study suggests that in the case of patients with breast implants, the recordings can often be misleading. It recommends that doctors use other tests to confirm any indications.

The study, which was presented recently at the European Society of Cardiology meeting EHRA EUROPACE-CARDIOSTIM 2017, held in Vienna, Austria, is published in the Society’s Europace journal.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a recording of the heart’s electrical activity that is made using a machine attached to the skin of the chest, arms, and legs.

An ECG can reveal how fast the heart is beating, whether or not the rhythm of the beat is irregular, and the pattern of electrical pulses in each part of the heart.

ECGs are used to diagnose heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, or arrythmia, and other heart conditions.

They are used routinely in clinics, doctor’s surgeries, and outpatient departments. Emergency departments also use them to investigate chest pains.

Implants can disrupt heart readings

Breast implants are used in breast augmentation to enlarge or restore breast size. They can also be used in mammoplasty or reshaping of the breast, as well as in breast reconstruction – following mastectomy, for instance. Most implants are of the saline or silicone-gel type.

In 2016, plastic surgeons carried out nearly 290,500 breast augmentations in the United States, 4 percent more than in 2015.

Dr. Sok-Sithikun Bun, lead author of the new study and a cardiologist at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco, explains why they carried out their investigation.

“Our experience shows that breast implants make it difficult to see the heart with echocardiography because ultrasound cannot penetrate through the implant. We wanted to find out if implants also disrupt an ECG.”

For the study, 28 women with breast implants and 20 control women of the same age without breast implants underwent ECGs. All the women were healthy and showed no evidence of structural heart disease.

Each ECG was analyzed by two electrophysiologists who were “blinded” about the subjects – that is, they were unaware of key characteristics such as the age and sex of each patient, whether they had breast implants, and whether they had heart disease.

One physiologist declared all the ECGs of the control group to be normal. The other said that one of them was abnormal.

‘Be aware of potentially abnormal ECGs’

When they examined the ECGs of the group with breast implants, one physiologist said that 38 percent of them were abnormal, while the other said that 57 percent of them were abnormal.

Dr. Bun says that since “the main difference between the two groups of women was the breast implants,” he and his colleagues concluded that the abnormal ECG recordings were due to the implants.

“Albeit echocardiography is difficult in women with implants, these measurements indicated that they had normal hearts and no structural heart disease, which suggests that there was no heart problem that could explain the abnormal ECGs,” he adds.

Doctors look at various patterns in an ECG – such as “ST depression” and “T wave inversion” – to diagnose a heart attack.

Dr. Bun says that the pattern that came up the most often in the abnormal ECG recordings of the group with breast implants was “T wave inversion from leads V1 to V4, followed by ST depression.”

“T wave inversion is an unspecific sign but can indicate the presence of coronary artery disease, while ST depression indicates that a patient may have a heart attack,” he explains.

Dr. Bun advises patients to let doctors know if they have breast implants before they undergo an ECG. They should also consider having an ECG before receiving implants so that there is a pre-implant recording on file for comparison later. He concludes:

Doctors should be aware that ECG interpretation can be misleading in patients with breast implants. In case of any doubts regarding the diagnosis, blood tests need to be performed depending on the symptoms.”

source: Medical News Online.