What is Cholesterol?

Although I have always exercised 5-6 times a week and eaten a good balanced diet – rarely touching a take away or drinking alcohol and being unable to ever remember purchasing a ‘ready meal’ – I still had remarkably high bad cholesterol levels (LDL) at 24 years old. Don’t panic, I’m not super human – I do have a massive weakness for sugar and more particularly chocolate! So how can we take an active roll in controlling cholesterol?

I requested my first cholesterol check at 24 years of age due to a family history of high cholesterol. The nurse told me ‘30% of cholesterol can be genetic’ which I could not control. My overall cholesterol level was in the higher range of normal and she said I may need to go on statins in the near future! I have to admit I was in complete shock and thought that was a rather dramatic statement to make hence why I started researching more into diet choices.

I decided to make some significant changes completely removed anything processed and, although not a big drinker, I completely stopped alcohol. And the big one for me – I cut out sugar. Three months into these changes, and one stone lighter, I was walking down a London street and noticed a free health check station including NHS cholesterol checks. What a fabulous idea I thought, but after a quick chat with staff I found I was not eligible as I was under 40! We chatted further and I explained how odd I thought it was they were turning away younger people as surely prevention was far better than cure. Anyway with our further discussion and the fact no one was waiting, the man performed a ‘roadside’ cholesterol check on me.

From my recent research into controlling cholesterol it seems that overall cholesterol reading is not as important as once thought and in fact we should be more concerned with the cholesterol/HDL ratio. There are two types of cholesterol, good ‘HDL’, and bad ‘LDL’. What scientists are now drawing our attention towards is increasing HDL levels. Let’s look at my readings since my personal experiment:-

1st Choleterol reading 2nd Cholesterol reading
Total Cholesterol (should be <5 unless the HDL reading is high) 5.5 6.09
LDL (Bad cholesterol), highest risk of heart disease) 3.4 3.3
HDL (Good cholesterol) 1.56 2.43
Trig (should be <1.5) 1.19 0.79
Chol/HDL ratio 3.53 2.5

So even though my overall cholesterol has gone up from 5.5 to 6.09, the LDL reading has marginally lowered and the HDL dramatically increased bringing my overall ratio down from 3.5 to 2.5 which current research suggests is a success!

At KH Chiropractic and Sports Massage we take a whole body approach, aiming to identify the underlying cause to minimise the chance of recurring injuries and progression. It’s important to look at the patient daily activities as well as consider diet and lifestyle choices which could be delaying healing. We provide Sports Massage, Pregnancy Massage and Chiropractic in Aldgate.

If you would like help with your back, neck or joint pain call us on 0203 633 0565, book online at www.khchiropractic.com or email info@khchiropractic.com