Abstract / Description: 

Most of us have heard that high cholesterol is dangerous to our health but experts say thereís one type of cholesterol that needs to be high.

Jessie Hollinger, a physicianís assistant on staff at Lee Memorial Health System, says there are actually two types of cholesterol. ìWe break it down to good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. So when you hear that your cholesterol is bad weíre usually talking about LDL, we want it to be low. And the good cholesterol is the HDL, we want it to be high.î

A healthy personís LDL needs to be less than 130, whereas, the HDL needs to be higher than 60. ìThe good cholesterol is really important and we really strive for greater than 60 for that because it helps get rid of the bad cholesterol,î said Hollinger.

If a patientís LDL is too high or their HDL is too low theyíre at risk for a stroke or cardiovascular disease. ìI think a lot of us have low HDL because weíre not quite getting the activity we need. But on the flip side Iím also seeing a lot of higher bad cholesterol because weíre eating at fast food restaurants or weíre going out every weekend because itís just so convenient,î said Hollinger.

Those with high LDL need to limit red meat and dairy products and increase their exercise. ìGood cholesterol comes from exercise and genetics,î said Hollinger.

Patients who have high LDL could also need medication to lower their cholesterol. ìYouíre not feeling that your arteries are clogging up with plaque, which is built from the cholesterol,î said Hollinger. She says itís important to establish annual checkups with your doctor.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, weíve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

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