So you’ve been told that you’re total cholesterol is elevated, “bad” cholesterol is borderline or high and your “good” cholesterol is either low or normal. What exactly does that mean?

Your doctor may refer to “bad” cholesterol as LDL and “good” cholesterol as HDL. In reality, there are good and bad components of each. The size of the LDL & HDL particles is what matters most in determining heart disease. The smaller the particles, the higher your risk of a cardiac event.

Consider detailed cardiovascular testing to profile your cholesterol. One of my favorites is Boston Heart Diagnostics. Their lab assesses cardiovascular risk from the top down.  To assess your TRUE risk we look at how hormones influence your cholesterol numbers or how thyroid function affects markers for diabetes. Are you getting enough Omega 3s vs Omega 6s? Boston Heart will check that too! Inflammation & genetic markers are also included! One of my favorite markers is a graph that shows if cholesterol is being overproduced in your liver or over-absorbed from your diet.

When should you get tested?

·      You have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.

·      You have elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or congestive heart failure.

·      You have experienced a heart attack or stroke and interested in preventive care.

·      You are curious to know what your true cardiovascular risk is.

Cardiovascular risk is more than just checking basic lipid panel. This test will help you unearth cardiovascular risk long before it turns into symptoms empowering you to maintain a healthy heart.