Cholesterol Screenings

Cholesterol Screenings
By: Wendy Ray

If you don't know what your cholesterol is, you should. H

igh cholesterol is a big contributing factor of heart disease. If we've got you worried now, the good news is it's easy to get it checked. You can get a lipid profile screening, which is a total breakdown of your good and bad cholesterol levels or just your standard cholesterol screening. Those are two of the Heart Smart screenings offered by Southeast Hospital. They take just a few minutes, but they help your heart a lot.
Blaine Adams gets his cholesterol checked about once a year. "Well I don't want to die of a heart attack. I hope I live a long and happy life," he says. Adams' results show he's living a healthy life. "As much as I work out, diet and eat, I expect it to be like this," he says. Fitness trainer Debbie Leoni says unfortunately, not everyone's like Adams. She says cholesterol levels often go ignored because people just don't want to change the way they live. "You've got to think about cholesterol being like lard in your blood vessels. Plaque is a sticky substance that gets in your blood vessels and if there's any thickness in your blood or blockages anywhere, it shuts them off and you get no blood supply. You can have a heart attack, stroke, poor circulation, it's all connected," Leoni says.

It's easy to get your cholesterol checked. Leoni says everyone should have a base screening when they hit adulthood. If you don't have any problems you can have it done every three to five years after that screening. If you have a family history of heart disease you should start getting your cholesterol checked in your teens, and keep a close eye on it every year. "We don't want them to wait too long, especially when you have high cholesterol coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, if you're overweight, smoke, or if you're diabetic. If you put that together you have a real time bomb for heart disease," she says.

Leoni adds these are just screenings and should not replace your regular doctor visits. She says if the results of the screenings are off you're referred to your doctor.