February is Heart Health month and as we all move past Valentine’s Day, it is time to take a seriously look at our cardiovascular health.  Most physicians look at a number of risk factors, including cholesterol numbers.  I often find that patients are confused about the numbers and not sure what their options are.

Recent research is showing that looking only at LDL, HDL and triglycerides may be too simplistic.  We are learning that particle size and subtypes are helping doctors to determine whether statins may or may not be helpful.

If you are one of many patients in this country confused about cholesterol or dismissing your numbers, it may be time to take a good look at your numbers with your physician.  In addition to the standard  lipid panel (LDL, cholesterol, triglycerides), the VAP test or LPP test may be helpful in helping you and your doctor determine your true cardiovascular disease risk.

Managing cholesterol levels adequately should involve more than just medication management.  Lifestyle modification that includes changes to diet, exercise, sleep and stress all play key roles in reducing cholesterol.  An integrative approach addresses the full spectrum of a patient’s health to help find a number of different ways to reduce cholesterol.

Before we end our Heart month, learn your numbers, and what they may truly imply about your cardiovascular health.


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