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 CHOLESTEROL  INFORMATION

Too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke—

two leading causes of death in the United States.

One way to prevent these diseases is to detect high cholesterol and treat it when it is found.

 

What is cholesterol?

Be heart healthy…

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and form blockages. This can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. There are two kinds of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is also called “good” cholesterol. LDL is called “bad” cholesterol. When we talk about high cholesterol, we are talking about “bad” LDL cholesterol. Seventy-one million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one-third of them have the condition under control.1 September is National Cholesterol Education Month—a good time to resolve to get your cholesterol screened.   Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 11.14.29 AM

What role does screening play?

  Screening is the key to detecting high cholesterol. Because high cholesterol does not have symptoms, many people do not know that their cholesterol is too high. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol level. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every 5 years.2 You may need to have your cholesterol checked more often if any of the following statements applies to you: Your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher. You are a man older than age 45 or a woman older than age 50. Your HDL cholesterol is lower than 40 mg/dL. You have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Although the number of people who said they were screened for cholesterol within the previous 5 years increased from 73% to 76% from 2005-2009,4 only a handful of states have met the 82% Healthy People 2020 objective, and disparities in getting screened persist. Desirable Cholesterol Levels Total cholesterol Less than 170 mg/dL Low LDL (“bad”) cholesterol Less than 110 mg/dL High HDL (“good”) cholesterol 35 mg/dL or higher Triglycerides Less than 150 mg/dL

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Can children and adolescents have high cholesterol?

Yes. High cholesterol can develop in early childhood and adolescence, and your risk increases as your weight increases.2 In the United States, more than one-fifth (20%) of youth aged 12–19 years have at least one abnormal lipid level.3 It is important for children over 2 years of age to have their cholesterol checked, if they are overweight/obese, have a family history of high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain chronic condition (chronic kidney disease, chronic inflammatory diseases, congenital heart disease, and childhood cancer survivorship.4

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Lifestyle changes

If your LDL cholesterol is too high, the first thing your doctor will probably suggest is lifestyle changes. These changes include: Quitting smoking Eating more soluble fiber, found in oatmeal, beans, fruits and vegetables Eating less fat and cholesterol from meat and dairy products Losing weight Exercising at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week Being overweight and inactive tends to increase your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol, exactly the opposite of what you want. Exercise and weight loss can help reverse this trend. This is especially important for people who have large waist measurements — more than 40 inches (101.6 centimeters) for men and more than 35 inches (88.9 centimeters) for women — because people with this body shape are more likely to develop heart disease. Medications may be needed When lifestyle changes aren’t enough to reach your cholesterol targets, your doctor may prescribe medications to help lower your cholesterol levels. These drugs, such as statins, aren’t a replacement for lifestyle changes. You’ll still need to eat well and exercise. A hidden risk factor — family history High cholesterol has no symptoms, but your genetic makeup — reflected in a family history of high cholesterol — might make you more prone to high cholesterol, even if you eat right and exercise. That’s why it’s so important to have a baseline cholesterol test at age 20 and have follow-up tests at least once every five years. Finding the problem early allows you to take action before it’s too late. Your doctor may recommend more frequent cholesterol tests if your total cholesterol level or LDL cholesterol level is high, or if you have a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol.

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Treatments and drugs By Mayo Clinic Staff

Lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating a healthy diet are the first line of defense against high cholesterol. But, if you’ve made these important lifestyle changes and your total cholesterol — and particularly your LDL cholesterol — remains high, your doctor may recommend medication. The specific choice of medication or combination of medications depends on various factors, including your individual risk factors, your age, your current health and possible side effects. Common choices include: Statins. Statins — among the most commonly prescribed medications for lowering cholesterol — block a substance your liver needs to make cholesterol. This causes your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood. Statins may also help your body reabsorb cholesterol from built-up deposits on your artery walls, potentially reversing coronary artery disease. Choices include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor). Bile-acid-binding resins. Your liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids, a substance needed for digestion. The medications cholestyramine (Prevalite), colesevelam (Welchol) and colestipol (Colestid) lower cholesterol indirectly by binding to bile acids. This prompts your liver to use excess cholesterol to make more bile acids, which reduces the level of cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors. Your small intestine absorbs the cholesterol from your diet and releases it into your bloodstream. The drug ezetimibe (Zetia) helps reduce blood cholesterol by limiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Zetia can be used in combination with any of the statin drugs. Combination cholesterol absorption inhibitor and statin. The combination drug ezetimibe-simvastatin (Vytorin) decreases both absorption of dietary cholesterol in your small intestine and production of cholesterol in your liver. It’s unknown whether Vytorin is more effective in reducing heart disease risk than taking simvastatin by itself. Medications for high triglycerides If you also have high triglycerides, your doctor may prescribe: Fibrates. The medications fenofibrate (TriCor) and gemfibrozil (Lopid) decrease triglycerides by reducing your liver’s production of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol and by speeding up the removal of triglycerides from your blood. VLDL cholesterol contains mostly triglycerides. Niacin. Niacin (Niaspan) decreases triglycerides by limiting your liver’s ability to produce LDL and VLDL cholesterol. Prescription and over-the-counter niacin is available, but prescription niacin is preferred as it has the least side effects. Dietary supplements containing niacin that are available over-the-counter are not effective for lowering triglycerides, and may damage your liver. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help lower your cholesterol. You can take over-the-counter supplements, or your doctor may prescribe Lovaza, a prescription omega-3 fatty acid supplement, as a way to lower your triglycerides. These supplements may be taken with another cholesterol-lowering medication, such as a statin. If you choose to take over-the-counter supplements, get your doctor’s OK first. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements could affect other medications you’re taking. Tolerance varies Tolerance of medications varies from person to person. The common side effects are muscle pains, stomach pain, constipation, nausea and diarrhea. If you decide to take cholesterol medication, your doctor may recommend liver function tests to monitor the medication’s effect on your liver. Children and cholesterol treatment Diet and exercise are the best initial treatment for children age 2 and older who have high cholesterol or who are obese. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends treatment with prescription drugs, such as statins, for children age 8 and older if a child has a high level of LDL cholesterol. However, this recommendation is controversial. The long-term effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs have not been extensively studied in children. In addition, certain cholesterol medications such as niacin are not recommended for children. Because of the disagreement in the medical community on this topic, talk to your child’s doctor about the best way to lower your child’s cholesterol. Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 11.09.42 AM

Alternative medicine By Mayo Clinic Staff

Few natural products have been proven to reduce cholesterol, but some might be helpful.

With your doctor’s OK, consider these cholesterol-lowering supplements and products:

Artichoke Barley Beta-sitosterol (found in oral supplements and some margarines, such as Promise Activ) Blond psyllium (found in seed husk and products such as Metamucil) Garlic Oat bran (found in oatmeal and whole oats) Sitostanol (found in oral supplements and some margarines, such as Benecol) You may have also heard of another supplement to reduce cholesterol, red yeast. Some brands of red yeast contain lovastatin, the active ingredient in the drug Mevacor. This can be unsafe, since there’s no way to determine the quantity or quality of the lovastatin in the supplement. If you choose to take cholesterol-lowering supplements, remember the importance of a healthy lifestyle. If your doctor prescribes medication to reduce your cholesterol, take it as directed. Make sure your doctor knows which supplements you’re taking as well.   Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 11.11.22 AM Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 11.28.30 AM

FOR MORE CHOLESTEROL  INFORMATION CLICK  HERE

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 BE PREPARED!

This year’s Resolve to be Ready campaign focuses on ‘Family Connection’ to reinforce the importance of parents including their children in preparedness conversations in advance of potential disasters. The Ready campaign makes an emergency preparedness resolution easy to keep by recommending families consider these three ideas when making a plan: who to call, where to meet and what to pack. The campaign includes age-appropriate tools and resources to introduce conversations about disaster preparedness to children on www.ready.gov/kids, including a downloadable family emergency plan, emergency kit checklists and guidelines on how to make preparedness a year-round family activity. Check out the materials that you can use in your community to get families prepared in 2014. Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 8.58.14 AM PLAN FOR YOUR RISKS Be prepared for disaster by heeding official warningsThere are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard. Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for the unique actions for each. Local Emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each. Share the hazard-specific information with family members and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan. Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disasters, both natural and man-made. You should also inquire about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door-to-door. Depending upon the nature of the emergency and your circumstances, one of the first important decisions is whether to stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Learn more about Evacuation & Sheltering In Place. Learn more about specific hazard types, including natural disasters, technological and accidental hazards, and terrorist hazard   Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 8.42.12 AM   Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 8.44.55 AM   Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 8.45.12 AM

 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 8.58.40 AM MAKE A PLAN Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Read more about Family Communication during an emergency. Ready.gov has made it simple for you to make a family emergency plan. Download the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids (PDF) and fill out the sections before printing it or emailing it to your family and friends. You should also inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school, faith organizations, sports events and commuting. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to community leaders, your colleagues, neighbors and members of faith or civic organizations about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance. Read more about school and workplace plans.

Have a plan for traveling between work and home, and other commonly visited locations, in case of an emergency.

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When Your Child Has Cancer

The diagnosis of cancer in a child or teenager can be a devastating blow to parents and other family members who love the child. Cancer creates an instant crisis in the family. Here we provide information to help parents of children with cancer know what to expect. Here we offer suggestions on topics such as coping with the diagnosis, dealing with financial and insurance issues, and nutrition for children with cancer.

Cancer In Children

From our Learn About Cancer section, this guide provides some general information about childhood cancers, including the most common types and how they differ from cancers in adults. (For more detailed information on specific types of childhood cancers, see the detailed guides in the Learn About Cancer section.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE VARIOUS TYPES OF CANCER

CLICK ↓ HERE 

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Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis
Here we offer information to help parents and loved ones of a child with cancer know about and cope with some of the problems that come up just after the child is diagnosed. We discuss common emotional responses to the cancer in both parents and children and share some ideas for coping.
Children Diagnosed with Cancer: Understanding the Healthcare System
When a young person is diagnosed and treated for cancer, both the patient and the family enter the strange, complex, and sometimes frightening world of modern medicine. Here we provide tips to help patients and families begin to understand and cope with the health care system.
Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Financial and Insurance Issues
If your child has been diagnosed with cancer, the last thing you want to think about is money. But families are usually forced to think about this issue sooner rather than later. Here we’ll answer some of the most common questions about insurance and financial concerns.
Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Returning to School
It is important that children return to school as soon as possible after they’re diagnosed with cancer. Children often see school as more than just a place for learning; it’s also a place for fun and friendship. Here we offer tips to help make your child’s return to school a smooth one.
Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Late Effects of Cancer Treatment
With the advances in treatment in recent decades, many childhood cancers are now cured. But the intense therapies often needed to treat these cancers can also cause health problems that may not show up until months or years after treatment. Learn about these possible late health effects and what you and your child’s doctors can do to look out for them.
Pediatric Cancer Center Information
Most children and teens with cancer in the United States are treated at a center that is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). COG joined with the National Childhood Cancer Foundation to form CureSearch, an extensive guide to pediatric cancer resources. To learn more about pediatric cancers and their treatment, to get listings of ongoing clinical trials, and to search for COG-affiliated institutions by state, visit the CureSearch Web site.
Nutrition for Children With Cancer
Nutrition is an important part of the health of all children, but it is especially important for children getting cancer treatment. This guide can help you learn about your child’s nutritional needs and how cancer and its treatment may affect them. We also offer suggestions and recipes to help you ensure your child is getting the nutrition he or she needs.
When Your Child’s Treatment Ends: A Guide for Families
Here we will talk about some of the challenges, fears, and stresses family members may face as they make the transition from active treatment to being off treatment.
Resources for Parents who Have Lost a Child to Cancer
Here you can find lists of books, Web sites, and organizations that provide information and support for adults who are dealing with the death of a child. There are also resources for helping other children in the family who have lost a brother or sister.

 

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