A Personal Cholesterol Story from the Heart
By Jon Bailey - February 11, 2020
This story is sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., and the thoughts and words expressed here are my own.
Not long ago, I was at a routine doctor’s exam when my physician discovered I had a faint heart murmur. “Not to worry,” he said, “it’s faint and nothing alarming.” Shortly after my diagnosis, my brother Chris was similarly diagnosed, leading me to dive deeper into our family medical background, which uncovered a history of high cholesterol and heart disease. My brother and I now pay careful attention to our heart health daily and managing our cholesterol levels is part of that. In the spirit of American Heart Month this February, I’ve partnered with Take Cholesterol to Heart to tell my story and educate others about heart health and ways to help manage cholesterol levels.
Managing My Cholesterol Levels
Modern medicine has fortunately improved in recent times along with better information about cholesterol management. Through great educational resources, I learned I can have a role in making good decisions about keeping my heart healthy and that a well-balanced diet and plenty of exercise can certainly help.
When I first had my cholesterol levels checked, my lab results showed elevated levels of cholesterol, which my doctor told me we needed to manage, so I now get my cholesterol checked regularly by my doctor. In fact, the American Heart Association says all of us over age 20 should have these levels checked every 4-6 years.
Living a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
On my most recent lab results just this month, my levels have diminished to within the safe ranges. My doctor even sent me a quick note to say how happy he is with the progress I’ve shown. In addition to making good lifestyle choices, some folks also require medication to help them manage their cholesterol levels. Like my brother Chris, their bodies need more regulation to avoid the serious risks associated with unmanaged high cholesterol, like heart attack and stroke.
How did I do it?
I’ve been conscious of eating healthier foods for one thing. Avoiding excess trans-fats found in processed foods helps, as well as less carbs. So does choosing to eat good things like fresh steamed vegetables, fish, berries and nuts. Luckily, I like eating all these healthy foods, so for me it’s been more about not eating the bad stuff rather than enjoying more of the good stuff.
Regular exercise is another good habit I already enjoy. Lately I’ve stepped up my cardio, which the American Heart Association says can help lower cholesterol levels with 40 minutes of vigorous exercise 3-4 times a week. Good thing I like spending time at the gym!
Learn more about heart health and ways to help manage cholesterol at TakeCholesteroltoHeart.com.
I’m practicing some of the helpful suggestions on this website, and so is Chris. After all, we’ve got a lot of living left to do. I don’t mind if that means eating fewer cupcakes and more blueberries. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy one of our favorite oatmeal and raisin cookies now and then!
This post is sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and should not be construed to constitute medical advice. Personal opinions and thoughts are my own. I am not a medical professional and am not qualified to give medical advice. Please talk with your doctor about your individual medical situation.