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A Quick Blood Draw Could Save Your Life

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  • A Quick Blood Draw Could Save Your Life

    A Quick Blood Draw Could Save Your Life

    In addition to being National Preparedness Month, September is also National Cholesterol Education Month. Even though both honorary months seem unrelated, they actually share many common principles. The same mentality that goes towards preparing for a hurricane or tornado should go towards preparing your own body for future “emergencies” such as heart disease.

    The first step to prepare your plan is to know more about your foe. In this case cholesterol is a fat-like waxy substance that is found throughout the body. It travels in your vessels in the form of lipoproteins, which are made up of lipids (fats) and proteins. The two types of lipoproteins are low-density (LDL) and high-density (HDL). Bad cholesterol is known as LDL because it can build up in your arteries. HDL is considered good cholesterol because it helps carry and remove excess cholesterol to your liver for removal.

    Kidney disease patients should watch cholesterol levels even closer due to the fact that it can also clog arteries that feed the kidney, leading to reduced kidney function. Also, kidney disease patients are already at a higher risk for cardiovascular (heart) disease because they have factors such as high phosphorous, calcium and potassium levels, fluid overload and anemia. Now that you know more about cholesterol, it is important to either have your levels checked through a simple inexpensive blood test.

    If you have high LDL levels or too high overall cholesterol, you can use a combination of a low fat diet, exercise, lifestyle changes or medicine to manage your conditions. Choosing lean meats, low fat fish and low potassium fruits and vegetables will help both your kidney disease diet and lower your cholesterol levels. In addition exercise such as walking can lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and triglycerides all at once. Finally, other lifestyle changes like quitting smoking will increase levels of good cholesterol.


    Good luck and for more information contact DPC at dpc@dialysispatients.org
    I received the GIFT OF LIFE on Nov 9, 2010 thanks to my wonderful donor Laura and her family!
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