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Cholesterol Levels Too Low: Is It Dangerous?

For years doctors have been driving people to lower their cholesterol levels. People with cholesterol levels of less than 200 have been placed on drugs to lower their cholesterol. In fact, we could almost call this a sort of craze that has been occurring for the past 50 decades or so. However, much more recent studies have shown that there may be some very harmful and adverse effects involved with the diagnosis of total cholesterol levels too low.

Mortality Rates and Low Cholesterol

There may even be a correlation between premature mortality and low cholesterol. Some of the healthiest people alive, who have lived well into their 90’s have maintained a much higher level of cholesterol, while there have been people dying in their 60’s with extremely low cholesterol as this was once considered a good thing! There is still much research on the topic but as of now, researchers are seriously looking into the theory that cholesterol may not be quite as bad as we have been made to believe.

LDL Cholesterol- The “Enemy”

The theory is that too much “bad” or LDL cholesterol can build up in the arteries, leading to heart attack, stroke, heart disease and a number of other related conditions. There is a lot of truth to this and nothing written here is meant to down play that theory; however, it is also important to focus on what may be fact and what may be fiction. Years ago a normal range for total cholesterol was considered anywhere from 250 mg to 300mg. Today, that number has been lowered significantly and no one is quite sure whether or not that is healthy.  The point is when someone speaks of harmful cholesterol levels, this is usually the type that person is referring to.

 

HDL Cholesterol- Our Friend

HDL levels too low for comfort does pose a problem. This type of cholesterol is considered friendly in that it actually works in the opposite way from its partner LDL cholesterol and protects against things like heart attacks, strokes and hypertension. So, what happens if you get diagnosed with good cholesterol levels too low? Well, for one thing you will not get the benefits of this type of cholesterol if there is not enough of it in your body. The most popular benefit is that the good cholesterol tends to transport the bad cholesterol through the blood and into the liver to be processed. This of course is a good thing. If your HDL levels are too low your doctor will offer you several options for getting the numbers back up.

Signs that Cholesterol Levels are Too Low

For some people there are no signs and symptoms when cholesterol has reached levels that are too low. However, some of the people who have had low cholesterol have reported problems with joint pain and stiffness. If you suspect that your cholesterol may be too low according to the numbers on the cholesterol chart, do not simply take your doctors word for it when asking if your levels are too low. As mentioned earlier, there are a couple of different schools of thought on the issue. Do some homework and get a second opinion, especially if you are experiencing any joint pain or fatigue.

Cholesterol levels can vary from day to day and even from hour to hour. Sometimes after a greasy meal your blood cholesterol levels could be very high, only to return to lower levels once your food has digested.  This is why consistent cholesterol monitoring is important.  Speak to your physician about checking your cholesterol levels and what the results of the test show.

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