Friday, April 11, 2008

Cholesterol PT.2

While we don’t have all the answers, it’s best to take a prudent course: be familiar with the cholesterol and saturated-fat content of foods and apply this knowledge to your food choices.

Fats are a group of various highly concentrated substances that don’t mix with water. Dietary fats are carriers for fat-soluble vitamins. If there were no fat in the diet, it could eventually lead to a vitamin deficiency. Some fats are crucial for maintaining the structure of each cell in your body and producing hormones. While fats are essential to good nutrition, they are beneficial only when you consume certain types in limited amounts.

Several fats fall into a group of oily substances, some of which bear such familiar names as cholesterol, saturated and unsaturated fat, and triglycerides. There are three kinds of dietary fat, all of which affect your health differently:
Saturated Fat: raises your cholesterol level. Butter, lard, and meat drippings contain mostly saturated fats. Most of these saturated fats, which remain solid at room temperature, come from animal sources. The only exceptions are such tropical plant oils as coconut oil and palm kernel oil, which are liquid at room temperature.

Monounsaturated fat: gets it name from its molecular structure. It contains two fewer hydrogen atoms than saturated fat and, by virtue of being one step removed from saturated status; monounsaturated fat merits a place on the recommended list. Olive oil and canola oil are excellent sources.

Polyunsaturated fat: has even less hydrogen than monounsaturated fat and helps lower cholesterol in the bloodstream. Polyunsaturated fat remains liquid at room temperature. Good sources include safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.
There are two types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-6 oils, which is common in safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oil and omega-3 oils, is found in cold water sea fish, such as mackerel and salmon.


Animal foods contain cholesterol as a naturally occurring substance; you will find some cholesterol in everything from beef, pork, lamb, veal, chicken, and fish to dairy products and eggs. A prudent diet contains no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day.

Cholesterol is a lipit, or insoluble fatty substance, that your body manufactures to build the outer membrane of each of your cells as well as certain hormones. Because it doesn’t mix water, cholesterol cannot travel alone. To gain passage through the bloodstream, cholesterol combines into little packages with high-density lipoproteins, (HDL, or so-called good cholesterol), low-density lipoproteins (LDL, or bad cholesterol), or very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).

The amount and the kind of cholesterol in your blood are a reflection of the fats you eat. But, as always, there are exceptions to the rule. Some people can feast on high-fat food and still have acceptable cholesterol levels, while others trim their fat intake to the bare minimum without achieving any significant decrease in blood cholesterol. Many premenopausal women with elevations in their cholesterol levels still remain relatively safe because their HDL (good cholesterol) levels are at work protecting their arteries.

New ways of checking levels on in the works now. Don’t let that stop you from checking you levels now. Where you stand can be realized by having blood work done

Research has provided much evidence about the association between diet, cholesterol, and heart disease. A very high level of blood cholesterol increases the risk of coronary artery disease in the group most studied—men between the ages of 25 and 60. The higher the cholesterol, the greater the risk. A very low level of cholesterol doesn’t carry any risk by itself.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Why a colonoscopy-Do You Need 1,2,etc.?

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an examination of the large intestine using a flexible tube which can be inserted the whole length of you large intestine. This examination will reveal danger signs of cancer and other things you would like to know.
There are two different preparations depending on your physician’s choice:
(1) You may be put on a clear liquid diet for a day or two before the test and you are instructed to take a laxative the night before the examination.
(2) You may be instructed to drink a gallon of special liquid which is prepared by a pharmacist. Enemas may be given before the test.
An intravenous line will be started in your arm before the test begins. You must tell the nurse if you have any allergies and what medications you take.
The test is done in a special room called the Endocopy Room or in the X-ray suite.
You will take off all of your clothes, fold them, place them in a laundry bag and put them away securely. You then put on the hospital “Johnny” with the opening in the back. You will be placed on a special table lying on your left side with your knees drawn up towards your chest. The scope, a fiber optic tube, will be inserted though your rectum and passed into your large intestine. Air may be introduced so that your doctor can see the folds of the lining of your intestine. Because your cooperation and responses are important, it is essential that you be awake during the test. (I honestly don’t remember anything during the examination.) You are given medication thru the IV to relax you before the scope is inserted and if necessary during the test to keep you comfortable. As the scope is inserted you may have the urge to move your bowels. (Don’t worry about it, it’s mostly air.) There will also be some crampy feeling if air is introduced. Both of these will pass when the air is expelled and the scope removed. Otherwise this is not a painful procedure.
You should have no discomfort but you might feel tired from the examination. If a biopsy is done or a polyp removed you may have some slight bleeding. This is usually of no consequence. Your physician may want to observe you for a short time after the test before sending you home.
It is important to make arrangements for someone to accompany you to and from the hospital as you will not be able to drive after the test because of medication.