Face-to-face consultation: cholesterol levels

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We recommend that all adults should get a cholesterol check – no matter what your age or how healthy you feel
— Heart UK, the cholesterol charity

Our Manasa Ayurveda consultations are undertaken by registered healthcare professionals and as well as using traditional Ayurvedic methods also include professional physical health checks. One of these checks is of your total cholesterol levels.

Why do we do this?

Cholesterol is a type of fat. The body needs cholesterol to help make certain vitamins and hormones and can make enough cholesterol of its own. We also get extra cholesterol from the foods we eat.

Too much cholesterol can lead to serious problems like heart disease. A high intake of animal fats such as meat, eggs and cheese are the main cause of excess cholesterol. It’s not just eating too much fat that causes high cholesterol; smoking contributes to it, as does having high blood pressure, diabetes, or an underactive thyroid. Also, some medications such as antipsychotics may increase cholesterol levels.

What happens?

  • A cholesterol test strip is inserted into the testing meter

  • The tip of one of your fingers is cleaned and dry

  • The tip of your finger is massaged

  • Your finger is pricked using a sterile lancet and a drop of blood squeezed onto the test strip

  • The meter reads the test strip

  • You are given some cotton wool to clean your finger

  • Your Manasa Ayurveda therapist will tell you the result and record it on a chart

What do the results mean?

This test measures total cholesterol (TC), this refers to the overall level of cholesterol. As a general guide a healthy total cholesterol level should be below 5mmol/L.

The total cholesterol level found in our test will provides a general guide, and informs will inform our recommended therapies and dietry suggestions, but it’s not just total cholesterol that’s important…

‘Good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol (HDL & LDL) - an Ayurvedic perspective

Blood carries cholesterol around the body on proteins known as high density lipoproteins (HDL) or ‘good cholesterol’, and low density lipoproteins (LDL) – ‘bad cholesterol’.

HDL cholesterol helps your body, but LDL cholesterol can cause blood vessels to become narrowed or blocked, leading to serious health problems and six in ten adults in the UK have LDL cholesterol levels which are too high.

From the ayurvedic perspective, LDL (the harmful kind of cholesterol) is caused by ama, or toxins in the fat tissue. Ayurveda explains ‘simple ama’ as a sticky, foul-smelling waste product of improper digestion which can block the channels of the body, such as the arteries.

When this ‘simple ama’ is present for a very long time and is not flushed from the system it can lead to amavisha, a more reactive, dangerous type of ama. When this starts to spread throughout the body, it can mix with the body tissues (dhatus) and waste products (malas). Once amavisha mixes with the fat tissue, it is said to lead to problems such as high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

Following our general test of total cholesterol you may wish to have a further, more in-depth test to determine your specific HDL and LDL levels, particularly if your total cholesterol level is above 5mmol/L. Heart UK, the cholesterol charity provides helpful information on this.