October #95 : Zip Your Lipids - by David Gelman, MD

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Table of Contents

The Clock Watchers

After Ibn Zuhur

Stayin’ Alive: A Game Plan

I Wanna New Drug!

In Cold Blood

Unfine China

Maine Idea

Bayer's BIG Headache

Neg & Pos

Gone Shopping

The Bug Stops Here



For Pete's Sake

Wake-Up Call

Heavenly & Hazardous

Shock and Blah

Publisher's Letter


O Lady Liberate:

O Cash up Front:

Tastes Great! Less Filling!

Tat Caveat

Only A Test


New Meds On The Shelf

Book Report

60% of HIVers Now Survive Lymphoma

Zip Your Lipids

Tea Cells

Paris When It Sizzled

Playing It Safe And Sexy


The Soprano


Butch And Moan

Toxic Avengers

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

October 2003

Zip Your Lipids

by David Gelman, MD

HAART is famous for raising cholesterol, but you're lacking in lipid linguistics? Fatten up:

Lipids—A lippy word for fats or oils—principally cholesterol and triglycerides—found in the blood. You can keep cholesterol and triglycerides levels on the level by exercising, checking your diet with a nutritionist and quitting cigarettes (they contribute to heart disease risk). Doc may also prescribe drugs to flatten high fat counts. The two most common forms of cholesterol are HDL and LDL.

HDL, or high-density lipoprotein—This goody-two-shoes cholesterol scavenges fat from blood vessels and other bodily haunts and returns it to the liver for use or destruction. You want high levels of this one. An HDL score over 65 seems to reduce heart-disease risk; under 35 signals heightened hazard.

LDL—When bad cholesterol happens to good people. The “L” means “low” (or “lousy”), and you want it to lie low in your blood. HDL’s evil twin, it stuffs cholesterol into blood vessels and other locales, causing clogging and hardening. An LDL value of 70 is touted as “ideal,” but most docs aim for 100 or 130.

Triglycerides—The main fat in food—and in our own bodies. Some HIV meds (especially some PIs) can spike blood levels, requiring frequent testing—because high triglycerides promote heart disease and, in extreme cases, pancreatitis. (Normal levels range from 50 to 150.) Reyataz (atazanavir, see “New Meds on the Shelf") holds promise for HIVers who want HAART that won’t send their lipid profile flying high.

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