Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your never-ending support. Today, I am having a CAT scan so the surgeon knows exactly where to “poke” me.
Both Dr. Baker (an ortho-paedic surgeon) and Dr. Adamson (a neuro- surgeon) agree that I should have a fusion of the C 6-7 vertebrae in my neck.
However, due to lots of other issues with C2 through T1 vertebrae, my age (young) and activity level (high), both of them feel that would not be the best decision.
There is good news!
Dr. Adamson is going to do a cervical micro endoscopic discectomy.
In plain English, they go through a little hole at the back of my neck and clean it out. It is so small they put a Band-Aid on after they are done. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Now on to this week’s question.
Q. What are triglycerides? And what level is good?
A. Triglycerides are a form of fat carried through the blood stream. When you eat, your body converts any calories it does not need at that moment and stores it into triglycerides. When you regularly eat more calories than you burn, you may have high triglycerides.
Normal is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
Border line is 150-199 mg/dl
High is 200-499 mg/dl
Very high is 500 mg/dl or above
High triglycerides may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls. High triglycerides often accompany other conditions known to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke as well.
What is the best way to lower triglycerides?
n Lose excess pounds. You get instant health benefits by losing weight and body fat.
n Consume fewer calories. Eat less than you burn.
n Avoid sugary foods. Simple carbs can suddenly increase your insulin production and this could increase your triglyceride level. You would think high-fat diets would raise your triglycerides levels. However, simple carbs appear to be the most important dietary predictor of high triglycerides. Diets high in carbs, especially sugar, lead to increases in triglycerides. (No! It is not OK to eat a high fat diet!) n Avoid alcohol. It is high in calories and sugar and has a potent effect on triglycerides.
n Exercise regularly. (What do I keep telling you…?) Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. If you don’t have a place to exercise yet, we still have our “no joiner fee” until the end of this month.
Thank you again for your prayers and support.
Ester Hoeben is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or eburgess@rowanymca. com.