Ayako Yoneyama writes:
I think that there are 2 similarities between patient A and patient B. First, there is quite a possibility that they will suffer from heart disease, though the reasons are different. And, second, they don't do daily exercise.
These patients present some similarities,
but there are many differences between them. First, only A has the symptoms
of heart disease. Next, patient A does no exercise but, patient B does
weekend exercise. For favorite foods, there are clear differences between
them, for example, patient A likes sweet fatty foods more than B. Next,
A's LDL cholesterol level is much higher than B's. Finally, in B's family
there is a history of diabetes, so she may tend to suffer from it which
may also cause heart disease.
I advise both patients as follows:
To patient A: Though you are 20 years old, you have narrowing of the arteries. You must change your diet and other life style habits. Your LDL cholesterol level is very high, so you should cut down on sugar and fatty foods, for example, ice cream and fatty meats. Please eat more fruits and vegetables each day, and fish instead of meat. If you use oil, you should choose safflower oil. Finally, you had better do exercise every day, because exercise may increase "good" cholesterol levels, which is believed to remove excess cholesterol from the body.
I don't say that you must not eat all kinds of fatty and sweet food from now on. What I want to tell you is you need to change your ideas about diet. If you used to eat a sweet dessert after every meal, you should reduce your intake of sweets so that, for example, you could eat your favorite food "ice cream" once a week. Try to think a little about your health every day, and you may not suffer from serious heart disease in the future.
To patient B: Now you don't suffer from heart disease, but you have some risk factors for disease, for example, your family tends to suffer from diabetes. You should reduce risk factors. You are overweight, so you should lose weight, and, you can raise your good cholesterol-HDL-level by exercising, quitting smoking, and eating more boiled or grilled fish and skinless chicken and less fried meat. Please replace white bread with whole-grain breads and cereals, because dietary fiber may help lower your cholesterol, and prevent heart disease. Any way, from now on, stop smoking and do more exercise, for instance, ride your bicycle everyday, and you will not suffer from heart disease.
To both patients: Both patients should be checked regularly by doctors because the prevention of illness is better than its cure. And, please remember that the most effective prevention is your correct diet and daily exercise. Daily and moderate exercise is recommended, because it helps increase your HDL-cholesterol level, which is effective to reduce the LDL-cholesterol level. You should avoid fatty sweet foods, and eat more fiber-rich food such as vegetables. You should replace sweets with nonfat yogurt and ice milk. But, it is important that you sometimes eat favorite fatty sweet foods, because they are nutrition for your "heart".
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