Understanding High Cholesterol

Understanding Cholesterol:

High blood cholesterol affects more than 65 million Americans. It’s a serious, often symptomless condition that increases our risk of heart disease. The higher our blood cholesterol level, specifically low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the greater the risk.

How Does Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease?

When there is too much cholesterol (a fat-like substance) in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, this buildup causes “hardening of the arteries” so that arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart becomes slowed down or blocked.  This may cause chest pain or even a heart attack.

High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms; so many people are unaware when their cholesterol is too high.  It is important to find out your cholesterol numbers.  Lowering levels that are too high lessens the risk of developing heart disease or dying from it if you already have it.

What should your Cholesterol profile be?

  • Total Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dl
  • Triglycerides – less than 150 mg/dl
  • HDL (the “good cholesterol”) – greater than 50 mg/dl in men, greater than 55 mg/dl in women and the higher the better in everyone
  • LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) – at least below 130 mg/dl, ideally below 100 mg/dl, and the lower the better in everyone

Which high Cholesterol risk factors can you control?

There are many circumstances that could place you at risk for having high high cholesterol levels. While there are some risk factors you cannot control, there are other things that you can do to modify your risk of having high cholesterol levels down the road. Modifying these risk factors means making a few simple changes to your lifestyle. By lowering your risks of having high cholesterol, you are also lowering your risk of heart disease.

You have the power to change these following risk factors:

  • Smoking – Quitting smoking now can lower your cholesterol levels, as well as help boost your good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
  • Exercise – By adding exercise to your daily routine, you can modestly lower your LDL and raise your HDL, or good cholesterol.

There are many types of exercise that you can use to lower your cholesterol, so whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a recovering couch potato – there is an exercise regimen out there just for you. Additionally, it will help you to lose weight.

  • Diet – Modifying your diet can greatly improve your health – and your cholesterol levels. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and increasing the amount fiber in your diet can help you to keep your cholesterol levels within normal levels. This means minimizing the junk food and fast food in your diet, and increasing your consumption of fresh fruit and veggies.
  • Disease Management – Do you have diabetes or another chronic condition? Some chronic conditions can also cause your cholesterol levels to increase. Managing these conditions will also help you to manage your cholesterol levels.

To see if you or a loved one are at risk for developing high cholesterol please make an appointment now with our doctors in Med-Ped Health Care, LLC for evaluation and treatment for high cholesterol.

In Med-Ped Health Care, LLC, there is stress test machine by which we can diagnose the cause of symptoms such as chest pain, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath or fluttering of the chest and other heart problems can be caused by high cholesterol levels. We have Echocardiogram, holter monitor, ICG and EKG.

Keep in mind that cholesterol evaluation should be performed once every five years for all patients over the age of 20. Detecting high cholesterol early can reduce a patient risk of complications.

Steps You Can Take to Control Your Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition where your body is unable to properly break down and regulate its glucose levels. All types of this condition are treatable, but there is no known cure. Types 1 and 2 last a lifetime, while gestational diabetes is present only during pregnancy.   

It Isn’t just about watching your blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a major risk factor for both stroke and heart disease. People with diabetes are at least twice as likely to experience a stroke or develop heart disease.

Despite the fact the condition is lifelong and has no known cure, diabetes can be successfully managed to the point where its effects on your life are minimized. If you are experiencing symptoms of diabetes (frequent urination, excessive thirst, shakiness in the limbs, etc.), be sure to consult with your doctor immediately. Left untreated, diabetes can be fatal.

There are a few things you can do to make sure the condition does not cause damage in your life:

  • Eat a healthy diet. First, it is important to significantly reduce the amount of fat and sodium present in your diet. Replace these foods with fruits, vegetables, nonfat dairy products, and whole grains.
  • Exercise. You will want to get 30 to 60 minutes of fairly vigorous exercise (walking quickly) most days of the week.
  • If you have changes in your eyesight, be sure to let your doctor know right away.
  • Cope with stress effectively. Make sure you have a friend or spouse to vent your anxious feelings to.
  •  Check your feet regularly for sores and swelling.
  • If you smoke, quit.

Points to Remember:

  • If you have diabetes, you are at least twice as likely as other people to have heart disease or a stroke.
  • Controlling the ABCs of diabetes—A1C (blood glucose), blood pressure, and cholesterol—can cut your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Choosing foods wisely, being physically active, losing weight, quitting smoking, and taking medications (if needed) can all help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • If you have any warning signs of a heart attack or a stroke, get medical care immediately—don’t delay. Early treatment of heart attack and stroke in a hospital emergency room can reduce damage to the heart and the brain.
In Med-Ped Health Care, LLC we offers a convenient locations and hours to manage and control your diabetes or pre-diabetes condition. Our doctors are all board-certified and have years of experience in treating patients of all ages with type I and II Diabetes. Also, for urgent care visit (365 days a year), Express Healthcare, LLC is the right clinic for you.

Diabetes Success Stories

Dr. Fadul, diagnosed a patient with Type II diabetes and he started to educate her about it. She learned about lifestyle changes that could affect her health. “I started to journal what I ate right away,” she recalls. “I looked at my portions, and I ate way too many carbs. And I wasn’t eating enough fruits and vegetables.” Logging each of her meals helped her overhaul her diet by identifying mindless munching and flat-out unhealthy food choices. And rewarding herself with a once-a-month splurge meal gave her a reason to stay on track the rest of the time.

Exercise also played a critical role, though the patient will admit it wasn’t pleasant at first. “I got out, I walked around the block, and I thought I was going to die,” she says. Now she tracks her steps with a pedometer and gets more quality time with her husband since they’re walking partners. She’s lost 100 pounds, lowered her blood pressure and cholesterol enough to quit medications, and dropped nearly 3 percentage points on her A1C. Though sustaining her healthy habits takes daily determination, she is glad she can take charge of her health. “Remembering those in my family who had passed because of cancer,” she says, “I knew that had they been given the chance for making things better with diet and exercise, they would have jumped at the chance.”

Another story with this patient who even before he was diagnosed was no stranger to diabetes. His father and three of his mother’s siblings have diabetes; his maternal grandfather died of complications of diabetes; and two uncles lost limbs because of uncontrolled blood glucose. He was diagnosed with type 2 about 15 years ago and he wasn’t ready to overhaul his lifestyle. “I was in denial for a long time, and I thought, ‘I can handle this with shots.’ I thought, ‘I don’t need [diet and exercise],’ ” he says, when he was talking to Dr. Fadul.

Over the years, the patient gained motivation. “I needed to see my children graduate at least from high school. I wanted to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary,” he says, rattling off the goals that inspired him.  He threw away his oversized plates and started using smaller ones to downsize his portions. He learned to turn meals laden with fat, sodium, and carbohydrates into diabetes-friendly dishes. Then, when his daughter suggested that they join a gym a year and a half ago, he accepted. He has walked the treadmill three days a week since. He started to go walking to his work and  when his children were both married this fall, he was able to dance at their weddings!