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.