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High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a health condition that occurs without causing symptoms but increases your risk of developing more serious health issues like heart disease. At Comprehensive Primary Care in Lawrenceville and Suwanee, Georgia, Rekha Kesavan, MD, and the team diagnose and treat high cholesterol. To schedule an appointment, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is high cholesterol?

High cholesterol means your blood cholesterol levels are higher than normal. The excess cholesterol in your blood may combine with minerals and other substances in your blood, creating plaque. 

Plaque sticks to the walls of your blood vessels, building up over time, causing a narrowing or blockages, affecting circulation. That condition is known as atherosclerosis and may affect any artery in your body. 

If plaque deposits break free from the blood vessel wall, they may form into a blood clot that blocks one of the major arteries in your heart, leading to a heart attack. 

What causes high cholesterol?

High cholesterol may be an inherited condition. However, most people develop high cholesterol from poor lifestyle habits. 

Lifestyle habits that contribute to the development of high cholesterol include:

  • Eating an unhealthy diet
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • Using tobacco products
  • Drinking too much alcohol

High cholesterol affects people of all ages. However, your risk of having high cholesterol increases as you get older. Obesity is also a risk factor for high cholesterol. 

When should I get tested for high cholesterol?

High cholesterol develops without causing symptoms. All healthy adults should have their cholesterol levels checked every 4-6 years. 

If you have a history of high cholesterol or heart disease, the team at Comprehensive Primary Care may recommend more frequent testing of your blood cholesterol levels.

The test for cholesterol is a blood test known as the lipid panel, which measures your:

  • Total cholesterol
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — also known as the bad cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — also known as the good cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

Your provider at Comprehensive Primary Care reviews the results of your lipid panel with you and what your numbers mean. High cholesterol means you have elevated total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol numbers, placing you at risk for developing heart disease. 

How is high cholesterol treated?

The Comprehensive Primary Care team focuses on preventive healthcare. Initial treatment for high cholesterol focuses on lifestyle changes, which may include diet modification and an exercise program.

The team also provides weight loss treatment, which may help those struggling with obesity lose weight and lower their cholesterol numbers. The primary care practice also offers in-house stress testing, which they may perform to check for heart problems related to your high cholesterol.

When lifestyle changes fail to improve high cholesterol, the team may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication. 

Find out more about high cholesterol screening and treatment by calling Comprehensive Primary Care or booking an appointment online today.