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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.