What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a vital substance to the proper functioning of your body. It is a waxy material made in the liver, as well as cells throughout the body. You can also find cholesterol in meat, eggs, and dairy products. While you need cholesterol to digest fat and produce necessary hormones, acids, and vitamins, too much can clog your arteries with a deposit called plaque, and lead to blocked blood flow to the heart and a reduced oxygen supply. If a vessel leading to a heart muscle or to the brain is blocked, it can result in a heart attack or stroke.
What Are the Different Types of Cholesterol?
The different types of cholesterol we measure are:
- LDL – Low-density lipoprotein. This is the “bad” cholesterol that can block arteries and cause problems.
- HDL – High-density lipoprotein. This is the “good” cholesterol that removes LDL from the blood and the body.
- Triglycerides – This is a different type of fat in the blood, which, while not technically cholesterol, should still be monitored. If your levels are too high, it can lead to a thickening of the arteries and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
What Are the Symptoms of High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol has no symptoms by itself, but can lead to the symptoms of cardiovascular or heart disease, such as chest pain, tingling of extremities, numbness, lightheadedness, heart attack, and stroke. Because the first symptom of high cholesterol can be a potentially deadly event, early diagnosis and treatment are critical.
What Causes High Cholesterol?
Risk factors of heart disease include a family history of heart disease, obesity, smoking, age, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Do I Have High Cholesterol?
You are considered to have high cholesterol if you have low HDL vs LDL in your blood. The ratio of your HDL to your total cholesterol should be below 5, with the ideal ratio being between 3 and 4. A healthy range for total cholesterol for adults is between 125 and 200 milligrams per deciliter, with less than 100 mg/dl being LDL and at least 40 mg/dl being HDL.
The normal range for triglycerides is 150 milligrams per deciliter or below.
How Do I Lower My Cholesterol?
We have a number of medications we can prescribe to lower your cholesterol, and you should take any cholesterol medications your doctor deems necessary. However, even the best cholesterol drugs are not as good as getting to a point where you can get your cholesterol to a safe level and maintain it through lifestyle choices. Healthy eating, avoiding saturated fats, trans fats, high carbohydrate foods, and processed foods, can be very effective in lowering cholesterol. Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are also extremely important.
Esslinger Medical and Aesthetics for High Cholesterol Treatment in GA
At Esslinger Medical and Aesthetics, we have a commitment to long-term care for our patients. We can do a full physical to determine your cholesterol level and other heart disease risk factors and put you on a plan for weight loss, heart health, or whatever interventions are required to help ensure you live a long, healthy life. If you are in Cartersville or surrounding areas in Georgia, put your care in the hands of the doctor who has been caring for Georgians since the 20th century. Contact us via the form below or at 470-888-6543 to schedule an appointment now.