High cholesterol is a serious health concern that raises your risk of stroke and heart disease. At Today’s Wellness and Primary Care in Wilmington, Reading, North Andover, and Stoneham, Massachusetts, Mohammed Jaleel, MD, and Chloe Fish, NP, use evidence-based techniques to lower your cholesterol and improve your overall health. Call Today’s Wellness and Primary Care or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance in your blood that helps build new cells. While your body needs cholesterol, too much of it can clog your blood vessels. Blocked blood vessels prevent the healthy flow of blood and raise your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other complications.
Certain foods, such as red meat, full-fat dairy, and fried foods, contain high levels of cholesterol that can congest your arteries.
There are three different types of cholesterol:
LDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol,” accumulates in your blood vessel walls and clogs your arteries.
Also called “good cholesterol,” HDL helps remove low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to prevent it from collecting in your blood vessels.
Triglycerides are similar to cholesterol, with one key difference. While triglycerides are fat, cholesterol is not. High levels of triglycerides in your blood significantly raise your risk of serious health complications like heart attack.
Many factors increase your risk of high cholesterol, including:
High cholesterol can also be hereditary. If you have a close relative with high cholesterol, you’re at risk of developing the condition.
High cholesterol is challenging to treat because it has no symptoms. That’s why regular physical exams are essential for your health. If you have any risk factors for high cholesterol, the team may recommend testing your blood.
Generally, your HDL cholesterol levels should measure 5mmol/L or less for healthy individuals and 4mmol/L or less for high-risk adults.
Meanwhile, your LDL levels should measure 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults and 2mmol/L or less for those at high risk.
Today’s Wellness and Primary Care may recommend a series of diet and lifestyle modifications to lower your cholesterol, including:
The team may test your cholesterol regularly to ensure your treatment is working. To learn more about high cholesterol, call Today’s Wellness and Primary Care or schedule an appointment online today.