High cholesterol can lead to damaging heart disease, and you may not even know you have it. At Premium Healthcare in Downers Grove and Crest Hill, Illinois, Dr. Jose Rivera Guerrero and Dr. Cristina Perez offer accurate diagnostic testing for high cholesterol to protect your heart health. They also provide guidance in preventing high cholesterol through dietary and lifestyle counseling. To learn more about treating and preventing high cholesterol complications, schedule an appointment online or by phone.
Cholesterol is a wax-like substance found in the fats in your bloodstream. Your body uses cholesterol to build healthy cells. However, high cholesterol levels can cause heart disease.
When your cholesterol levels increase, fatty deposits in your blood vessels can cause difficulties with blood flow. If your heart isn’t receiving the blood it needs to function properly, you can be at increased risk for a heart attack. If your brain isn’t getting the correct amount of blood, you are at increased risk for a stroke.
There are two kinds of cholesterol: good and bad. Good cholesterol, or high-density lipoproteins (HDL), carries extra cholesterol back to your liver; bad cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), carries cholesterol throughout your body, causing a buildup in your arteries. As a result, your arteries become narrowed and hard.
Having high cholesterol produces no symptoms. Dr. Guerrero and Dr. Perez rely on routine blood work to identify high cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol affects men and women equally. Children should also undergo cholesterol screening at least once between the ages of 9-11 and again between 17-21. Testing in children and adults is especially important if there is a history of early-onset heart disease, diabetes, or obesity.
There are several factors that influence your risk of developing high cholesterol. These factors include:
In many cases, changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels. Eating a healthy diet full of whole grains and fresh vegetables can lower your cholesterol. A good diet also helps you maintain a healthy weight and prevent conditions like diabetes that can cause high cholesterol.
If you smoke cigarettes, try a smoking cessation program. You should also limit your consumption of alcohol, animal fats, and sodium.
If you can’t manage your high cholesterol levels through diet and lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend one or more medications to manage your condition. Taking your medical history into account, your doctor may recommend statins. Statins block a liver substance needed to make cholesterol and cause your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood. Statins are also effective in assisting your body in the absorption of cholesterol in the artery walls.
Book a consultation online or by phone to learn more about managing high cholesterol.