Maintaining your cardiovascular health is imperative to living a full life. The doctors and specialists at Carondelet Medical Group are skilled at diagnosing and treating hyperlipidemia and other conditions that can lead to heart disease and threaten your quality of life.
Hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, is characterized as having unusually high levels of fats in the blood. These fats, or lipids, are composed of two primary types: cholesterol and triglycerides. Your body naturally produces cholesterol; however, it also comes from certain foods such as red meat and dairy.
- Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) – Considered to be “bad” cholesterol that can cause blockages in your blood vessels. Bacon, fried foods, and fast food contribute to high LDL levels.
- High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) – Considered to be “good” cholesterol that carries cholesterol to your liver where it can be removed from the body. Avocados, olive oil, nuts, and salmon are examples of foods that promote good HDL levels.
- Triglycerides – The calories your body does not need are converted into this type of fat. Certain foods high in saturated fat and sugar, as well as alcohol, can increase your triglyceride levels and contributes to your overall cholesterol level.
Too much fat and cholesterol in your blood can build up and deposit plaques on the walls of your blood vessels. As your blood vessels narrow, your arteries become clogged which increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. A proclivity for high cholesterol may be inherited; however, hyperlipidemia is generally attributed to poor diet and lack of exercise. By lowering unhealthy cholesterol levels, you immensely reduce the risk of heart disease and major cardiac events.
There are no direct symptoms associated with Hyperlipidemia, although if left undiagnosed issues will manifest in the form of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. Risk factors that contribute to hyperlipidemia include:
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption
- Consuming Foods High in Saturated Fats, Sugars & Trans Fats
- Lack of Exercise
- Kidney Disease
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Thyroid Conditions
- Birth Control
In order to ascertain your cholesterol levels, it is necessary to conduct a routine blood test called a lipoprotein panel. This blood draw is very simple but may require you to fast the night before. Generally, an overall cholesterol level that is less than 200 mg is considered good for men and women over the age of 20. It is important to be proactive about your health with regular checkups and bloodwork to check your cholesterol levels. From there, we can help you manage your hyperlipidemia. Lifestyle changes that include eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and staying active are the first steps. Prescription medication may also be necessary.
Contact Our Office
Turn to the doctors at Carondelet Medical Group to help you manage your cholesterol levels. Give us a call to schedule an appointment with a member of our caring staff.