High cholesterol is a problematic chronic condition that increases your risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other potentially serious health complications. At Northern Medical Group, Primary Care Division, in Pawling and Brewster, New York, the team of primary care specialists offers comprehensive testing and screening services to lower high cholesterol levels. Call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about high cholesterol.
High cholesterol is a fatty substance your body uses to create hormones, produce vitamins, and build cells. While your body needs cholesterol to survive, too much of it can accumulate in your artery walls. Cholesterol that collects in the artery walls may cause atherosclerosis, which leads to hard, inflexible arteries.
Over time, atherosclerosis increases your risk of multiple health complications, including stroke, coronary artery disease (CAD), and heart attack.
High cholesterol rarely causes symptoms, making it a dangerous yet silent condition. The only way to know for sure that you have high cholesterol is by taking a blood test. The team may recommend a test if you have any high cholesterol risk factors. The most common are:
Being over age 40 also increases your risk of high cholesterol. Knowing your risk factors encourages you to make diet and lifestyle changes that minimize your chances of developing the condition.
There are two types of cholesterol that can affect your health:
LDL causes wax-like buildup in your arteries. Also known as the “bad cholesterol,” this type increases your risk of serious health complications. A high-fat diet and other lifestyle factors can lead to high levels of LDL.
HDL, or the “good cholesterol,” helps counteract LDL. It helps transport LDL away from the heart and back down to the liver. Healthy HDL levels can help lower your overall cholesterol levels.
The team can measure your cholesterol levels to determine your risk of complications and protect your health.
Managing high cholesterol usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. High cholesterol treatments may include:
The team may recommend making lifestyle and diet changes before prescribing medication.
Call Northern Medical Group, Primary Care Division, today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about high cholesterol.