Cholesterol plays an important role in developing cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D. But too much cholesterol increases your risk of serious health problems, including a heart attack or stroke. At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC, which has two convenient locations in Rosedale, Queens, and Garden City, Long Island, Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, and the other healthcare providers help adults monitor their cholesterol levels in person and via telemedicine. To schedule an appointment at the nearest New York City practice, book a consultation online, or call the office today.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that flows through your blood. It plays a critical role in helping your body create healthy cells.
If your cholesterol levels become too high, it increases your risk of potentially life-threatening issues. That is because cholesterol can build-up in your bloodstream, causing fatty deposits. The deposits make it difficult for your blood to flow normally.
High cholesterol doesn’t present any obvious symptoms. The only way to determine if you’re at risk is to undergo blood tests like a lipid panel.
There are several types of cholesterol (lipoproteins), but the two main types are:
LDL or “bad” cholesterol carries cholesterol particles throughout your body. Over time, LDL cholesterol builds-up on the walls of your arteries, causing them to become hard and narrow. Too much LDL is what causes high cholesterol.
HDL or “good” cholesterol collects excess cholesterol particles and carries them back to your liver. This keeps your arteries clear of debris and functioning at full capacity.
MS Family Medicine Healthcare PC typically recommends that patients undergo cholesterol screening every five years. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure or have a family history of cardiovascular disease, more frequent testing may be necessary.
High cholesterol affects all types of people, but certain variables can increase your risk, including:
In addition, your risk of high cholesterol increases with age. As you get older, your liver becomes less capable of removing LDL cholesterol from your bloodstream.
MS Family Medicine Healthcare PC diagnoses high cholesterol by ordering a lipid panel. A lipid panel is a blood test that measures your levels of total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood.
To receive the most accurate results, avoid eating or drinking anything but water for at least 12 hours before your lipid panel.
Treatment for high cholesterol depends on the severity of your levels and health history. Usually, MS Family Medicine Healthcare PC recommends healthy lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.
If your cholesterol levels remain high after making these changes, your provider might recommend prescription medications like statins, bile-acid-binding resins, or cholesterol absorption inhibitors. If you have high triglycerides, you might benefit from fibrates or niacin.
To request a cholesterol screening, schedule an appointment at MS Family Medicine Healthcare PC. Book a consultation online, or call the nearest office today.