Associated Physicians Group, PLC
Internal Medicine & Primary Care Practice located in Berkley, MI
High cholesterol is a serious health issue that often goes undetected until a medical problem arises. If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, Camelia Salanta, MD, Neelum Gupta, MD, and the team at Associated Physicians Group, PLC can help. Learn where your cholesterol levels are and what you can do to reach healthier numbers by calling the office in Berkley, Michigan, today.
High Cholesterol Q & A
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a sticky, waxy substance your body manufactures naturally. A certain amount of cholesterol is needed to develop healthy cells, manufacture hormones, and produce Vitamin D. However, too much cholesterol can cause serious health issues.
You may have heard about the different types of cholesterol. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) is sometimes known as the “good” kind of cholesterol because it helps transport cholesterol from various parts of your body to your liver, where it is removed from your body.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as the “bad” kind of cholesterol because it contributes to accumulations of plaque in your arteries. There is also very low-density lipoprotein, which can also lead to arterial plaque.
Why is high cholesterol a problem?
Too much cholesterol in your bloodstream can attract other substances that bind together into a sticky substance that adheres to the walls of your arteries. This buildup is called plaque, and it can slowly worsen over time.
Eventually, arterial plaque makes it hard for your blood to flow freely throughout your body. This is a condition called atherosclerosis. Left untreated, coronary artery disease can develop, which means your arteries have become significantly narrowed or even blocked.
What causes high cholesterol?
In some cases, high cholesterol is an inherited problem, which can occur in men and women. Most often, however, high cholesterol is caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Carrying a significant amount of extra weight increases your risk of high cholesterol. Eating trans fats, saturated fats, and foods naturally high in cholesterol also increases your levels. Living a sedentary lifestyle is also a significant contributing factor, as is smoking.
What can be done to treat high cholesterol?
The first step is determining your current levels and reviewing those readings in light of your age, sex, and overall health. A simple blood test is all that’s needed to learn your cholesterol levels, and the team at Associated Physicians Group, PLC has an in-house lab where you can get a blood test.
Medications can help bring your cholesterol under control. Some drugs work by helping your liver eliminate cholesterol from your body. These drugs can also assist in reabsorbing built-up cholesterol within your arteries, which can reduce your risk for coronary artery disease.
Other medications work to help convert cholesterol to bile acids, slow the absorption of dietary cholesterol, or help your liver draw more cholesterol out of your blood.
Your doctor at Associated Physicians Group, PLC can also help you create a plan to improve your lifestyle. This can go a long way toward reducing cholesterol and improving your overall health. Begin managing your cholesterol levels more effectively by calling Associated Physicians Group, PLC today.
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