High cholesterol affects almost 40% of American adults, and many of them don’t even know they have it. High cholesterol puts you at greater risk of developing heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of premature death in the United States. Advance Medical Group in Hackensack, Paramus, and Haledon, New Jersey, provides testing and treatment programs to get your high cholesterol in check. To learn more or to get tested, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance your body uses to build cells. The liver produces it, and you also get it from certain foods, mainly meat and dairy products.
Experts say that the amount of cholesterol your body produces on its own is more than enough, so it’s important to monitor the foods you eat that increase cholesterol levels. However, a poor diet and exercise habits, excessive weight, and unmanaged stress are common causes for many adults to develop high cholesterol.
High cholesterol is known as a silent killer, and just having high levels of cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll show clear symptoms. Over time though, high cholesterol develops into fatty deposits that lodge in your blood vessels and cause blockages. These blockages increase your blood pressure and raise your chances of coronary artery disease and stroke.
A blood test is the only way to detect high cholesterol. The test measures:
A reading of 200mg/dl is a healthy cholesterol level, a reading between 200-239mg/dl puts you at risk of developing high cholesterol, and a reading of 240mg/dl means you have high cholesterol.
Women that have a reading of less than 50mg/dl and men less than 40mg/dl are considered at major risk. An optimal reading for HDL levels is 60mg/dl.
A reading between 130-159mg/dl is borderline high, and anything above 160mg/dl puts you at high risk. Ideally, your LDL levels should be less than 100mg/dl.
An ideal reading is 150mg/dl, and anything above 200mg/dl is too high.
The test only takes a few minutes and, depending on your weight and general state of health, your Advance Medical Group practitioner recommends if and how often you need a test for high cholesterol. They also discuss whether treatment is necessary to lower your levels.
The good news is that high cholesterol can be lowered and often, some lifestyle changes are all that’s needed to get your levels under control. But if these alone aren’t enough, your provider suggests medication. Some of these lifestyle changes and pharmaceutical treatment options are:
One of the best ways to control your cholesterol is through diet, making sure you avoid saturated and trans fats, and sugar, as these raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Losing extra weight and being more physically active is very important, as just 30 minutes of daily exercise reduces your cholesterol levels.
Stopping smoking lowers your cholesterol levels.
Prescription medications like cholesterol absorption inhibitors limit or reduce the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream.
If you have high triglycerides, your provider prescribes medications called fibrates to lower very-low-density-LDL cholesterol, which contains high levels of triglycerides.
If your cholesterol readings are making you concerned or for expert testing and care, call Advance Medical Group or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment.