Cholesterol is an essential fatty substance your body needs to function properly. However, when cholesterol levels become imbalanced, it can lead to health issues.
At Comprehensive Primary Care in Lawrenceville and Suwanee, Georgia, our dedicated team of providers know that high cholesterol can increase your risk of developing more serious health issues, which is why we’re here to help diagnose your symptoms and find the right treatment plan you deserve.
In the meantime, we delve into the dangers of high cholesterol, how it impacts your health, and what you can do to manage and lower it effectively. Let's explore the facts behind high cholesterol and understand why keeping it in check is crucial.
Before delving into the dangers of high cholesterol, let's first understand what cholesterol is and the different types. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in every body cell and is essential for various bodily functions, including hormone production and cell membrane maintenance.
There are two main types of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), often called "bad" cholesterol, can build up in the arteries, leading to plaque formation and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
On the other hand, HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein), known as "good" cholesterol, helps transport LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues. Understanding these different cholesterol types is critical in comprehending the potential dangers of high cholesterol and its impact on overall health.
High cholesterol levels can pose significant risks to your health and increase the likelihood of various health conditions. Some of the dangers associated with high cholesterol include:
Excess LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream can accumulate on artery walls, forming plaque and narrowing your arteries, restricting blood flow to your heart.
Plaque buildup in your arteries can also lead to blood clots, increasing the risk of stroke if a clot blocks blood flow to the brain.
High cholesterol can affect blood flow to other body parts, leading to PAD, where arteries in your legs and arms become narrowed or blocked.
When a blood clot forms on top of a narrowed artery, it can block blood flow to your heart, causing a heart attack.
High cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis, where plaque buildup hardens and narrows your arteries, impeding blood flow.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to manage and lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of associated health complications. Here are some effective strategies:
Adopt a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Reduce saturated fats and trans fats in your diet, found in processed foods and fatty meats.
Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Maintain a healthy weight, as losing excess weight can positively impact cholesterol levels. Limit alcohol consumption, as excessive alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
The providers at Comprehensive Primary Care may prescribe statins or other cholesterol-lowering medications if lifestyle changes alone are insufficient.
Schedule regular check-ups with your provider at Comprehensive Primary Care to monitor your cholesterol levels and assess your overall cardiovascular health.
High cholesterol poses significant risks to your cardiovascular health, but with awareness and appropriate measures, you can take charge of your heart health and reduce the dangers associated with elevated cholesterol levels.
If you’re ready to prioritize your heart health, make positive changes, and take control of your cholesterol, contact our team at Comprehensive Primary Care and request your first appointment today.