When left untreated, high cholesterol dramatically increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and other dangerous heart problems. At Maryland Medical First P.A. in Parkville, Maryland, board-certified internal medicine physician Narender Bharaj, MD, and the other health care experts diagnose and treat high cholesterol to reduce your risk of complications. Call the office to book an appointment or schedule one online today.
Cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood that can increase your risk of heart disease if levels get too high. That’s because high cholesterol may cause fatty deposit buildup in blood vessel walls, which can decrease blood flow and cause blockages. Early detection and treatment of high cholesterol is the best way to prevent serious, life-threatening heart problems.
High cholesterol doesn’t cause any symptoms. Complications that can develop with untreated high cholesterol include blood vessel narrowing, chest pain, heart attack, and stroke. Because the only way to know for sure if you have high cholesterol is a blood test, it’s important to undergo routine cholesterol screenings if you’re at risk of developing the condition.
Common factors that increase your risk of high cholesterol include:
Liver disease, diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, underactive thyroid, and kidney disease may contribute to high cholesterol. So can estrogen therapy, birth control pills, corticosteroids, some beta-blocker medicines, and certain diuretic medications.
Ways to reduce your risk of high cholesterol include maintaining a healthy weight and adopting other healthy lifestyle habits.
To determine your high cholesterol risk factors and find out if you have it, your Maryland Medical First P.A. provider checks your vital signs, discusses your medical history and lifestyle, completes a physical exam, and reviews the results of a blood test. They may have you complete heart function tests to detect or rule out potential complications.
Common treatments for high cholesterol include:
Adopting healthy habits is the best way to reduce high cholesterol naturally. Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit animal fat and added sugar as much as possible. Lose weight if you’re overweight, don’t smoke, and exercise most days of the week. Keep stress levels low and limit or avoid alcohol.
Taking medications can reduce high cholesterol if your levels are dangerously high or if lifestyle changes haven’t worked.
If you have a complication linked with high cholesterol, such as blood vessel narrowing or a blockage, your provider may recommend a surgical procedure.
Don’t let high cholesterol go undetected when simple solutions greatly reduce your risk of complications. Call the Maryland Medical First P.A. office to schedule cholesterol screening or book an appointment online today.