Having high blood cholesterol doubles your risk of heart disease compared with someone with lower cholesterol. Cardiology specialist Anita Banerjee, MD, FACC, at Premier Cardiac and Vascular in Springfield and Fredericksburg, Virginia, has a keen understanding of the effects cholesterol has on heart health and takes a proactive approach to management. To get help with your cholesterol, call the office today or book an appointment online.
Cholesterol is a type of fat your body needs to make cells, vitamin D, hormones, and bile, which is a substance that helps you digest fat. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs to perform these vital functions.
However, some people make more cholesterol than they need, causing an increase in blood cholesterol levels. The excess cholesterol in your blood may combine with other substances and form plaque, which sticks to the walls of your blood vessels, causing them to narrow and harden.
High blood cholesterol increases your risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, or a heart attack.
You may be at risk of high cholesterol if it runs in your family. However, in most cases, lifestyle choices lead to an increase in blood cholesterol levels, such as:
Diabetes and obesity also increase your risk of high cholesterol. Your risk of developing high cholesterol also goes up as you get older.
There are different types of cholesterol found in your blood. The types include:
LDL and VLDL are considered bad cholesterol and play a role in the development of the plaque that causes the narrowing in your blood vessels. HDL is considered the good cholesterol because it carries cholesterol out of your blood and to your liver for processing and elimination.
When it comes to cholesterol, Dr. Banerjee takes a very proactive approach and focuses on lifestyle changes to help improve your numbers. She recommends diet modification to lower the bad cholesterol and exercise to increase the good cholesterol. She prefers treating high cholesterol by taking a more natural approach, as opposed to prescribing medications.
In most cases, high cholesterol is preventable. Making changes to your lifestyle early may help prevent the buildup of plaque along your blood vessel walls, and the related consequences.
In certain instances, medications are also used together with lifestyle changes to reduce the bad cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, but it’s something you can control. For management of your cholesterol, contact Premier Cardiac and Vascular today or request an appointment online.