High cholesterol is a serious health issue, one that affects as many as 71 million adults in America. Dr. Michele Martinho has helped many men and women from in and around Gramercy, New York City gain control of their high cholesterol and move toward healthier and happier lives. If you’d like to learn more about your cholesterol level and ways to reduce high cholesterol, book an appointment with Dr. Martinho today. Online scheduling is available, or you can always contact the office by phone.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance with a waxy texture. It’s naturally present in all of your cells, and is critical to the production of hormones and vitamin D, and also plays a role in healthy digestion. Cholesterol is also present in foods that come from animal sources, including dairy, meat, and egg yolks.
Excessive cholesterol in your blood can bind with other substances to create plaque, which can stick to the walls of your arteries. That can cause serious health issues, including life-threatening conditions.
There are several different types of cholesterol, and understanding the differences can help you make wise health choices.
This type of cholesterol is often called good cholesterol, which transports cholesterol from throughout your body to your liver, where it’s processed and eliminated.
This type of cholesterol is called bad cholesterol because it contributes to arterial plaque.
This type of cholesterol is dangerous because it also leads to arterial plaque. While LDL transports cholesterol, VDL transports triglycerides.
Cholesterol screening gives you readings on all types of cholesterol.
High cholesterol creates plaque, which causes problems in your arteries. One risk involves blood clots that can develop on top of the plaque. If a clot grows too large it can slow or block the flow of blood.
A blood clot in a coronary artery can lead to angina (chest pain) or even a heart attack. A clot in an artery located elsewhere in your body can cause a stroke, peripheral artery disease, or carotid artery disease.
Lifestyle modifications are a critical part of your treatment journey. Choosing a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish is a great place to begin. Increasing your daily exercise is also important, as is maintaining a healthy weight.
Medications can also help reduce your cholesterol. Drugs known as statins work by slowing your body’s cholesterol production and boosting your liver’s ability to eliminate cholesterol.
Other medications work by adhering to cholesterol in your intestines and removing them through bowel movements or inhibiting your body’s ability to absorb cholesterol. There are even medications that target specific types of cholesterol.
Medications come with a risk of side effects, and you may tolerate some drugs better than others. Dr. Michele Martinho works with you to find the right treatment approach to bring your cholesterol back into a normal range. Book an appointment online or call the office to get started.