Cholesterol helps our bodies perform vital functions and stay healthy. Too much cholesterol, however, can be harmful. Various lifestyle and genetic factors can cause your blood lipid levels to rise too high, leading to hyperlipidemia, more commonly known as high cholesterol or high triglycerides.
Your body has two types of cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins or LDL) can lead to blocked arteries and put you at higher risk of heart disease, stroke or heart attack. Good cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins or HDL), on the other hand, can help remove dangerous plaque from the arteries.
High Cholesterol Treatment
Modern medicine offers many effective treatment options for people with hyperlipidemia. If you suspect you have high cholesterol, meet with a doctor or cardiologist for diagnosis and treatment.
Many people can lower their cholesterol through healthy lifestyle changes, such as limiting intake of sugar, processed food, and trans and saturated fats. You can also improve your diet by eating more heart-healthy foods, such as:
- Lean protein
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains and fiber
- Healthy fats, such as nuts and olive oil
Exercise plays an important role in treating hyperlipidemia. Depending on your level of risk, family history, and genetic factors, your health care provider might also prescribe medication. To keep your cholesterol at healthy levels after initial treatment, remember to stick to a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid excess alcohol and tobacco use, and continue to take medications as directed.
Identify Your Risk and Get Treatment Today
To determine if you have or are at risk of developing hyperlipidemia, consult with the cardiologists at Brookhaven Heart today. Our experts will help you learn about risk factors, identify potential red flags in your health history and develop a plan to keep your cholesterol low and your heart healthy.