Not all cholesterol is bad for you — in fact, a little good cholesterol is essential. However, too much could lead to heart attack and stroke, which you can avoid by visiting board-certified cardiologist Georges Feghali, MD, of HeartPlace. At locations in Dallas and Corsicana, Texas, Dr. Feghali measures your cholesterol levels and provides effective treatment plans to lower high cholesterol. To benefit from his expertise, call HeartPlace today or book an appointment online.
High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia) is a condition where excessive amounts of cholesterol collect in your blood.
Cholesterol is a form of fat that your body needs to create cell membranes and certain hormones and to aid in the production of vitamin D. You don't need to include cholesterol in your diet, though, as your body makes enough for your needs.
If you consume extra cholesterol, it collects to form plaque, which coats the inner linings of your blood vessels and reduces blood flow.
There are two key types of cholesterol:
HDL is a beneficial type of cholesterol that collects excess cholesterol from your blood and transports it to your liver for processing.
LDL and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) are the harmful forms of cholesterol that cause atherosclerosis. This is the condition in which plaque builds up in your arteries. It can lead to coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
It's a fairly simple process to diagnose high cholesterol. Dr. Feghali takes some blood, which the lab analyzes to measure how much cholesterol is in your body.
He also does some basic health checks like listening to your heart, measuring your blood pressure, and doing an electrocardiogram (EKG).
You need to tell Dr. Feghali about any family history of atherosclerosis or heart disease and discuss lifestyle issues that may be contributing to your high cholesterol.
If you have significant levels of cholesterol in your blood, Dr. Feghali may recommend further tests to assess you for diseases stemming from atherosclerosis. These tests include an echocardiogram, stress testing, and carotid or vascular ultrasound.
If you have high cholesterol, it's vitally important to alter your lifestyle and adopt healthier habits, for example:
Treating high cholesterol may also involve taking medications that reduce the levels of cholesterol in your blood.
Having high cholesterol may cause few, if any, symptoms for many years. Therefore, you won't know you have high cholesterol until it leads to a heart attack or stroke. Check your cholesterol levels regularly by visiting HeartPlace. Call the office today or book an appointment online.