If your family has a history of high cholesterol, there’s a good chance you can develop the condition too. More than 102 million adults in America have high cholesterol levels, with more than 35 million at increased risk for heart disease and other medical complications. At Hackensack Primary Care in Hackensack, New Jersey, Dr. Sapna Singh offers effective diagnostic testing and medical management of high cholesterol. To learn more about treating and preventing high cholesterol, schedule an appointment online or by phone.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance in the fats of your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to build healthy cells, but when this fat builds up in your blood vessels, it makes it difficult for blood to move through your arteries. When your heart isn’t receiving the oxygen-rich blood it needs to work properly, you are at risk of serious medical complications, including heart attacks and strokes.
You have two types of cholesterol.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL is known as the good cholesterol, and it’s responsible for picking up excess cholesterol and transporting it back to your liver.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): LDL is known as the bad cholesterol. It is responsible for carrying particles of cholesterol throughout your body and can cause the buildup of excess cholesterol on the walls of your arteries.
High cholesterol can be a result of heredity. If your family members have high cholesterol, you are at increased risk of developing it yourself. High cholesterol can also be due to unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as a poor diet and lack of exercise.
If you have a family history of high cholesterol, Dr. Singh may recommend routine blood testing to monitor your cholesterol levels.
Dr. Singh confirms a high cholesterol diagnosis through blood work. She orders a lipid panel that requires fasting for 12 hours before she conducts the test. This means you may have to come back for a follow-up testing appointment and can’t eat or drink anything besides water before your test.
If Dr. Singh confirms you have high cholesterol, she may first try to manage your condition through lifestyle changes. She can recommend nutritional counseling to improve your diet and naturally lower your cholesterol levels. Dr. Singh also may suggest daily exercises to keep you active and improve your cholesterol.
If these therapies don’t work effectively, Dr. Singh may recommend medications, including statins. Statins block the substance your liver needs to make cholesterol and forces your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood. Statins can also be effective at helping your body reabsorb cholesterol deposits from the walls of your arteries.
To learn more about managing high cholesterol, schedule a consultation online or by phone.