High cholesterol increases stress on your cardiovascular system and can have permanent effects on your heart health. At Family Medical Associates of Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware, board-certified physician Anna Layosa-Magat, MD, helps patients prevent and manage high cholesterol. To speak with Dr. Layosa-Magat about improving your health, book an appointment by phone today.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can stick to the walls of your arteries. High cholesterol most commonly refers to high levels of bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as good cholesterol.
High levels of HDL don't result in the same health complications as high levels of LDL. While HDL works to remove excess cholesterol from the blood, LDL delivers more cholesterol to the body, allowing it to build up and form plaque in your arteries.
There are a number of factors that increase your chances of developing high cholesterol. They include:
Age also increases your chances of developing high cholesterol. Over time, your body becomes less able to remove excess LDL from the blood.
High cholesterol can lead to a number of serious complications, including:
As cholesterol builds up in your arteries, it forces your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. This extra stress can cause damage to your cardiovascular system.
Keeping up with your regular health screenings is the best way to stay on top of your cholesterol levels.
The first step in treating high cholesterol is addressing any lifestyle factors that contribute to your condition. Healthy lifestyle habits go a long way in improving cholesterol levels and relieving the extra stress on your cardiovascular system.
After evaluating your condition, your doctor works with you to develop a treatment plan that addresses your lifestyle risks. Your treatment plan may include:
Many patients benefit from dropping excess weight and eating a healthier diet low in salt, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables. Regular exercise is also effective at improving cholesterol levels.
In addition to lifestyle modifications, Family Medical Associates of Delaware offers a number of effective medications that help regulate the amount of cholesterol in your body.
To speak with a doctor about your cholesterol levels, book an appointment at Family Medical Associates of Delaware by phone today.