One of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke, high cholesterol is a silent, symptomless killer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one in three American adults have elevated cholesterol levels, and many are not even aware of it. Fortunately, Dr. David Chen of Goldome Healthcare Inc. in West Covina, California, can detect high cholesterol with a simple blood test and can help you manage it with both natural and drug-based therapies. Take control of your health by calling or booking an appointment online today.
Produced in the liver, cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance your body uses to build strong cellular membranes in the heart, nerves, brain, skin, and other organs. It also helps make numerous hormones and produce vitamin D. However, because a little cholesterol goes a long way, your body doesn’t need much. In fact, high levels can lead to serious health issues.
Excess cholesterol circulates in your blood, eventually settling on arterial walls and binding with other substances to make plaque. Over time, this hard material narrows arteries and makes it difficult for the heart to pump enough oxygen-rich blood through the body. Known medically as atherosclerosis, it can eventually lead to blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.
There are two major types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
Often called “good cholesterol,” HDL sweeps up excess cholesterol from around the body and transports it back to the liver where it is eliminated. LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” combines with other substances to form arterial plaques.
Although many factors contribute to high cholesterol, genetics are key. If either of your parents had high cholesterol, there’s a greater chance you’ll develop it, too. Beyond heredity, these behaviors can increase cholesterol:
High cholesterol has no symptoms and can only be detected with a blood test. Young adults ages 20 and older should be tested every five years. Men should be tested every one to two years after age 45. Women over age 55 should schedule checkups annually or every other year.
Although age and genetics are beyond your control, you can often lower cholesterol through lifestyle changes:
Sometimes, despite doing all the right things, your cholesterol remains high. Fortunately, cholesterol-lowering drugs can restore healthy HDL and LDL levels. When you come in for your exam and consultation, Dr. Chen explores your options and creates the best cholesterol management plan for you.
If left untreated, high cholesterol can lead to heart disease and other life-threatening complications. Call or book an appointment online today for a cholesterol screening with Dr. Chen at Goldome Healthcare Inc.