If you have a poor diet and don’t get the exercise your body needs, you could develop a condition called high cholesterol. Though cholesterol is a natural substance in the body, an excess of cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease, this nation’s number one killer. Thankfully, high cholesterol is a perfectly treatable condition and one that Vincent R. C. Maribao, MD, PC, in Saint Clair Shore, Michigan, has extensive experience treating. If you think you have high cholesterol and want to get tested, call Dr. Maribao or book your consultation online.
While we often think of cholesterol as a bad thing, it’s a naturally occurring substance found in the fat of your blood cells. Your body needs this cholesterol to help build new, healthy cells.
It’s only when your body produces too much cholesterol that it poses a risk to your health. When it gathers in high enough quantities, cholesterol collects in the blood vessels, obstructing blood flow in your arteries.
Unfortunately, you’ll never know whether you have high cholesterol or not without a blood test. Even especially high levels of cholesterol produce no symptoms, which means complications from high cholesterol can appear without warning.
High cholesterol can lead to several dangerous complications without treatment, including regular chest pain, a heart attack, or stroke.
While it’s certainly possible to inherit high cholesterol if it runs in your family, the most frequent causes of high cholesterol are certain lifestyle choices. These common risk factors include:
Much of your excess cholesterol comes from eating certain foods, such as those high in trans fat.
Regular physical activity boosts your body’s production of “good” cholesterol and reduces the harmful effects of “bad” cholesterol.
If you’re clinically obese, you’re much more likely to have high levels of cholesterol.
Tobacco damages the walls of your blood vessels and lowers the levels of your “good” cholesterol.
Dr. Maribao’s treatment plan ultimately comes down to the cause of your cholesterol and may include:
If a high cholesterol diet is one of the culprits, cutting back on certain foods can reduce your cholesterol intake. Dr. Maribao might also recommend adding foods that are heart-healthy to your diet, such as fruits and vegetables, certain whole grains, and certain kinds of fish.
Regular physical exercise and losing excess weight helps you reduce high cholesterol.
Quitting smoking immediately stops the continuing damage cigarettes and cigars cause to your blood vessels.
If lifestyle changes aren’t producing big enough changes to your cholesterol, Dr. Maribao may prescribe certain medications, such as statins, to help regulate your cholesterol.
If you’re ready to create a high cholesterol treatment plan designed specifically for you, call Dr. Maribao or schedule your consultation online.