High cholesterol causes narrowed arteries that lead to heart attacks and strokes, but you’re unlikely to have any symptoms. The highly skilled team at Stanton Family Clinic in Stanton, Kentucky, offers screening tests for high cholesterol so you can receive treatment before you suffer heart or brain damage. To arrange your cholesterol test or benefit from expert high cholesterol treatment, call Stanton Family Clinic today or book an appointment via the online form.
Cholesterol is a type of fat your body uses for essential functions like producing hormones, synthesizing vitamin D, and supporting digestion.
There are two main types of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as bad cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as good cholesterol, helps transport LDL to your liver for disposal.
Your body creates the cholesterol you need, so you don’t have to include it in your diet. However, many people eat foods that are high in cholesterol, which can lead to severe health problems.
High cholesterol is the primary cause of atherosclerosis, a condition that makes your arteries narrower.
The excess cholesterol in your blood mixes with substances like calcium to form a sticky residue called plaque. When plaque sticks to the walls of your arteries, it leaves less room for your blood to flow, so your organs and tissues don’t get as much oxygen-rich blood as they need.
Atherosclerosis can cause peripheral artery disease (PAD) in your legs that might ultimately lead to amputation. It also causes carotid artery disease in the neck arteries and can trigger a stroke. Atherosclerosis in the heart arteries (coronary artery disease, or CAD) can lead to heart attacks.
A simple blood test at Stanton Family Clinic can measure the amount of cholesterol in your blood. If there’s too much, your provider offers effective ways to reduce it to a healthy level.
Treating high cholesterol begins with making changes to your diet and lifestyle. You need to cut out foods that have a high cholesterol content, which includes:
Losing weight and exercising more also help lower high cholesterol. If you smoke or drink to excess, talk to your provider about quitting; these unhealthy habits worsen the damage to your arteries.
If you have a screening blood test at Stanton Family Clinic that identifies high cholesterol early on, these lifestyle changes might be enough to restore your arterial health. If your condition is more severe, you might need to take medicines like statins to reduce your cholesterol levels.
To arrange your cholesterol screening test or learn more about treating high cholesterol, call Stanton Family Clinic today or book an appointment using the online form.