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High Cholesterol & Triglyceride Risks

Having high blood cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. About 1 of every 6 adult Americans has high blood cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But, when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.

There are no symptoms of high cholesterol. Many people have never had their cholesterol checked, so they don't know they're at risk. A simple blood test can tell you your level. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent high cholesterol - or to reduce your levels if they are high.

Cholesterol and Your Body

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs it to work properly and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can accumulate depending on the kind of foods you eat and the rate at which your body breaks it down.

Extra cholesterol can build up in your arteries. Over time, cholesterol deposits, called plaque, can narrow your arteries and allow less blood to pass through.

When plaque totally blocks an artery carrying blood to the heart, a heart attack occurs. It also can happen when a deposit ruptures and causes a clot in a coronary artery. Chest pain, also called angina, is caused by plaque partially blocking a coronary artery, reducing blood flow to the heart.

"Bad" and "Good" Cholesterol

Particles called lipoproteins carry cholesterol in the blood. There are two kinds of lipoproteins you need to know about: LDL and HDL.

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol make up the majority of the body's cholesterol. LDL is known as "bad" cholesterol because having high levels can lead to a buildup in the arteries and result in heart disease.

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol absorb cholesterol and carry it back to the liver, which flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Lowering Your Cholesterol Levels

You can take several steps to maintain a normal cholesterol level.

  • Get a blood test
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don't smoke
  • Treat high cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe medications in addition to lifestyle changes. Talk with the doctors at Phoenix Family Medical Clinic Care about how to reduce your risk for heart disease.

Sign and Symptoms

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But, when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.

There are generally no symptoms of high cholesterol. Many people have never had their cholesterol checked, so they don't know they're at risk. A simple blood test can tell you your level. If you believe you are at risk contact us at Phoenix Family Medical Clinic to schedule your check up today.

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention