Your body needs cholesterol to make cell membranes and certain hormones; however, your liver produces all the cholesterol it needs to perform these functions. Too much cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease. At their 30 locations across North Texas, the skilled cardiologists at HeartPlace specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing high cholesterol. To learn more about cholesterol and check your levels, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Cholesterol is a waxy fat naturally produced in your liver. Your body uses cholesterol to make hormones, vitamins, and bile — a substance that helps you digest fat.
You don't need to get cholesterol from your diet because your body makes all the cholesterol it needs to perform these functions. Unfortunately, eating foods high in saturated fat (found in red meat, butter, and full-fat dairy foods), increases your liver's production of cholesterol.
Too much cholesterol in your blood may lead to atherosclerosis. With atherosclerosis, the waxy fat combines with minerals and other substances in your blood, creating plaque. This plaque sticks to the walls of the blood vessels, narrowing or blocking blood flow.
Atherosclerosis is a risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD) and increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol doesn't cause symptoms. The only way to know if your cholesterol levels are higher than normal is to have lipid testing. Testing evaluates your:
Though lipid testing provides valuable information about your cholesterol numbers, it may not fully assess your risk of cardiovascular disease. HeartPlace does advanced lipid testing.
Advanced lipid testing at HeartPlace includes additional markers that provide more information about your cholesterol numbers and risk of heart disease. This testing evaluates your blood levels of apolipoprotein (ApoB) and LDL-particle number (LDL-P).
ApoB measures the total bad cholesterol in your blood. These include your LDL, VLDL, and intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) cholesterol. A higher than normal ApoB increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
LDL may occur as large particles or small dense particles. If your LDL numbers are within the normal range, but you have a high number of small dense LDL particles, you’re at greater risk of developing atherosclerosis. LDL-P measures the particle numbers.
Your cardiologist at HeartPlace works one-on-one with you to develop a plan for improving cholesterol numbers and lowering your risk for heart disease. Lifestyle changes are the primary treatment for cholesterol, whether your numbers are within normal range or elevated.
Treatment may include:
HeartPlace Continues to monitor your cholesterol and adjust your plan as needed, adding cholesterol-lowering medication when appropriate.
For expert cholesterol care, call HeartPlace or schedule an appointment online today.