High cholesterol can lead to various health problems and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Keeping cholesterol levels within the normal range significantly reduces these risks. Dr. Kevin Chan and the skilled nurse practitioners at Pineapple Health in Phoenix, AZ, offer cholesterol management services to help you enjoy better health.
Good and Bad Cholesterol
Cholesterol in the blood is carried through the body on low-density and high-density lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol constitutes the majority of cholesterol in the body. It is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other problems. When there is too much LDL cholesterol it can build up on the blood vessel walls, forming a plaque. The plaque causes the arteries to become more narrow, which limits blood flow.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is often referred to as “good” cholesterol because it absorbs LDL cholesterol in the blood and transports it to the liver so it can be flushed from the body. HDL cholesterol helps reduce your risk for heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
High Cholesterol Risk Factors
Several factors can increase a person’s risk for developing high cholesterol, such as age. High cholesterol can occur at any age, but is more common among people over the age of 40. Other risk factors include:
- An unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical exercise
- Being overweight or obese
- Family history of high cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Taking certain medications
Treating and Managing High Cholesterol
Individuals with high cholesterol do not necessarily experience any obvious symptoms. The best way to assess your cholesterol level is by visiting your doctor for a blood test. We screen for high cholesterol and offer cholesterol management at our Phoenix, AZ, medical office.
If your cholesterol levels are high, Dr. Chan can develop an individualized treatment plan to help you manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Treating high cholesterol often includes making several lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and drinking alcohol only in moderation. Medications might also be needed.
Some of the most important changes to take toward lowering cholesterol levels include maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Consuming a heart-healthy diet and engaging in moderate exercise several days a week helps reduce “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Losing excess weight is also beneficial.
If you have high cholesterol, we can help. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Chan or one of our knowledgeable nurse practitioners to discuss cholesterol management by calling Pineapple Health in Phoenix, AZ, at (480) 961-2366.