When you have high cholesterol, fatty deposits form in your arteries and make it hard for your blood to flow freely. At Fulshear Medical Associates in Houston, Texas, Syed Abrar, MD, helps you manage your cholesterol levels to reduce your risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions. Call today for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule. Telemedicine visits are available.
Cholesterol is a substance that circulates in your blood. You need some of it to help you build new cells, but when this waxy compound builds up, it can clog the veins and arteries with fatty deposits (atherosclerosis), putting you at risk of heart attack and other health complications.
A simple fasting blood test measures cholesterol levels. If you have a measure of 240 mg/dl or higher, you’re at a high risk of developing heart disease. Doctors consider patients with levels from 200 mg/dl to 239 mg/dl to have unhealthy levels and benefit from intervention to prevent worsening.
In addition to your total cholesterol levels, Dr. Abrar discusses your HDL to LDL ratio. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a “good” type of cholesterol that removes fatty deposits from your arteries. It’s a positive thing to have 60 mg/dl or higher levels of HDL.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a “bad” kind of cholesterol that clogs your arteries. You want your LDL levels to be low. It’s best to have LDL levels below 100 mg/dl.
Having too much LDL or too little HDL, even if your total number is 200 mg/dl or below, is also a risk factor for heart disease.
Triglycerides are another type of fat compound in your blood. They store unused calories and provide your body with energy. Having too high levels of triglycerides is also unhealthy.
Triglyceride measurements are ideal if they’re 150 mg/dL or below. Higher levels increase your risk of developing heart disease.
Genetic factors influence your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but lifestyle also plays a role.
The following factors also raise your risk:
Dr. Abrar regularly evaluates your cholesterol levels, especially if you’re at a higher risk of developing unhealthy levels.
Lifestyle changes are a key strategy for improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Fulshear Medical Associates encourages a diet that reduces the intake of saturated fat and processed foods and increases whole foods like fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
Adding more physical activity also helps lower your overall cholesterol levels and raise your HDL levels. If you’re overweight, losing weight can also help improve your cholesterol numbers. The medical weight-loss program offered at Fulshear Medical Associates can help provide the necessary accountability and support to get to a healthier size.
Medication can also help lower cholesterol levels. Medication doesn’t change the need for you to alter your lifestyle but can help reduce your heart disease risk.
Have your cholesterol evaluated today. We are a primary care practice and offer annual physicals. Call us to book your appointment today.