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How High Cholesterol Puts You at Risk for Heart Disease and What You Can Do About It

How High Cholesterol Puts You at Risk for Heart Disease and What You Can Do About It

Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by your liver. Your body needs it to function. Problems arise when too much cholesterol circulates in your blood. The body only requires a small amount of cholesterol. When there’s too much, it threatens your heart health. 

Healthstone Primary Care provides outstanding primary care with a “patients first” philosophy. If you have high cholesterol or are at risk, our team can assist you in managing your levels to keep your heart healthy. Keep reading to learn how excess cholesterol threatens heart health and what you can do to protect your heart.

Cholesterol: you need the right amount

Everyone needs cholesterol. It’s necessary to produce a digestive fluid called bile, absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and make various hormones.  

While cholesterol is found in foods like beef and cheese, your body produces all the cholesterol it needs to function. However, some people produce too much cholesterol.

Eating meals high in saturated fat, such as marbled beef, butter, and whole milk, raises cholesterol levels. Additionally, smoking, stress, and alcohol may cause your body to produce too much cholesterol.

Some people inherit a gene that impairs the body's ability to eliminate cholesterol, resulting in elevated levels.

High cholesterol and your heart

When your blood has too much cholesterol, it interacts with minerals and other elements and forms a hard plaque that accumulates on artery walls.  

Over time, the plaque causes arteries to harden and narrow, reducing blood flow to tissues and organs. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a type of heart disease caused by plaque buildup in the coronary artery (the main artery in your heart).

A piece of plaque could break apart, causing a clot. This clot could cause a blockage, triggering a heart attack or stroke.

What you can do 

You can't tell whether you have too much cholesterol in your blood without a blood test.

The American Heart Association recommends that individuals aged 20 and over have their cholesterol levels evaluated every 4-6 years. We screen for excessive cholesterol at your annual wellness exam and arrange lab work when necessary.

If you have high cholesterol, our team can create a plan to lower your levels. Making lifestyle adjustments is one of the best things you can do to reduce your cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Some effective changes are:

The Healthstone Primary Care team provides chronic disease management for high cholesterol and can assist you in making the required lifestyle changes to improve your health. We also check your cholesterol levels to track your progress.

If your cholesterol remains high after healthy lifestyle changes, our team may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to help.

Taking care of your heart health

Enlist the help of Healthstone Primary Care to help you manage your cholesterol and keep your heart strong and healthy. To get started, contact us to request an appointment. We have offices in Weston, Pembroke Pines, and Davie, Florida. 

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