Cholesterol is a substance that is produced naturally by the liver. It's also found in many foods. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found within the walls of cells throughout the body. Although many patients think of cholesterol as a bad thing, it's only bad when there is too much of the wrong type of cholesterol. High cholesterol can cause serious health issues for the heart and the entire body.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the bad type. This kind of cholesterol is typically derived from the diet. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is the good kind. HDL actually removes LDL from the body, which makes it desirable to have HDL cholesterol in the blood.
The total cholesterol number should be less than 200mg/dL. A reading of 200-239 mg/dL means borderline high cholesterol. A reading of 240mg/dL and above means high cholesterol.
High cholesterol can cause a number of health problems such as heart disease and other kinds of cardiovascular disease. Because cholesterol can accumulate inside the artery walls, the arteries aren't able to deliver blood to the heart effectively when a patient has high cholesterol. This can cause problems like:
Treatment for high cholesterol generally begins with lifestyle changes. New York Medicine Doctors cardiologist Dr. Saleh works with each patient on an individual basis to determine which risk factors are contributing to the high cholesterol. Dr. Saleh can recommend changes like a healthier diet, a regular exercise program, and smoking cessation to help patients lower their cholesterol level and improve their heart health.
Additionally, some patients may require medication to help them lower their cholesterol levels. Medications are typically taken on a daily basis and are best used in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes. High cholesterol treatment takes effort, but a healthier heart and body are the rewards for making these changes.
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