Did you know that more than 102 million American adults have high cholesterol? This condition, which rarely presents symptoms, puts you at risk of heart disease. Internal medicine physician, Ashish Kapoor, MD, at North Houston Internal Medicine in Cypress, Texas, regularly works with men and women to take an educational, integrative approach to high cholesterol management. To request your appointment, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body uses to build healthy cells.
Everyone needs some cholesterol in their blood, but if you have high cholesterol, fatty deposits can build up in your blood vessels. Over time, these deposits grow and interfere with proper circulation. Without treatment for high cholesterol, these deposits can break suddenly and form a clot, causing a heart attack or stroke.
Some people develop high cholesterol due to genetics. However, it’s usually the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. You can significantly lower your risk of high cholesterol by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.
High cholesterol doesn’t present any obvious symptoms, so it’s important to participate in regular preventive screenings. If you’re concerned about high cholesterol, ask Dr. Kapoor about taking a cholesterol test. Dr. Kapoor usually recommends that adults with an average risk of heart disease invest in cholesterol testing at least once every five years.
If your results come back and you have high cholesterol, Dr. Kapoor might recommend more frequent testing. He might also recommend frequent testing if you use tobacco or have a chronic condition like high blood pressure or diabetes.
High cholesterol affects men and women of all ages and races, but there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including:
You’re also more likely to develop high cholesterol if you’re overweight or you have diabetes.
To diagnose high cholesterol, Dr. Kapoor orders a series of laboratory tests. Dr. Kapoor draws your blood and sends it to a laboratory for further testing. The laboratory evaluates your blood for your levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides. In order to receive the most accurate results possible, you should fast for 9-12 hours prior to your test.
Whenever possible, Dr. Kapoor uses conservative, integrative measures of treatment to ease high cholesterol. For example, if you only have mild or moderately high cholesterol, you might benefit from lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, weight loss, and quitting smoking. If your cholesterol levels remain high even after lifestyle changes, Dr. Kapoor might recommend prescription medication such as statins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, or omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
A heart-healthy lifestyle starts with understanding your cholesterol levels. Make an appointment at North Houston Internal Medicine by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.