Hyperlipidemia is the medical term for high cholesterol, a symptomless condition that is a major contributor to heart disease. Dr. Marina Manvelyan, Dr. Gregor Paronian, and Dr. Michael Avakian, the expert physicians at Washington Healthcare Center in Pasadena, California, offer blood panels to monitor your cholesterol levels as well as treatments and advice to address hyperlipidemia. If you haven’t had a cholesterol screening in the last five years or if you have a personal or family history of heart disease, call or make an appointment online today.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the lipids (fats) in your blood. It’s used in the creation of new cells. Cholesterol is carried through your body on two different kinds of lipoproteins: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) deposit cholesterol throughout your body and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) pick up excess cholesterol and return it to your liver.
A cholesterol blood panel measures the amount of both LDL and HDL in your blood. Your LDL should be less than 100 mg/dL and your HDL should be 60 mg/dL or higher.
Hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, is a condition that occurs when you have high LDL levels and low HDL levels. LDL, often called “bad” cholesterol, doesn’t just deposit cholesterol where your body needs it to build new cells, it also deposits it along your arteries. If you have insufficient levels of HDL, that excess isn’t being collected and returned to your liver.
When too much cholesterol is in your arteries, a plaque develops on the arterial walls, which narrows the space available for blood to flow. This contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease.
While you may be genetically predisposed to hyperlipidemia, the condition is typically caused by poor diet, low levels of physical activity, and being overweight or obese.
Your liver produces all the cholesterol it needs, but when you consume a high-fat diet, you flood your body with poor nutrients that contribute to increased cholesterol levels. Physical activity triggers HDL production, so if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, your body won’t have enough HDL to pick up excess cholesterol and return it to your liver.
If you’re diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor at Washington Healthcare Center will suggest lifestyle modifications to lower your cholesterol levels naturally. For example, you can change your diet to reduce the amount of animal fats, trans fats, salt, and alcohol you consume and increase the number of vegetables and whole grains. You should also aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week.
When lifestyle modifications aren’t enough to lower your cholesterol levels, your doctor can prescribe medications, including statins and cholesterol absorption inhibitors, to help lower your LDL levels.
Call or schedule an appointment online today to get your cholesterol levels checked.