High cholesterol poses a significant risk of stroke and heart attack. At the office of James R. Tryon, M.D. PC, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Edmee Rodriguez, M.D. helps you manage high cholesterol and prevent severe complications. High cholesterol has no outward symptoms, so regular screenings are necessary to ensure your levels remain normal. If you’re due for a cholesterol check or have high cholesterol, call the office today or use the online tool to book your appointment.
Your body naturally produces cholesterol for essential functions like synthesizing vitamin D, supporting digestion, and producing hormones. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs for these functions. So eating foods that add to your cholesterol supply isn’t wise.
Cholesterol is measured in several ways:
HDL cholesterol is considered “healthy.” It helps transport bad fats and cholesterol to your liver for disposal.
LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries, posing other health risks.
This is the sum of LDL and HDL and looks at the ratio of the two types. If you have high LDL compared with HDL, you’re at increased risk for coronary heart disease.
High cholesterol, especially high LDL cholesterol, is a major cause of atherosclerosis. This condition narrows your arteries, so blood doesn’t flow freely.
This narrowing happens when excess cholesterol mixes with calcium and other substances to form plaque. Plaque builds up on your artery walls, creating blockages that prevent your organs and tissues from getting the necessary nutrients.
Atherosclerosis can also cause peripheral artery disease (PAD). With PAD, your legs become swollen and are prone to infection, which can lead to amputation. Narrowed arteries also affect the neck, potentially triggering a stroke, and the heart, leading to heart attacks.
Dr. Rodriguez detects high cholesterol through a simple blood test. Cholesterol testing is usually part of routine exams.
Lifestyle changes are an excellent place to start when it comes to treating high cholesterol. Dr. Rodriguez offers nutrition counseling that helps you make dietary changes. These changes usually include eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
You also benefit from managing your weight. Quitting smoking and moderating your alcohol intake are other essential steps to protecting your arteries from further damage.
If these lifestyle measures don’t reduce your cholesterol levels, or your levels remain particularly high, Dr. Rodriguez would prescribe medicine, like a statin, to reduce your levels.
If you need a cholesterol screening or require help with managing high cholesterol, call today to book an appointment.