Even though it can lead to potentially deadly conditions like heart attacks, high cholesterol doesn’t cause any symptoms. If you haven’t had a cholesterol blood test for a while, visit Capitol Cardiology Associates. At offices in Lanham, Bowie, Camp Springs, Silver Spring, Laurel, and Largo, Maryland, a team of board-certified cardiologists provides fast and accurate cholesterol testing and highly effective treatment. To address high cholesterol before it reaches an advanced stage, call your nearest Capitol Cardiology Associates office or request an appointment using the online form.
If your physician says you have high cholesterol, it means there’s a buildup of fatty residues in your blood vessels that’s affecting your circulation.
Like high blood pressure, high cholesterol causes no symptoms. You wouldn’t know you had either condition unless you suffered a stroke, heart attack, or another life-changing event.
High cholesterol is the first stage in the development of atherosclerosis, when the cholesterol in your blood sticks to the inside of your artery walls, making them narrower.
This reduces blood flow, so your organs and tissues don’t get the oxygen and nutrition they need for healthy function. The cholesterol can also harden, making the arteries stiff.
Atherosclerosis in the heart arteries causes coronary artery disease (CAD), a leading trigger for heart attacks. Carotid artery disease in your neck arteries can lead to strokes — potentially deadly brain injuries.
Atherosclerosis also causes peripheral artery disease (PAD), which affects your legs and could lead to amputation in severe cases.
Your body extracts cholesterol from the foods you eat, particularly red meat and animal fats like butter. You do require a small amount of cholesterol — your body uses it to help with hormone production and other vital functions.
However, you don’t need to consume any cholesterol in your diet because your body makes enough. If you eat a lot of cholesterol, the excess builds up in your blood. It mixes with calcium and forms plaque, the sticky substance that narrows your arteries.
High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol are particularly dangerous. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is the type that has some benefits. It also helps your body transport LDL to your liver for processing.
If you have high cholesterol (easily determined with a simple blood test), your Capitol Cardiology Associates provider will likely recommend you make some changes to your diet and lifestyle. You can lower cholesterol naturally by:
In the early stages, you might not need any other treatments. However, your Capitol Cardiology Associates provider might prescribe medicines like statins to help reduce cholesterol in patients with a more advanced disease.
If you have atherosclerosis, you might need to undergo a cardiac catheterization procedure to open up the narrowed arteries.
This minimally invasive process involves putting a slim tube (catheter) into an artery narrowed by plaque. Your provider can compress the plaque (angioplasty) or scrape it off (atherectomy), improving your circulation.
For prompt treatment of your high cholesterol, call Capitol Cardiology Associates today or book an appointment online.