High Cholesterol Q & A
What is high cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced in your liver that helps your body build and repair cells. You have three types of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): the “bad” cholesterol
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): the “good” cholesterol
- Triglycerides: another “bad” cholesterol
Your LDL is considered bad because it travels through your blood, depositing itself where your body needs it. HDL is considered good because it picks up your excess LDL and takes it back to your liver.
Dr. Farooqui diagnoses high cholesterol when you have too much LDL cholesterol or too little HDL cholesterol. Ideally, you should have 100mg/dL or less of LDL, and your HDL should be 60mg/dL or higher. Your LDL to HDL ratio should be five or below, and your total cholesterol count less than 200mg/dL. Additionally, your triglycerides should be 150 mg/dL or less.
What causes high cholesterol?
Your body produces all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol is found in many common foods such as red meat, processed food and baked goods, and full-fat dairy products. If your diet includes many of these products, you put yourself at risk of developing high cholesterol. Other factors that contribute to high cholesterol include your family medical history, obesity, smoking, and aging.
How is high cholesterol diagnosed?
You should have your cholesterol checked every five years from the age of 20. Dr. Farooqui orders complete blood panels that test your blood elevated cholesterol levels as well as other diseases. If you have high cholesterol, he also offers Heartwise total body cardiovascular assessments to determine your risk of heart disease.
How is high cholesterol treated?
Dr. Farooqui offers customized treatment plans to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. Your plan is tailored to address your specific needs.
For example, if your cholesterol levels are only slightly elevated, you may be able to lower them with lifestyle changes. Dr. Farooqui can help you change your diet to include more fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. He can also help you add physical activity to your daily routine safely. He recommends starting with small changes and slowly adjusting your lifestyle.
However, if diet and exercise aren’t enough to regulate your cholesterol levels, Dr. Farooqui can prescribe medications such as statins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, and fibrates.
Additionally, if you use tobacco products, ask Dr. Farooqui for smoking cessation support.
If you’re due for a cholesterol screening or are concerned about your cholesterol levels, call New Tampa Internal Medicine or schedule a consultation online today.