High Cholesterol

Family Medical Center -  - Family Medicine

Family Medical Center

Family Medicine located in Orlando, FL

Experts estimate that about 71 million Americans are living with high cholesterol. Without proper management, high cholesterol increases your risk of serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and stroke. Family Medical Center in Orlando, Florida, specializes in diagnosing and treating high cholesterol. If you’re concerned that you’re at risk, request an appointment at Family Medical Center today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.

High Cholesterol Q&A

What is cholesterol?

Your body relies on cholesterol––a waxy substance in your blood––to build healthy cells. Unfortunately, if your cholesterol levels are too high, you might develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.

Over time, these deposits grow, preventing adequate blood flow. If one of these deposits breaks, it can form a clot, leading to a deadly heart attack or stroke. It’s possible to inherit high cholesterol, but it’s usually a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. If you’re concerned about your risk of high cholesterol, make an appointment with the caring providers at Family Medical Center today.

When should I see a doctor about high cholesterol?

High cholesterol doesn’t present any obvious symptoms, so if you have it, you might not even realize it. Ask your Family Medical Center provider if you need a cholesterol test. Usually, they recommend adults with no risk factors of heart disease undergo testing once every five years. 

If your test results come back and reveal high cholesterol, your provider might recommend more frequent testing. This is particularly true if you have a family history of high cholesterol or you have another chronic health problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Are there different types of cholesterol?

There are two different types of cholesterol:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

LDL or “bad” cholesterol transports cholesterol throughout your body. Without proper treatment, LDL cholesterol builds up on the walls of your arteries, causing your arteries to harden and narrow. 

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

HDL or “good” cholesterol tracks down excess cholesterol in your bloodstream and carries it back to your liver for processing. 

During a cholesterol test, your provider also measures triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat that exists in your blood. If your triglyceride levels are too high, you’re at an increased risk of heart disease.

How is high cholesterol diagnosed?

To diagnose high cholesterol, your Family Medical Center provider conducts a lipid panel. A lipid panel is a special blood test that measures:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

To receive the most accurate results, it’s recommended you avoid eating or drinking anything (aside from water) for at least 12 hours before your blood test. 

After getting the results of your test, your provider explains them thoroughly and develops a treatment plan to meet your individual needs. 

How is high cholesterol treated?

Lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly, losing weight, and eating a balanced diet, may be enough to lower high cholesterol. To help you achieve your goals, Family Medical Center also offers a physician-assisted weight loss program. However, if your numbers remain high, even after these changes, you might benefit from prescription medication. 

Family Medical Center regularly prescribes statins, bile-acid-binding resins, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors to treat high cholesterol. The type of medication you most benefit from depends on your health history and goals for treatment.

 To learn more about treatment for high cholesterol, make an appointment at Family Medical Center today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.