Cholesterol is a naturally-occurring substance that plays a very important role in many essential processes in our bodies. Some cholesterol is manufactured by the body, and some is derived from the foods we eat. We need a certain amount of cholesterol to stay healthy and for our bodies to work the way they should; but if we get too much cholesterol, it can begin to build up along the walls of the arteries, forming sticky plaques that can interfere with the flow of blood, eventually leading to heart attack or stroke.
How is Cholesterol Measured?
Our practice uses the Lipoprotein Particle Profile™, a highly advanced and specialized type of cholesterol testing designed to accurately measure the numbers of different types of lipoproteins – specifically, small and large particles – to better evaluate the risk of cardiovascular disease and to help customize treatment options for better results. Different types of lipoproteins convey different levels of cardiovascular risk, and knowing the relative number of each type of particle helps us target treatment more specifically for each individual patient’s needs.
What Treatments are Available?
High cholesterol can be treated with medication, most often statins, designed to lower the blood levels of cholesterol, and it can also be treated or controlled with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet high in fibers, avoiding lots of fats and staying physically active. If you’re overweight or have a very low level of physical activity, changing these habits may help avoid the need for medication. However, if your cholesterol levels are very high, you may need medication even with lifestyle changes in order to bring your levels back to normal and reduce the risks of heart attack or stroke.