High Cholesterol & Hyperlipidemia
Cholesterol is a substance that is produced in the body to create cells. It is also found in many foods, especially animal-based foods like meat and dairy products. This waxy substance is needed for healthy cell production but too much can put excessive strain on the heart. At Primary Care Joliet, we provide high cholesterol and hyperlipidemia treatment at our facilities in Joliet and Wilmington, IL.
There are two types of cholesterol, low density (LDL) and high density (HDL). LDL is considered the “bad” cholesterol, and HDL the “good” cholesterol. Ideally, you want more HDL and less LDL within normal ranges in your blood. Cholesterol that is too high can result in fatty deposits in your blood vessels and arteries that can lead to heart attacks, strokes and death.
What Causes Hyperlipidemia (High Cholesterol)?
There are genetic factors that contribute to high cholesterol, or hyperlipidemia. If your parents had high cholesterol, you are at higher risk. However, most of the risk factors for high cholesterol are related to lifestyle. The foods you eat, your activity level, weight, smoking and drinking excessive alcohol can all raise “bad” cholesterol. Some diseases and health conditions can contribute to high cholesterol such as diabetes, kidney disease, lupus and hyperthyroidism.
Lowering High Cholesterol
Anyone can have hyperlipidemia, even children. Starting around age nine, everyone should have their cholesterol levels checked, usually every five years unless you have other risk factors. If you have high cholesterol, it can often be controlled by eliminating some of the risk factors. Quitting smoking, losing weight, changing your diet and exercising can help control hyperlipidemia, but some individuals may need medication management.
Cholesterol tests will look at total cholesterol, HDL/LDL levels and triglycerides. A total cholesterol of under 200 is considered within the normal range. If you have higher levels, medication management and lifestyle changes may be recommended as part of your treatment plan.
To get your cholesterol checked, contact our team at Primary Care Joliet. We can schedule lab testing and a checkup with one of our providers to discuss any needed treatment. Call our medical clinic in Wilmington or Joliet, IL, to book your appointment.