High Cholesterol Specialist

Coleman Primary Care -  - Primary Care

Coleman Primary Care

Primary Care Practice & Internal Medicine located in Sterling, VA

High cholesterol is a serious threat to your health, in part because you won’t know it’s an issue until you have a medical crisis. But you can stay on top of your health with regular cholesterol screenings from Linda Coleman, MD, and her team at Coleman Primary Care in Sterling, Virginia. They offer routine screenings for high cholesterol and many other conditions, giving you peace of mind or enabling you to get treatment early on if you do have a problem. Call Coleman Primary Care or schedule your cholesterol screening online today.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood that plays a vital role in producing vitamin D and hormones, and also helps your digestion.

You might be surprised to learn that cholesterol is essential, given how much you hear about the harm cholesterol can cause to your health. The reason is that there are different types of cholesterol, some that carry out vital functions, called good cholesterol, and others that can be harmful, called bad cholesterol.

Your body makes its own cholesterol, so it’s not something you need to include in your diet. However, many people eat foods that contain high levels of cholesterol, which can be a problem if you’re consuming the bad kind.

What is good and bad cholesterol?

High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the good cholesterol. It takes excess cholesterol from other parts of your body and delivers them to your liver, which processes the cholesterol for excretion.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is bad cholesterol. You could be taking in large quantities of LDL if you eat a diet that’s high in:

  • Animal fats
  • Dairy products
  • Fried foods
  • Processed foods

Excess LDL cholesterol leads to atherosclerosis, a condition in which the buildup of plaque narrows and may even block your arteries. 

The issue with having high cholesterol is that because it doesn’t cause any symptoms, you won’t be aware you have a problem until you become seriously ill. That’s why undergoing screening for cholesterol at Coleman Primary Care is so important.

What are the risks of having high cholesterol?

If plaque starts forming in your arteries because you’re consuming too much LDL cholesterol, the narrowing can lead to heart disease and other serious conditions, including:

  • Angina
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
  • Stroke

If you don’t get enough exercise, your levels of HDL, the good cholesterol, drop, which means LDL cholesterol builds up even faster, as it’s not going to the liver for processing.

How is high cholesterol treated?

High cholesterol is treatable using medications, which you may need if your cholesterol is dangerously high. However, the best way of dealing with cholesterol safely and permanently is to make lifestyle changes such as:

  • Cutting out saturated and trans fats from your diet
  • Getting more exercise
  • Losing excess weight
  • Quitting smoking

You can successfully reverse high cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing atherosclerosis, thereby avoiding those potentially fatal conditions, but first, you need to know how high your cholesterol is, which can be done with a simple blood test at Coleman Primary Care.

To schedule your cholesterol screening, call the office or book an appointment online today.