High cholesterol is a serious problem for many in the U.S., and if you are diagnosed with this condition, you need to know what you can do to reduce your cholesterol and mitigate the negative effects. Cholesterol is a wax-like substance that builds up in your arteries. While you do need some cholesterol, too much of it can start to clog your arteries. And since clogged arteries can lead to so many health problems, you need to take care of this problem as soon as it is called to your attention.
One of the reasons why high cholesterol is so dangerous is because it shows no symptoms. Therefore, you could be suffering from very high cholesterol and not even know it. That’s why it’s so important to visit a doctor in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, for regular physicals. During these examinations, your doctor will be on the lookout for a wide variety of issues that could lead to more serious consequences. However, without visiting your doctor and getting a blood test, there is no way to know if you are suffering from high cholesterol.
Risk Factors for High Cholesterol
There are many risk factors for high cholesterol, but the most significant is a poor diet. Make sure to include plenty of vegetables and fiber in your diet, and limit the consumption of red meat, dairy, eggs, and other cholesterol-rich foods. Obesity, a large waist circumference, and a lack of exercise are also risk factors. If you smoke or have gotten a diagnosis of diabetes, you are also more likely to have high cholesterol.
Complications Caused by High Cholesterol
There are many complications associated with high cholesterol, so it is something you want to get in check as soon as possible. Atherosclerosis is when a buildup of cholesterol starts to clog your arteries, leading to all kinds of secondary complications. These include chest pain, stroke, and heart attack. Heart attacks are more common in people with high cholesterol because there is not enough oxygen getting to the heart.
What You Can Do to Prevent or Reduce High Cholesterol
If you have seriously high blood cholesterol, your doctor might recommend one or a combination of medications to alleviate the problem. These include statins and cholesterol absorption inhibitors, which can help reduce the negative effects of the condition. However, the best treatment for high cholesterol is prevention. Try to cut as much alcohol, animal fat, and salt out of your diet as possible. Instead, replace those kinds of food with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which have been shown to greatly lower the risk of high cholesterol complications. Quitting smoking and exercising regularly can also help you combat this issue.
High cholesterol isn’t a death sentence if you start down a path to a healthy lifestyle as well as take any medication provided by your doctor. At Prime Medical Associates, we want to help you take care of your high cholesterol and have you feeling better than ever. Just call us or stop in to make an appointment.