Nearly 40% of adults in the United States have high cholesterol, which increases risk of heart disease and stroke. Genetics may play a role in your elevated cholesterol numbers, but in most cases, unhealthy lifestyle habits cause high cholesterol. No matter the cause, the experienced team of primary care providers at Schwartz Medical Group, led by Melvin J. Schwartz, MD, provide treatment to help you improve your high cholesterol and your health. Call the office in Norwood, Massachusetts, or book an appointment online today.
High cholesterol means your blood cholesterol levels are higher than normal. Cholesterol is a waxy fat made in your liver. Your body uses cholesterol to make cell membranes and certain hormones.
However, when you have too much cholesterol in your blood, the waxy fat combines with minerals to form plaque. This plaque sticks to the walls of your blood vessels, which makes it harder for blood to flow through.
The fatty deposits may break free and cause a blood clot that leads to a heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol doesn’t cause symptoms. The only way to know if your cholesterol levels are high is to have a lipid profile test. Schwartz Medical Group is a full-service primary care practice. For your convenience, they have an in-house lab and perform lipid testing at the office.
Adults without symptoms of heart disease should have their cholesterol numbers checked every five years. The team at Schwartz Medical Group may recommend more frequent lipid profile tests if you have heart disease or a history of high cholesterol.
Your high cholesterol increases your risk of developing other chronic health issues. In addition to putting you at risk of having a heart attack or stroke, high cholesterol may lead to health issues such as:
As noted, the buildup of fatty deposits along your blood vessel walls affects blood circulation, and your heart has to work harder to pump blood through. This increases your risk of developing high blood pressure.
High blood pressure (hypertension) also increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Your primary care provider at Schwartz Medical Group develops a personalized treatment plan for your high cholesterol based on your medical history, overall health, and personal preferences.
Initially, your provider recommends lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol profile, such as eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise.
However, if lifestyle changes fail to improve your cholesterol numbers, your provider may prescribe medications such as statins, bile-acid-binding resins, or cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
To get control over your high cholesterol or high blood pressure, call Schwartz Medical Group or book an appointment online today.