Researchers estimate that about 45% of women aged 20 and older are at risk of high cholesterol. The condition doesn’t always present symptoms, but with early diagnosis, it’s relatively easy to treat. At The Healthy Woman, Barbara Joy Jones-Parks, DO, provides all-inclusive treatment for high cholesterol. To make an appointment at the practice in Snellville or Lawrenceville, Georgia, call the nearest office or click the online booking feature today.
Cholesterol is a microscopic solid found in your blood. It’s necessary for the creation of healthy cells, but too much cholesterol increases your risk of a cardiovascular event, like a heart attack or stroke.
Some people inherit high cholesterol, but in most cases, it occurs due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. For example, you’re more likely to experience high cholesterol if you smoke, drink alcohol, or fail to exercise regularly.
High cholesterol doesn’t present any obvious symptoms. The only way to know if you’re at risk is to undergo a blood test. If Dr. Jones-Parks determines you’re at risk, she can make recommendations for treatment.
Cholesterol falls into two categories –– low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good cholesterol”.
LDL cholesterol carries microscopic particles of cholesterol through your blood. Over time, these particles can collect together and form walls, causing your arteries to become hard and narrow.
HDL cholesterol tracks down the excess cholesterol particles in your bloodstream and takes them back to your liver for elimination.
Anyone can experience high cholesterol, but several factors may increase your risk, including:
Your age also plays a role. For example, most people with high cholesterol are 40 or older.
To diagnose high cholesterol, Dr. Jones-Parks orders a blood test called a complete lipid profile. A lipid profile reports several factors, including total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. To ensure accurate results, it’s important to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test.
A reading of 200 mg/dL is considered normal and healthy. A reading of 200-239 mg/dL indicates borderline high cholesterol and a reading of 240 mg/dL or higher means you have high cholesterol.
Treatment of high cholesterol depends on several factors, including your age, medical history, and cholesterol levels. When possible, Dr. Jones-Parks recommends healthy lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising regularly, and eating a nutritious diet.
If your cholesterol levels remain high even after these changes, you might benefit from prescription medication. There are several drugs that can help reduce high cholesterol, including:
If you have high triglycerides, Dr. Jones-Parks might prescribe fibrates, niacin, or Omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
To receive treatment for high cholesterol, make an appointment at The Healthy Woman by calling the nearest office today or clicking the online booking feature.