Advanced Aesthetics & Internists located in Holmdel, NJ
Are you continually hearing how you should avoid too much cholesterol in your diet but are unsure why? Does your family have a history of high cholesterol? Let the experts at Magdy Nasra MD PC help you get to the bottom of the connection between your diet, your health, and your cholesterol. Give the offices in Holmdel, New Jersey a call 732-888-8255 to start your journey, or book your consultation online.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance found in your blood that your body needs to perform specific functions, such as producing hormones and vitamin D.
In excess quantities, cholesterol can lead to severe health conditions, such as stroke and heart disease.
Where does cholesterol come from?
A large percentage of the cholesterol in your body comes from the body itself. Your body naturally makes LDL cholesterol to carry out critical bodily functions. However, when too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol builds up in the body, high cholesterol is the result.
Cholesterol is also found in food. Certain foods contain much more cholesterol than others, such as red meat and dairy. Only about 20% of the total cholesterol in your body comes from your diet.
Who is at risk for high cholesterol?
You might be at greater risk for high cholesterol for the following reasons:
- You have a poor diet: Food high in saturated fat can raise your overall cholesterol levels.
- You have a large waist circumference: The waist measures at least 40 inches in circumference for men and 35 inches for women.
- You don’t exercise enough: Regular physical activity raises your HDL cholesterol levels and mitigates the damaging effects of LDL cholesterol.
- You’re a regular smoker: Smoking increases your chances of accumulating fatty deposits in your blood vessels and can lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
- You have diabetes: The high blood sugar associated with diabetes damages the lining of your arteries and leads to higher concentrations of LDL cholesterol than normal.
What are the complications of high cholesterol?
High cholesterol can cause blockages in the walls of your arteries, leading to chest pain, stroke, or heart attack. It also has no symptoms before such complications occur, so it’s crucial you regularly check in with your doctor.
How is high cholesterol treated?
Your doctor prescribes dietary changes and exercise as the first line of defense against high cholesterol. Since high cholesterol is most often directly caused by poor eating habits and lack of exercise, controlling these two factors are the easiest way of reigning in high cholesterol.
If diet and exercise aren’t providing results, or you have a pre-existing condition that leads to high cholesterol, your provider may prescribe medication, such as statins. These medications block the liver from creating cholesterol and helps the liver eliminate excess cholesterol from your blood.
If you think you might suffer from high cholesterol, contact the experts at the offices of Magdy Nasra MD PC in Holmdel, New Jersey, to get tested today.