Cholesterol is a type of fat made in your liver. Your body uses cholesterol to make cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D.
Eggs, shellfish, and meat also contain cholesterol. But your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so it’s not an essential nutrient.
However, eating a diet high in saturated fat or trans fat may increase cholesterol production, leading to an increase in cholesterol in your blood.
High cholesterol means you have too much cholesterol in your blood. This excess cholesterol may combine with other substances in your blood to create plaque, which sticks to the walls of your blood vessels.
Plaque along your blood vessel walls builds up over time, narrowing or blocking the passage of blood. Plaque may affect any artery in your body, causing problems like coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease and increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
People may have an inherited condition that causes high cholesterol. However, lifestyle factors are the most common cause of high cholesterol.
Dr. Pandya and the team at Floral Park Medical, P.C. and Cross Island Medical determine when you need cholesterol screening. Most healthy adults should have a cholesterol screening every 4-6 years.
If you have a personal or family history of high cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease, the team may recommend more frequent cholesterol screenings.
Cholesterol screening is a blood test known as a lipid panel. The lipid panel checks your:
The team recommends fasting for 8-12 hours before your test so you get the most accurate results.
Dr. Pandya takes a preventive approach to health and well-being. Lipid management focuses on improving your cholesterol, or blood lipid levels, to lower your risk of heart disease.
For lipid management, he initially recommends lifestyle changes to improve your numbers, including:
If lifestyle changes fail to improve your cholesterol numbers, Dr. Pandya may add cholesterol-lowering medication to your lipid management plan. He determines the medication or combination of medications best suited for you based on your medical history and risk factors.
High cholesterol is common but preventable. Let our team help you take charge of your health and well-being. Call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.