Cholesterol

High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and other complications, but there’s help available to safeguard your health. For comprehensive cholesterol management, see Nneka Edokpayi, MD, at one of her Rapha Health and Wellness offices in Houston or Sugar Land, Texas. Book your consultation by phone, ask for a home visit, or use the easy online scheduler.

 

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is cholesterol?

Your liver naturally produces a waxy substance called cholesterol that your body needs to generate new cells. Certain foods like eggs and cheese have cholesterol, too, so you can get it through your diet as well.

While it’s necessary to have some cholesterol, too much makes you susceptible to cardiovascular disease.  

What are the different types of cholesterol?

Cholesterol attaches to protein as it travels through your bloodstream. Together, the protein and cholesterol are called lipoproteins. Depending on its characteristics, a lipoprotein can be:

  • LDL, or low-density lipoprotein: also called bad cholesterol, transports cholesterol through your body and sticks to vessel walls
  • HDL, or high-density lipoprotein: also called good cholesterol because it recycles sweeps away excess cholesterol and returns it to your liver.

Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet help you influence your good cholesterol.

Why is high cholesterol dangerous?

If you have high cholesterol, fat can accumulate in your blood vessels. Over time, the fat builds up and makes it difficult or impossible for blood to flow easily. 

Pieces of the fatty deposits can detach from the walls of your veins and form deadly blood clots that trigger a heart attack or stroke.

What are the risk factors for high cholesterol?

Research shows that there are several key factors that put you at higher risk for high cholesterol: 

  • Family history
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor diet
  • Medication

Unfortunately, high cholesterol has no symptoms. It’s important to get regular checkups with Dr. Edokpayi, so she can run blood tests and monitor your cholesterol levels. This is something she and her team do as a matter of course with each patient.

What are my options for treating high cholesterol?

Dr. Edokpayi customizes a treatment plan according to the cause of your high cholesterol. If you’ve inherited the problem, she’ll likely treat you with medication. 

If, however, your high cholesterol is associated with lifestyle factors, she writes a plan to help you adjust your diet, exercise more, lower your stress levels, and get more sleep. She keeps a close watch on your cholesterol levels as you work through the treatment program and adjusts the plan when necessary. 

For your cholesterol screening, call Rapha Health and Wellness or go online today.