High cholesterol levels increase your risk of developing heart disease. Stay on top of your levels with regular monitoring and management from the team at Internal Medicine of Greater New Haven. They can check your levels and offer treatment plans if your numbers are too high. If you live in Hamden, Connecticut, or the surrounding area, call the office or book online for a cholesterol check today.
A waxy substance in the fats in your blood, cholesterol is an important part of healthy cell development, but too much can increase your risk of heart disease. Excessive cholesterol levels can cause the development of fatty deposits in your blood vessels, making it hard for blood to flow through your arteries. This limits the blood that goes to the heart and brain, increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol has no symptoms. The only way to know you have it is through a blood test. Your cholesterol measurements are divided into three categories: Total cholesterol, HDL — or good cholesterol, and LDL — or bad cholesterol.
In general, a normal total cholesterol reading is 200 mg/dL or below, with a reading of 200-239 mg/dL considered borderline “high.” A reading above 240 mg/dl is considered high. Your LDL levels should be less than 100 mg/dL. Readings of LDL above 130 mg/dL may cause concern and put you at a higher risk of heart disease. A reading of 160 mg/dL or greater is considered high and definitely needs intervention.
HDL levels should be above 40 mg/dL; for optimal health, HDL readings should be over 60 mg/dL.
Adults should schedule a cholesterol screening every few years. You may need one more often if you’re at higher risk of developing the condition. Risk factors include:
The team at Internal Medicine of Greater New Haven can help coach you regarding lifestyle changes that improve your cholesterol levels. A low-salt diet containing lots of fresh produce and whole grains and minimizing animal fat help you manage your weight and cholesterol levels. If you smoke, quit, and moderate alcohol consumption. Exercise also helps you lose excess weight as well as boosts your HDL levels.
You may also be prescribed medications to help lower your cholesterol levels. Statins are most common, as they’re directly associated with reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Stay on top of your cholesterol numbers to maintain your heart health. Call or book an appointment online to have your numbers checked with Internal Medicine of Greater New Haven today.