High cholesterol is the primary source of heart disease and strokes, yet it has no symptoms. Kashif Siddiqui, MD, and Sumera Muzaffar, MD, at Broadway Family Clinic in Pearland, Texas, offer routine cholesterol blood tests performed onsite to see if you’re at risk. If your cholesterol is too high, you can benefit from their expertise in reducing it to safe levels. Call Broadway Family Clinic to arrange a cholesterol check or complete the online booking form to secure your appointment today.
Cholesterol is a fatty material your body uses to produce hormones and aid digestion. People typically make all the cholesterol they need without requiring any in their diet, but many foods — especially meat and dairy — contain high levels.
High cholesterol is a problem because the excess builds up in your blood vessels. It mixes with surplus calcium and waste particles to form a sticky residue called plaque that lines the interior artery walls. Over time, plaque accumulates to such an extent it restricts blood flow, causing cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular diseases affect your heart function and circulation. High cholesterol is the underlying cause of atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries), which causes the following cardiovascular diseases:
CAD affects the coronary arteries that supply your heart. It reduces blood flow, depriving your heart of oxygen and potentially leading to heart failure and heart attacks.
The carotid arteries supply your brain with oxygenated blood. If atherosclerosis narrows or blocks the arteries, your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, causing a stroke.
PAD affects the arteries outside your heart, especially those in your legs and feet. Reduced blood flow causes claudication — aching pain when walking — and could lead to arterial ulcers, which are painful open wounds resulting from tissue breakdown.
You won’t experience any symptoms with high cholesterol until it’s caused severe blood vessel damage and you suffer a stroke or heart attack. Obviously, you need to know as soon as possible if you’re at risk of developing atherosclerosis; fortunately, measuring your cholesterol requires a simple blood test.
Your Broadway Family Clinic provider sends a blood sample to the onsite lab for testing. The test (lipoprotein panel) produces several measurements, including:
LDL is the most damaging cholesterol, so a low number is healthier. HDL helps to flush LDL from your body, so a higher reading is preferable. Total cholesterol accounts for these differences, so a healthy target is below 200 mg/dL; 200-239 mg/dL is raised or borderline high; and high cholesterol measures 240 mg/dL or above.
Lifestyle changes — weight loss, exercise, and cutting out cholesterol-rich foods — are vital to reduce cholesterol. You might also need cholesterol-lowering medications like statins.
Call Broadway Family Clinic to schedule a cholesterol check or book an appointment online today.