You may be surprised to learn that your body needs cholesterol. But even though your body relies on cholesterol to build healthy cells, too much of it can cause serious health problems. Charles F. Lovell, M.D., in Norfolk, Virginia, is experienced in diagnosing and treating high cholesterol. He can also coach you on how to keep from getting it. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.
Cholesterol is a substance that your body produces to build healthy cells. It’s stored in the fat cells in your blood, and in normal levels, it isn’t harmful. If there’s too much cholesterol in your body, fat begins to build up in your blood vessels. After a while, it becomes harder for your blood to pump through these fat-filled vessels, and your heart stops getting the amount of oxygen it needs from your blood. High cholesterol can also prevent blood from getting to your brain, which may lead to a stroke.
High cholesterol is difficult to detect without the help of a doctor, and it can be very dangerous if left untreated. Since the result is clogged blood vessels, a number of negative things can happen if your cholesterol levels stay high, including:
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to prevent getting high cholesterol.
There are no symptoms for high cholesterol, so you will need a blood test to see if you have it. If Dr. Lovell suspects you’re at risk, he will give you a blood test.
Genetics may be a factor in getting high cholesterol. If you have family members with the condition, you may be at a higher risk of developing it. Other risk factors for high cholesterol include:
If any of these risk factors apply to you, you should get your cholesterol levels tested regularly.
The first way to treat high cholesterol is to make the necessary lifestyle changes to lower your levels. You’ll need to watch what you eat, exercise regularly, and avoid unhealthy habits, such as drinking and smoking.
Dr. Lovell may also prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications. After assessing your medical history and risk factors, he will choose a course of treatment that aligns with your specific needs.
If you have concerns about high cholesterol and what it can do to your body, book an appointment online or over the phone with Charles F. Lovell, M.D, today.