High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol

Over 71 million American adults have high cholesterol levels, which make them twice as likely to develop heart disease. Luckily, high cholesterol levels aren’t a life sentence, and there’s a lot you can do to lower your cholesterol. At Eastern Shore Heart Center, cardiologist Dr. Craig Peterson understands the risks associated with high cholesterol levels and works with his patients in Fairhope, Daphne, Point Clear, Foley and Prichard in Mobile County to bring them within normal levels. To learn more, call or book an appointment online.

High Cholesterol Q & A

Certain cholesterol levels need to be maintained for your body to function like a well-oiled machine, especially in your blood. Cholesterol is a natural part of your blood’s makeup and is critical in delivering energy, or fat, to your cells. Too much fat, however, can accumulate and create fatty deposits that hamper the flow of your blood.

When determining your cholesterol levels, Dr. Peterson tests for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the two different types of cholesterol. Your LDL is responsible for transporting cholesterol throughout your body. HDL picks up any excess cholesterol and delivers it to your liver for processing. When you have too much LDL, your HDL can’t cart all of it off, leaving your LDL to build up in your blood.

When looking at the combined cholesterol levels, which count milligrams per deciliter, here’s how they break down:

  • Less than 200: Good
  • 200-239: Borderline high
  • Over 240: High

High cholesterol levels carry the potential for severe heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Numerous factors can cause high cholesterol levels, including:

  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes

The good news is that most of these risk factors can be addressed under the supervision of Dr. Peterson, allowing you to get your numbers down safely and efficiently.

High cholesterol levels are a wake-up call that your body isn’t functioning at its best and, more than that, the high numbers may lead to some serious heart issues. Luckily, cholesterol levels are reversible with good care and management.

After Dr. Peterson performs a test that reveals the cholesterol levels in your blood, he recommends an appropriate course of action if the numbers are either borderline high or high. It may include some combination of the following:

  • Better nutrition
  • More exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Smoking cessation
  • Medications

Under the expert guidance of Dr. Peterson, you can lower your cholesterol levels to within normal ranges. To learn more about how cholesterol affects your body, call Eastern Shore Heart Center or use our convenient.

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