High Cholesterol Specialist

Craig R. Peterson, MD -  - Cardiologist

Eastern Shore Heart Center

Craig R. Peterson, MD

Cardiologist located in Fairhope, AL

Over 71 million American adults have high cholesterol numbers, which make them twice as likely to develop heart disease. Luckily, high cholesterol numbers 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 numbers and works with his patients in Fairhope, Alabama to bring them within normal levels. To learn more, call or book an appointment online.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is high cholesterol?

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 numbers, Dr. Peterson tests for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the two different types of cholesterol.

When determining your cholesterol numbers, 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 numbers, which count milligrams per deciliter, here’s how they break down:

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

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

What causes high cholesterol?

Numerous factors can cause high cholesterol, 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.

How can I lower my cholesterol numbers?

High cholesterol numbers 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 numbers are reversible with good care and management.

After Dr. Peterson performs a blood test that reveals the levels of cholesterol in your blood, he recommends an appropriate course of action if the numbers are borderline high or high. It may include any, or a 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 to within normal ranges. To learn more about how cholesterol affects your body, call Eastern Shore Heart Center or book an appointment online.