High cholesterol, also known as hyperlipidemia, means you have elevated levels of cholesterol as well as other fats in your blood. This condition puts you at risk for developing cardiovascular disease. At NJ Heart & Vascular Care in Princeton and Hamilton, New Jersey, board-certified physician and cardiovascular specialist Kintur Sanghvi, MD, FACC, FSCAI, diagnoses and helps you manage high cholesterol or prevent it from developing in the first place. Call the office or set up your appointment online today to learn more.
Dyslipidemia is the state of having abnormal levels of fat in your blood. Fat includes cholesterol and triglycerides. Your levels may be too high or too low.
Dyslipidemia can also mean you have:
High cholesterol specifically refers to when you have too much fat in your blood. High cholesterol and dyslipidemia don’t cause outward symptoms.
Cholesterol isn’t inherently bad. You make some naturally in your liver and it supports healthy cell development.
But when levels are too high, the fats build up in your arteries and makes it harder for your heart to pump blood effectively.
High cholesterol can contribute to high blood pressure or a blood clot, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
The ratio of LDL to HDL matters. Too much LDL correlates with an increased risk of heart diseases and stroke, while higher levels of HDL can be heart protective.
Triglycerides are fats stored when you eat excess calories. High triglycerides raise your risk of heart attack and stroke.
When you have a high number of triglycerides, it’s likely your arteries’ functioning is compromised.
Dr. Sanghvi evaluates your family history when assessing your risk of high cholesterol. The condition is often passed down through genetics.
Your risk of developing high cholesterol and high triglycerides also increases with lifestyle choices, such as:
People who are overweight or obese and who have diabetes are also at greater risk of having high cholesterol. Your risk of developing high cholesterol increases as you age.
Changes in your diet and exercise habits can help lower your cholesterol. Specific improvements you can make include reducing your intake of saturated fat and red or processed meat, and increasing your intake of the fiber found in oatmeal and legumes.
Dr. Sanghvi will also recommend you strive to get about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily. These dietary and exercise habits can also help you avoid developing high cholesterol in the first place.
Certain medications can help lower your cholesterol levels, too. If your high cholesterol is accompanied by other risk factors or symptoms, Dr. Sanghvi may also have you undergo screenings that evaluate your heart’s function and blood flow.
Have your cholesterol and triglycerides checked and managed at NJ Heart & Vascular Care. Call for an appointment or book online today.