Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue
Cardiologists located in East Harlem, New York, NY
Having high cholesterol can result in heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems, but unless you have a blood test to measure your cholesterol, you could be oblivious to the fact you’re at serious risk. Henock Saint-Jacques, MD, FACC, is a highly experienced heart specialist at Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue in New York City who can identify your risk and help lower your cholesterol to a healthier level. Call the East Harlem office or request an appointment online to schedule a consultation today.
Cholesterol Q & A
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance that has several forms, one of which is essential to healthy cell formation, and others that at high levels can cause heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) are the bad cholesterols that carry cholesterol particles around your body where they build up inside your arteries. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the good cholesterol, collecting cholesterol particles and taking them to the liver for disposal.
You won’t know if you have high cholesterol as there are no symptoms. If you do have untreated high cholesterol, the first you may know about it is when you suffer a serious health problem, so having a routine blood test to check your cholesterol levels is vital. The test also measures triglycerides, another type of fat in your blood that can increase your risk of heart disease.
What causes high cholesterol?
Most often, high levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol are due to preventable lifestyle factors such as:
- Regularly eating saturated and trans fats
- Eating foods that are naturally high in cholesterol
- Being obese
- Not exercising enough
Some people have a genetic tendency to high cholesterol, and it can arise because of underlying health conditions such as diabetes. Age is also a factor, as your liver becomes less efficient at removing LDL cholesterol over time.
How is high cholesterol treated?
Because lifestyle factors are so influential in the buildup of bad cholesterol, making changes can have significant benefits. Changes you should make include:
- Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight long term
- Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Reducing the number of trans and saturated fats you eat
- Cutting down on salt
- Quitting smoking
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Addressing chronic stress
You may also need medication to help reduce your cholesterol. Statins are most commonly used to lower cholesterol by preventing your liver from making its own cholesterol and helping the absorption of cholesterol from the artery walls.
You could also need:
- Bile-acid-binding resins
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
- PCSK9 inhibitors
- Omega-3 fatty acid supplements
The first step in preventing high cholesterol from causing serious health problems is to get a blood test. Call Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue or request an appointment online schedule your screening test today.