At least 38% of Americans have high cholesterol today. If untreated, high cholesterol can translate into very serious health complications, including heart disease and stroke. But there’s also good news: At Madison Avenue Cardiovascular in Midtown, Manhattan, cardiovascular specialist Mark Meyer, MD, FACP, FACC, offers treatments and lifestyle support to restore better heart and whole-body health. Call the New York City office or use the online scheduler to book your appointment now.
Cholesterol is a specific waxy fat found naturally in your body and also in some foods. High cholesterol describes excess amounts of this substance building up within your arteries, which, in turn, can narrow blood flow to your heart and brain to increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
High cholesterol doesn't have any warning signs. If it’s not diagnosed and treated, you may not know about your high cholesterol until you develop heart disease or have a life-threatening crisis like a stroke or heart attack.
Most people find out they have high cholesterol during a physical exam or heart-health checkup at Madison Avenue Cardiovascular. A blood panel checks for high cholesterol by measuring several key factors, including:
LDL is the "bad" type of cholesterol because it collects inside artery walls and narrows blood flow in your arteries, potentially leading to heart disease and other complications.
HDL is a "good" type of cholesterol because it routes LDL away from your artery walls and returns it to your liver. Then, your body breaks it down and eliminates it. HDL can counteract about 25-33% of your LDL.
Triglycerides are a kind of fat within your blood. They store extra calories that you don't use as energy. Then, your body uses those triglycerides for fuel as needed. If you have high triglycerides along with too-high LDL or too-low HDL, it further increases your risk of health problems.
Total blood cholesterol is a compilation of HDL, LDL, and 20% of triglycerides. In general, the goal for total blood cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or lower.
Numbers aren't everything, however. Dr. Meyer evaluates your individual health factors, including general health, cardiovascular risk factors, and lifestyle habits, to create a plan for better whole-body health. Lower cholesterol numbers and better health generally go hand-in-hand.
Dr. Meyer helps with lifestyle management, which can include things like dietary changes (heart-healthy diet), increased exercise, losing weight, and quitting smoking. In many cases, these changes reduce cholesterol levels without medication.
If you still have high cholesterol even with lifestyle changes, or if you have very high cholesterol and are at risk for serious cardiovascular problems, Dr. Meyer may prescribe medication. While highly effective, medication is best combined with a healthy lifestyle.
Learn how you can manage high cholesterol with help from Madison Avenue Cardiovascular by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool now.