Cholesterol, the waxy substance in your blood, is essential for healthy cell development. Nonetheless, excessive amounts cause problems. It leads to fatty deposits in the blood vessels. The deposits make it harder for blood to flow through the arteries. Moreover, they can break, forming clots that could lead to a stroke or heart attack. It is a no-brainer that high blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. With routine checks and if necessary, treatments, internal medicine Rockville, MD can help you maintain optimal blood cholesterol levels.
Preventative measures are a significant part of keeping the cholesterol at good levels. This is manageable if you understand the common risk factors, among the top including:
Your high cholesterol levels could be an inherited concern. Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited genetic condition. FH is characterized by high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, also called bad cholesterol. It starts from a young age and, if left unattended, could worsen. Genetics are beyond your control. Understanding your family history arms you with vital information. This allows you to adopt a lifestyle that lowers the risk of developing high cholesterol levels.
As you age, your risk of high cholesterol levels increases. Men over 45 years, especially with other considerations like existing medical concerns, are at higher risk. For women, LDL goes up after menopause, increasing their chances of heart disease and high blood cholesterol. Routine screening is recommended after 45 years. It helps you adopt a healthier lifestyle or start treatment earlier.
Nutrition is at the heart of all your health-related concerns. If your diets are rich in saturated and trans fats and sugar, you increase the risk of developing high blood cholesterol. Full-fat dairy products and cuts of meat are loaded with saturated fats, while packaged snacks are rich in trans fats. Observing your diet and limiting such food choices lowers the risks.
Physical activity is essential as you strive to manage cholesterol levels. You increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), good cholesterol, and lower LDL with enough exercise. Exercise also helps in weight management, another risk factor.
Excessive weight or obesity, averaging body mass index (BMI) upwards of 30, puts you at high risk of high cholesterol. Among the signs that your weight is hitting new highs is a spike in blood pressure. A practical weight management regimen combines elements including nutrition and exercise measures, helping you keep high blood cholesterol at bay.
Smoking and alcohol consumption increases the risks of high cholesterol. Smoking lowers HDL levels. It can also cause damage to the blood vessels. This leads to a higher risk of accumulating fatty deposits. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the total cholesterol level. As you strive to manage your cholesterol levels, quitting your smoking habits and moderating alcohol consumption helps.
Your medical situation also counts when considering the risks. For instance, people with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk since it lowers HDL levels while increasing triglycerides levels. Including routine cholesterol screening in your health regimen is recommended. It eases your quest to keep it at good levels since rising levels can be detected, tailoring a practical regimen to keep it in control. Contact Quality Primary Care for consultation, screening and cholesterol treatments.