While you may be tired of hearing about it, evidence continues to show that managing your cholesterol levels is critically important to preventing future health problems. The cardiac specialists at AdvaCardio can help you take control of your cholesterol. This dedicated team of highly-trained professionals serves residents of the Houston metropolitan area from locations in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas. For the truth about cholesterol, call for an appointment today or use their online scheduling service.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance created in your liver and intestines. Your body wraps this and other fats (lipids) into tiny protein-covered particles (lipoproteins) that travel through your blood. You need cholesterol to build healthy cells, make vitamin D, and create hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. It’s also important to your digestive processes.
There are several forms of cholesterol and sorting through them all can get confusing. The two that seem to get the most attention are low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) particles.
LDL is concerning for cardiovascular health since it’s the type that’s associated with plaque buildup in your arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. HDL is the “good” type of cholesterol because it’s actually manufactured by your body to remove excess cholesterol from your bloodstream and return it to the liver for disposal.
To add a third layer to the cholesterol discussion, your AdvaCardio specialist also focuses on lipoproteins called chylomicrons. These carry triglycerides (fatty acids) taken from the foods you eat into your bloodstream.
A poor diet is often the main culprit for elevated cholesterol. Your body needs about 1000 mg of cholesterol daily. Without any help from you, your body manufactures about 80% (700-800 mg daily) of the cholesterol it requires to keep you healthy. The other 20% (200-300 mg) comes from the foods you eat, which is about the amount of cholesterol found in one egg yolk.
Many Americans consume much more than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol daily. When your body’s natural cholesterol remover (HDL) is not able to keep up with the overabundance of cholesterol in your bloodstream, your levels rise. Lack of exercise can also contribute to elevated cholesterol. Genetics may also play a role.
After performing a comprehensive cholesterol test, your AdvaCardio provider may recommend: