Is High Cholesterol Considered a Chronic Illness?

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Cholesterol is found in the blood and helps your body build healthy cells. High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of developing heart disease. When you have high cholesterol in Plano, TX, you develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. These deposits will grow and make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries properly. This can cause them to break suddenly and form a clot that can cause a heart attack or stroke. At Nest Family Medicine, board-certified physician Dr. Priti Ranjan can monitor your health, including your cholesterol levels, and offers chronic illness treatment to her patients throughout Plano, TX.

What causes high cholesterol?

Cholesterol is carried through the blood and attaches to proteins, known as lipoproteins. There are two different types of cholesterol, based on what the lipoprotein carries, including:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): This is "bad" cholesterol that builds up on the walls of your arteries, which makes them harden and narrow.

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL): This is "good" cholesterol that can pick up any excess cholesterol and take it to the liver to be removed from your body.

A lipid profile will measure triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. Having a high triglyceride level increases your risk of heart disease. However, there are some factors that you can control that contribute to cholesterol levels, such as living a sedentary life, eating an unhealthy diet, and obesity or being overweight. However, your genetics can make you more likely to keep your cells from removing LDL cholesterol properly or even cause your liver to produce too much cholesterol.

Diagnosing high cholesterol

At Nest Family Medicine, we can perform a lipid panel, which is a blood test to check cholesterol levels. It will show Dr. Ranjan your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. She recommends her patients in Plano, TX don’t eat or drink anything (other than water) for 9 – 12 hours before their blood draw.

Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood. The ideal total cholesterol levels are 200 mg/dL or less. The best levels are under 100 mg/dL for LDL cholesterol or below 70 mg/dL for those at risk for diabetes or heart disease. The best HDL cholesterol levels are 60 mg/dL and above.

High cholesterol treatment

If Dr. Ranjan diagnoses you with high cholesterol at Nest Family Medicine, she can suggest lifestyle changes. At a follow-up visit, if you have made these changes and your cholesterol levels remain high, she may recommend medication. The medication she prescribes will depend on your age, health, and your risk factors.

Have your cholesterol levels tested in Plano, TX

When you want to keep your health at its best, schedule a lipid profile at Nest Family Medicine in Plano, TX. Dr. Priti Ranjan can read your blood test results and determine if you have high cholesterol or other chronic manageable diseases that can affect your health. To learn more about high cholesterol, call our office today. Ultimately, there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, so the only way to know if you have it is with a lipid profile.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.