In a given year, about 95 million American adults over the age of 20 develop total cholesterol that’s higher than 200 mg/dL. High cholesterol dramatically increases your risk of heart disease, yet it has no symptoms. Donald Douglas, MD, and his team at Pleasant Grove Family Clinic in Texarkana, Texas, provide comprehensive cholesterol prevention and management care. Learn more about high cholesterol treatment by booking an evaluation through the website or by calling the clinic directly.
Cholesterol plays important roles in your body. It provides structure to cell membranes, aids in hormone production, and helps metabolize vitamin D. But not all types of cholesterol are created equal. In high levels, some types of cholesterol can be a problem. Below are short descriptions of when doctors consider cholesterol to be high:
Your total cholesterol, as the name implies, is the overall breakdown of your cholesterol levels. For optimal heart health, your total cholesterol should stay below 170 mg/dL. Doctors generally diagnose you with high cholesterol once your total cholesterol reaches 200 mg/dL or higher.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a harmful artery-clogging type of cholesterol. Doctors like to see LDL levels below 110 mg/dL. An LDL level at or above 130 mg/dL is high.
While not a type of cholesterol, doctors often measure triglyceride levels alongside cholesterol. Triglycerides, a type of fat, can increase your risk of heart disease if your levels are too high. To keep your heart healthy, your triglycerides should be below 150 mg/dL. Having triglycerides higher than 200 mg/dL is considered high.
Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) is a bad type of cholesterol that contains a high amount of triglycerides. Because VLDL molecules lead to cholesterol buildup on arterial walls, it’s best to have levels 2-30 mg/dL. VLDL levels higher than this can be harmful.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a good type of cholesterol that carries bad cholesterol molecules out through waste. This is the only type of cholesterol that you need in higher numbers. Your HDL should be higher than 45 mg/dL. Your risk of heart disease increases if your HDL is lower than 40 mg/dL.
When your doctor at Pleasant Grove Family Clinic draws your blood to evaluate your cholesterol, they also help you try to pinpoint why your cholesterol is high. Contributing factors include:
Your risk of high cholesterol further increases if you have certain health conditions, including diabetes or hypothyroidism.
To lower your cholesterol and improve your cholesterol ratios, your doctor at Pleasant Grove Family Clinic might prescribe medications. But lifestyle changes are almost always necessary too. Improving your cholesterol numbers involves:
Your dedicated physician at Pleasant Grove Family Clinic counsels you about all of the lifestyle changes you can make to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you have high cholesterol, contact Pleasant Grove Family Clinic for an evaluation, so you can get started on a personalized treatment plan. You can book an appointment online or by phone.