Ninth Avenue Internal Medicine
Internists located in Denver, CO
High cholesterol drastically increases your risk for heart disease, which is why regular cholesterol screening and treatment is so crucial. Internal medicine physician Dr. Igor Borisov and Dr. Witten treat high cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors before serious complications arise. Call Ninth Avenue Internal Medicine in Denver to learn more, or book an appointment online today.
High Cholesterol Q & A
What is high cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance your body uses to create cells, produce hormones, and protect nerves. If too much cholesterol builds up in your blood, it can cause narrowed arteries, and less oxygen-rich blood will be able to reach your heart and brain. High cholesterol increases your risk of heart attack or stroke.
How is high cholesterol diagnosed?
High cholesterol doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms, which is why getting regular cholesterol screenings is so essential. Dr. Borisov or Dr. Witten will order blood tests to check your cholesterol levels and determine whether or not you require treatment.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a type of healthy cholesterol that lowers your heart disease risks. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is unhealthy cholesterol. Your total cholesterol combines measures both types to determine your risk of heart disease.
What causes high cholesterol?
A combination of genetics, diet, and other lifestyle habits play a role in developing high cholesterol. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, are inactive, smoke, are overweight, or you eat foods high in saturated fat, you’re at risk for high cholesterol.
How is high cholesterol treated?
Dr. Borisov or Dr. Witten will work with you to develop a treatment plan that best matches your individual needs. If your cholesterol is very high, they may recommend lifestyle changes plus cholesterol-lowering medications. For elevated cholesterol levels that are not yet in the danger zone, they may suggest that you:
- Work out regularly
- Lose weight, if you’re overweight
- Boost your consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and other fiber-rich foods
- Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids (common in fish and fish oil supplements)
- Quit smoking, if applicable
- Limit or avoid alcohol, fatty meats, processed meats, high-fat dairy products, and other foods high in saturated fat
Dr. Borisov and Dr. Witten always recommend the least invasive treatment options first, but if lifestyle changes aren’t working, medications are usually the next step.
If you’re overdue for a cholesterol check or you’ve been previously diagnosed with high cholesterol, call Ninth Avenue Internal Medicine or book an appointment online today.