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High Cholesterol

Family Medical Home

Family Medicine Physicians located in San Antonio, TX

Your body relies on cholesterol to build strong, healthy cells, but too much of this waxy substance can have devastating effects on your health. If you’re struggling with high cholesterol, the expert team of physicians at Family Medical Home can help. With two convenient locations in San Antonio, Texas, Family Medical Home can get to the root of your high cholesterol and determine the right treatment for you. To learn more, call Family Medical Home or schedule an appointment online.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is high cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance in your liver that helps build cell tissue, protect nerves, and make certain hormones. While your body makes cholesterol on its own, it’s also found in a wide variety of foods, including eggs, dairy, and red meat.

Too much cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to build up in your blood vessels, ultimately making it difficult for blood to smoothly flow through your arteries. These fatty deposits can even break off and form clots, raising your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. 

Are there different types of cholesterol?

You’ve probably heard others talk about “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol” before. These different types of cholesterol are:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

Low-density lipoprotein carries cholesterol throughout your body. It’s known as “bad” cholesterol because LDL can build up in your artery walls, making them too hard and narrow for blood to flow through.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

High-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol, carries excess cholesterol back to your liver to avoid any buildup in your artery walls.

Triglycerides

While triglycerides aren’t a type of cholesterol, they are a type of fat in your blood that raises your risk of heart disease when your levels get too high.

What causes high cholesterol?

There are many factors that put you at a high risk of developing high cholesterol, including:

Weight

A body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher significantly raises your risk of developing high cholesterol.

Diet

A poor diet high in processed foods, saturated fats, and trans fats can increase your cholesterol levels. For healthier cholesterol levels, limit your intake of animal products, microwave popcorn, and pre-packaged sweets and snacks.

Exercise

Regular exercise stimulates your body’s HDL — or “good” cholesterol — while increasing the size of your LDL particles. This helps make your LDL less dangerous to your overall health.

Diabetes

If you suffer from diabetes, then you likely have high blood sugar, which lowers your body’s HDL and increases its LDL.

Age

As you age, your liver’s ability to remove LDL starts to decline, putting you at risk of LDL buildup.

Tobacco use

Smoking damages your blood vessel walls, which can lead to a buildup of fatty deposits in your blood.

How can I lower my cholesterol?

Family Medical Home offers several holistic treatments to lower your cholesterol levels through lifestyle modifications. Some of the best ways to lower your cholesterol are:

  • Weight loss
  • A diet low in red meat, dairy products, saturated fats, and trans fats
  • Regular exercise (150 minutes per week)
  • Low-sodium diet
  • Smoking cessation

If lifestyle changes haven’t been enough to lower your cholesterol, Family Medical Home may recommend one of the following medications:

  • Lovastatin 
  • Fluvastatin 
  • Atorvastatin
  • Pitavastatin 
  • Pravastatin 
  • Simvastatin 
  • Rosuvastatin 

For more information on how to lower your cholesterol, call Family Medical Home or schedule an appointment online.