Cholesterol is a natural substance found in your blood that’s responsible for building healthy cells. However, if your cholesterol levels get too high, fatty deposits can develop in your blood vessels, increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. At his self-titled practice in Niles, Illinois, internal medicine physician Kirill Zhadovich, MD, and family physician Alex Kostiv, MD, offer screening and treatment for high cholesterol. If you suspect you have high cholesterol, call or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.
High blood cholesterol, or simply high cholesterol, is a medical condition marked by high levels of fat or lipids in your blood. In the majority of cases, lifestyle factors like a poor diet or lack of exercise cause high cholesterol. Genetics also plays a role. For example, if your parents have high cholesterol, you’re more likely to as well.
Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream on proteins known as lipoproteins. There are two different types of lipoproteins: LDL and HDL.
LDL or “bad” cholesterol is the most common type of cholesterol found in your body. If you have high levels of LDL cholesterol, you’re also at an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.
HDL or “good” cholesterol absorbs cholesterol and transports it back to your liver. Once cholesterol reaches your liver, your body processes and flushes it out. You can improve your cardiovascular health by increasing your HDL levels.
High cholesterol, like high blood pressure, typically presents no obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to determine if you're at risk is to participate in a cholesterol test.
A cholesterol test is a quick, pain-free procedure that the Kirill Zhadovich, MD, SC, team performs in-office. The process takes less than five minutes and involves drawing a sample of blood and sending it to a laboratory for testing.
A cholesterol test looks at four specific factors: your levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, your triglycerides — a type of fat your body uses for energy — and your total cholesterol.
Prior to your cholesterol test, you’ll need to fast for between 8-12 hours. This is because certain foods and beverages can cause your HDL and LDL levels to fluctuate.
There’s no way to prevent high cholesterol entirely, but there’s plenty you can do to keep your numbers in check. For example, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, and participating in regular exercise are all proven methods of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
If you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol regularly, try cutting back or quitting altogether. Adjustments like these can make all the difference, keeping your heart healthy for years to come.
Don’t let high cholesterol prevent you from living your best life. Improve your cardiovascular health today, call or book an appointment online.