Utah Endocrinology Associates: Expert Cholesterol Management
Located in Salt Lake City, American Fork, and South Ogden, UT
High cholesterol is often associated with endocrine disorders such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and adrenal disorders. As an endocrinology expert, Alireza Falahati, MD, FACE, at Utah Endocrinology Associates, has successfully helped numerous patients lower their cholesterol levels and prevent serious complications like heart attacks or strokes. If it's time to check your cholesterol level or if you need ongoing management for high cholesterol, call one of our offices in Salt Lake City, American Fork, or Ogden, Utah, or book an appointment online.
High Cholesterol Q & A: Understanding and Managing Your Cholesterol Levels
How can cholesterol be both good and bad?
Cholesterol itself is the same, regardless of its source. The way cholesterol is processed by your body determines whether it is good or bad. When you digest cholesterol, your body wraps the fat in proteins that carry it through your bloodstream. These packages, called lipoproteins, determine if the cholesterol is good or bad:
Bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoproteins (LDL): LDL is considered bad cholesterol because it circulates in your bloodstream, increasing the likelihood of cholesterol sticking to artery walls.
Good cholesterol, or high-density lipoproteins (HDL): HDL lowers your cholesterol by transporting the fat to your liver, where it's converted into another substance or eliminated.
How does high cholesterol affect my health?
High cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition that begins when LDLs allow cholesterol to stick to an artery wall. Over time, fats continue to accumulate, creating plaque that hardens and narrows the arteries.
High cholesterol-related atherosclerosis puts you at risk for:
- Coronary artery disease
- Carotid artery disease
- Peripheral artery disease
- Chronic kidney disease
When plaque blocks blood flow or breaks free and travels to your heart, brain, or lungs, you can suffer a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism.
What symptoms develop due to high cholesterol?
High cholesterol doesn't cause symptoms. Plaque can build up for years without any noticeable signs. The first symptom is often a life-threatening event, such as a heart attack.
The only way to know you have high cholesterol is with a blood test. Since high cholesterol can begin at a young age, cholesterol levels should be tested once before puberty, once after puberty, and every four to six years in adults.
How do you treat high cholesterol?
After conducting a blood test in the office to determine your cholesterol levels and other biomarkers, Dr. Falahati develops a comprehensive treatment plan. If he identifies an underlying health condition, such as a hormone imbalance, he treats that problem while taking steps to lower your cholesterol.
Cholesterol treatment begins with dietary changes, increasing exercise, and losing weight if necessary. In many cases, cholesterol returns to normal levels with lifestyle interventions. However, if your cholesterol levels are dangerously high or lifestyle changes don't help, Dr. Falahati may prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol.
To have your cholesterol screened or to receive care for high cholesterol, call Utah Endocrinology Associates or schedule an appointment online. Our team is dedicated to helping you maintain a healthy cholesterol level and improve your overall well-being.