Primary care, Urgent care

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a natural, fatty substance that is found in the blood. We obtain cholesterol through both an internal process of the liver producing cholesterol as well as ingesting foods derived from animals or animal products.

The body uses cholesterol as a means to build healthy cells. However, cholesterol levels that are too high can cause sticky fat deposits to build within the blood vessels that can cause heart and vascular diseases that ultimately can lead to life-threatening heart attacks and strokes. High Cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia) can be hereditary, caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, or a combination of the two.

Fast Pace Health can reverse and prevent the effects of elevated cholesterol levels on the body through diagnosing, treating, and managing your cholesterol. Establish your regular preventative visits and screenings with Fast Pace Health.

Find the clinic closest to you on our locations page and begin your treatment strategy today.

What are the symptoms?

There are no real signs and symptoms of high cholesterol. The only way to find, treat, and monitor this condition is through regular preventative visits and screening.

How is high cholesterol diagnosed?

Hypercholesterolemia can easily be diagnosed through a quick and easy blood test that requires a small amount of blood to be obtained through a blood draw.

The blood is sent to a lab and the results are back within a couple of days.

Most likely, your Fast Pace Health provider will ask that you fast (not eat) 9-12 hours before the lab is obtained. The results of this test will provide different numbers that are used to determine if an individual has high cholesterol. Specifically, numbers for Total Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, and Triglycerides are provided.

What are the different types of cholesterol?

There are 3 different types of cholesterol that you will see if you get a lipid panel which is the blood test that providers run to screen for high cholesterol.

  • LDL – This is otherwise known as “bad” cholesterol. It is called bad because it has been determined to contribute to the sticky, fatty build-up of plaque in blood vessels that narrows the arteries and contributes to heart and vascular disease.
  • HDL – This is known as “good” cholesterol. High numbers of HDL cholesterol is actually thought to be good because HDL cholesterol actually helps return LDL cholesterol to the liver which removes it from the blood vessels reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Triglycerides – Triglycerides are the most common fat in the body and are also linked with LDL to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
How do you treat high cholesterol?

Treatment of high cholesterol starts with lifestyle modifications that can reverse and prevent the effects of elevated levels on the body.

  • Eating Heart Healthy Diet
  • Routine and Regular Exercise
  • Avoiding Tobacco
  • Maintaining Healthy Bodyweight

In the event that lifestyle modifications do not work, a variety of medication options are available to treat and lower cholesterol levels within the body. Your provider may perform other routine bloodwork and testing in order to determine which medication(s) would be the best option.

What if I have high cholesterol?

Just like high blood pressure if bloodwork shows that your cholesterol levels are elevated, Fast Pace Health is fully capable of diagnosing, treating, and managing your cholesterol.

This will start with routine bloodwork to make sure you do not have any pre-existing conditions that would be affected by certain medications. This will also allow us to get a baseline of your overall health before starting medication if it is deemed necessary.

If you are started on medication, your Fast Pace Health provider will most likely have you follow up regularly over the course of the next 3-6 months in order to adjust dosages and monitor cholesterol levels. After the initial follow up phase, your visits will likely be extended to 3 months, 6 months, or even yearly depending on how well an individual responds to treatment.

Routine bloodwork will continue to be monitored at these maintenance visits in order to continue to monitor for any adverse effects. Along with medications, your Fast Pace Health provider will likely give you recommendations regarding the lifestyle modifications mentioned above. Maintaining normal cholesterol levels can greatly reduce the risk of heart and vascular disease which can lead to a more healthy and productive life.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1.

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