Primary Care Associates of Maryland
Family Medicine & Geriatrics located in Frederick, MD & Clarksburg, MD
More than 70 million adults in the United States have high cholesterol. When your cholesterol numbers are high, your risk of developing heart disease doubles. If you're concerned about cholesterol, Praveen Bolarum, MD, and the team at Primary Care Associates of Maryland take a holistic approach to medicine and can help you understand and improve upon your numbers using a natural approach. To request an appointment, call one of the three offices in Frederick or Clarksburg, Maryland, or use the online booking tool at any time.
High Cholesterol Q & A
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in fat. Your body produces cholesterol, and you take in additional cholesterol from the food you eat.
Cholesterol is used to help make cells, but when your body has too much cholesterol, the waxy substance sticks to your artery walls, causing them to narrow and making it harder for blood to pass, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
The providers at Primary Care Associates of Maryland use blood tests to check and monitor your cholesterol levels.
What is high cholesterol?
High cholesterol is determined by your total cholesterol number from your blood test.
- Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dl
- Borderline high: 200 mg/dl to 239 mg/dl
- High: Greater than 240 mg/dl
The total cholesterol count includes two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoproteins (LDL), referred to as bad cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), referred to as good cholesterol. In addition to your total cholesterol, your provider also wants you to pay attention to your LDL and HDL numbers.
Keeping your LDL levels less than 100 mg/dl and your HDL greater than 40 mg/dl can help to improve your health.
What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?
There are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol. But some factors increase your risk of high cholesterol, including:
- Genetic predisposition
- Lack of physical activity
- Poor diet choices
- Excess abdominal fat
If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, or your predisposition for developing high cholesterol, schedule a consultation at Primary Care Associates of Maryland.
How can I lower my cholesterol levels?
Your provider will likely recommend a change in diet and your activity levels as your first steps for lowering your cholesterol. Your provider will work with you to create an individualized plan that fits your lifestyle and fitness level. A healthy diet and exercise plan can also promote weight loss, which helps reduce cholesterol.
If your numbers aren’t improved after altering your diet and activity levels, your provider may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication.
There are several options, including:
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
- Bile-acid binding resins
With the help of the skilled and dedicated providers at Primary Care Associates of Maryland, you can manage your cholesterol levels more effectively.
What steps can I take to prevent high cholesterol?
High cholesterol is preventable. Steps you can take to reduce your risk include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Not smoking
- Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins
- Exercising regularly
If you have concerns about your cholesterol and would like to get your numbers checked, call Primary Care Associates of Maryland or request an appointment online.