High cholesterol shows no outward symptoms but slowly causes changes in your arteries that can lead to strokes and heart attacks. At Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice (CAHEP) in Denver and Aurora, Colorado, regular cholesterol screenings are part of the routine care provided by the primary care team. To arrange your cholesterol test and determine if you need treatment for high cholesterol, call the office today or use the online tool to schedule your appointment.
Cholesterol is a natural, waxy substance that your body creates and uses for functions like hormone production, digestion, and synthesizing vitamin D.
You have two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is known as bad cholesterol and creates plaques that narrow or clog your arteries. HDL, known as good cholesterol, scrubs LDL from your system and transports it to your liver for disposal.
You don’t need to get cholesterol from your diet; your body creates all you need on its own.
Lifestyle contributes to the development of high cholesterol. Certain medical conditions can also put you at risk for unhealthy levels of cholesterol. These include diabetes, hypothyroidism, lupus, and chronic kidney disease.
When you have too much cholesterol, especially LDL, you’re at risk for atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is narrowing of the arteries, which makes it harder for blood to flow and supply oxygen and nutrients to essential organs.
A common result of atherosclerosis is peripheral artery disease, or PAD. With PAD, narrowed or clogged arteries in your legs cause serious complications and can even lead to amputation.
High cholesterol can also lead to blockages in the neck, resulting in a stroke, or blockages in the heart, resulting in coronary artery disease and heart attacks.
A simple blood test measures the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol testing is a part of routine exams. You might also need a one-off cholesterol test if you have risk factors that include a family history of high cholesterol, obesity, and older age.
The team at CAHEP educates you on how changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you reduce your cholesterol levels. They can help you quit smoking, become more physically active, lose weight, and make healthier food choices.
Along with lifestyle changes, you may also benefit from cholesterol-lowering medications, or statins.
Get the cholesterol screening you need by contacting Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice today. Call the office or use the online tool to set up your appointment.