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Millions of Americans have high cholesterol levels that put their health at risk. Stoneleigh Medical Group offers cholesterol screening and treatment for high levels at its offices in Brewster, Jefferson Valley, and Pawling, New York. Avoid heart disease and other serious health concerns by taking charge of your cholesterol levels. Call today for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that circulates in the blood. You need some cholesterol to help you build new cells, but as your levels become increasingly high, it puts you at risk of serious health conditions.
Cholesterol can clog your blood vessels, leading to blockages in blood flow that can cause heart disease and stroke.
Normal cholesterol levels are 200 mg/dl or below. Levels higher than 200 mg/dl are considered unhealthy, while those about 240 mg/dl put you at high risk for heart disease.
Your total cholesterol level isn’t the only number that matters. Your ratios of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) to LDL (low-density lipoprotein) are also important. HDL is a “good” type of cholesterol that helps remove harmful fatty deposits from your arteries.
LDL is the “bad” kind of cholesterol that lays down fatty deposits and increases your risk of developing arterial blockages.
Even if you have a “normal” total cholesterol number of 200mg/dl or below, you may have too much LDL or too little HDL – putting you at risk of disease. Ideally, you have HDL levels of 60 mg/dl or higher and LDL levels below 100 mg/dL.
Triglycerides are not the same thing as cholesterol. They are another type of fat compound in your blood that stores unused calories and provides your body with energy. High levels of triglycerides are also unhealthy.
You want a measurement of 150 mg/dL or below. If your levels are higher than this, you’re at increased risk of disease.
Some people have a genetic propensity to developing high cholesterol. Lifestyle also influences your cholesterol levels. Habits that put you at greater risk of high cholesterol include:
Stoneleigh Medical Group checks your cholesterol levels regularly at annual physicals, especially if you’re at risk of high cholesterol.
To evaluate your cholesterol, your provider orders a simple blood test. You should fast before getting your blood drawn to get the best results.
You can bring your cholesterol levels down with lifestyle changes, like a diet that has more whole foods such as fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. You also benefit from getting regular physical activity.
Some people require cholesterol-lowering medications to reach healthier levels. You should not consider medications as a replacement for lifestyle changes, however.
Schedule an appointment at Stoneleigh Medical Group to get your cholesterol levels checked. Call today or use the online tool to book.