High Cholesterol Specialist

Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance Primary Care

General Internal Medicine located in Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY

If you have high cholesterol, your risk of developing heart disease is nearly doubled. But you can prevent health issues by catching high cholesterol in the beginning stages and making lifestyle changes to lower your numbers. At Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance Primary Care in the Downtown Brooklyn area of Brooklyn in New York City, Ahmar Butt, MD, Lalasa Valasareddi, MD and the team offer comprehensive care for high cholesterol. For expert treatment, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

High Cholesterol Q&A

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in your blood. Cholesterol is considered good or bad:

Good cholesterol

High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) are good cholesterol. HDLs collect and carry excess cholesterol to your liver for elimination. 

Bad cholesterol 

Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) stay in your bloodstream and have an increased opportunity to get stuck on your artery walls. LDLs are the bad cholesterol.  

Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but too much bad cholesterol from a poor diet or a sedentary lifestyle can cause health issues.

What health issues does high cholesterol cause?

When your cholesterol levels are too high, you’re at risk for a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis develops when cholesterol sticks to artery walls, creating areas of plaque buildup. 

As plaque builds up and hardens in the arteries, it gradually restricts blood flow and may cause serious health issues, including:

  • Carotid artery disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Peripheral artery disease

Restricted blood flow deprives your tissues of oxygen and nutrients. If the blood flow becomes completely blocked, or if a piece of plaque releases from your arteries and travels to your heart or brain, you may suffer from a stroke or heart attack.

What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?

Most people don’t experience symptoms of having high cholesterol. 

Plaque can build up and harden in the arteries for years without you knowing, which means the first sign of high cholesterol could be a heart attack or stroke. 

The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is through blood testing. It’s recommended that adults get a cholesterol test annually starting at the age of 20.

How is high cholesterol treated?

If a routine cholesterol test reveals high cholesterol levels, you’ll be instructed to make changes in your diet, exercise level, and weight. Lifestyle changes are all that’s required for many people to move their cholesterol levels to a healthier range.  

If an improved diet, increased exercise, and better weight management fail to help you lower your cholesterol levels, the team at Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance prescribes medication designed to lower cholesterol. 

To learn if you’re at risk for high cholesterol and get needed treatments, call Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance or schedule an appointment online today.