What you should know about high cholesterol
Friday, September 28, 2018
Life is short. The Vascular Specialists at Aurora BayCare urge you to not make yours potentially shorter by ignoring your cholesterol levels.
Nearly 1 in 6 American adults has high cholesterol, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. That puts them at risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States. As off-putting as that sounds, even more troubling is that a person with high cholesterol shows no signs or symptoms as they get closer to having heart disease or a stroke.
That’s why it’s important to understand your cholesterol levels and take measures to lower them if necessary. National Cholesterol Education Month is the perfect time of year to do that, says Armaan Carrigan Shaikh, an interventional cardiologist with The Vascular Specialists at Aurora BayCare in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“This creates an opportunity for us as health care providers to remind our patients and their families about the importance of monitoring cholesterol levels,” he says. “Cholesterol isn’t inherently a bad substance. In fact, our bodies produce it to help build cells. It’s when we have too much cholesterol in our bodies that issues can arise.”
Health issues from abnormally high cholesterol include coronary artery disease, heart attack, peripheral artery disease and stroke. The risk of any of those conditions can be minimized if you are treated properly for your abnormal cholesterol levels, Shaikh says.
“Work with your doctor to establish a health history that includes your cholesterol levels,” he says. “If you find that you have high cholesterol, don’t fret. It can be managed by eating a heart-healthier diet, increasing your physical activity, losing weight, not smoking and in some cases, with the use of medication.”
Dr. Armaan Carrigan Shaikh is an interventional cardiologist with Aurora BayCare Cardiology and The Vascular Specialists at Aurora BayCare. He sees patients in Green Bay and Marinette. For appointments, call 920-288-8300 or request one online.