Hyperlipidemia Treatment Questions and Answers
Michael Twyman, MD Integrative Cardiology offers treatment for hyperlipidemia. Lowering harmful cholesterol levels is our goal to help keep you healthy. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We are conveniently located at 1034 S Brentwood Blvd, Suite 1230, Saint Louis, MO 63117.
What is Hyperlipidemia?
Also called high cholesterol, hyperlipidemia is a term that describes several common blood disorders resulting in extra lipids, or fat cells, in your blood. Some of the causes are controllable; however, some are not. Hyperlipidemia is often a life-long condition, but is treatable, and involves a commitment to lifestyle changes of exercise and a healthy diet. Prescription medication is also a likely part of treatment. Lowering harmful cholesterol levels is the goal, and will reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, among other serious conditions.
Cholesterol is a waxy fatty substance the body makes and is also found in the food we eat. Blood cholesterol levels rise with the consumption of trans fats and saturated fat found in some of the most popular foods like:
- Processed and fried foods
- Ice cream
- Red meat
Lack of exercise and gaining weight are the major causes in a rise in cholesterol an hyperlipidemia, but studies show hyperlipidemia also runs in families, and those with a family history of the condition run a much higher risk of heart attack, even at younger ages.
Who is at risk for Hyperlipidemia?
Age, gender, and family history are factors that places one at higher risk for hyperlipidemia and heart disease. Men who are 45 or older stand a greater risk of high cholesterol if a father or brother had high cholesterol, where women 55 or older face a higher risk if a mother or sister had high cholesterol or heart disease before age 65. For unknown reasons, dyslipidemia is significantly more likely in men under 50 than in women, but more prevalent in woman 50 and older than men in the same age group. People who smoke cigarettes, are overweight, have a diet high in saturated fat, lack physical activity or excessively consume alcohol, are at much greater risk of developing hyperlipidemia. Genetics, age and existing disorders like diabetes, hypothyroidism and kidney disease may also contribute to hyperlipidemia.
What are the symptoms of Hyperlipidemia?
Hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, itself does not produce symptoms; however, if the high cholesterol results in coronary heart disease (CHD) or atherosclerosis, symptoms can include:
- Chest pressure and pain (angina)
- Blocked blood vessels in heart and brain
- High blood pressure, dizziness, fatigue
- Heart attack
If your doctor suspects hyperlipidemia, they will use advanced diagnostic procedures and technology to diagnose, prescribe treatment and continually monitor your condition. Common diagnostic procedures include blood tests to determine levels of certain fats, sugar, protein and cholesterol in the blood to rule out a heart condition.
How serious is hyperlipidemia?
If untreated, hyperlipidemia can lead to very serious, and even life-threatening conditions. Complications of hyperlipidemia include atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and is directly related to heart attack and stroke.
Your doctor should test your lipid levels on a regular basis with a blood test called a lipoprotein panel, which reveal the levels of:
- LDL cholesterol – Bad cholesterol build-up in the arteries
- HDL cholesterol – Good cholesterol that lowers risk of heart disease
- Triglycerides – Another form of fat in the blood
Total cholesterol is a combination of all three tests performed. The American Heart Association recommends that adults over 20 years old have their cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years, or less if a family history of hyperlipidemia exists.
Dr. Michael Twyman, MD, opened Apollo Cardiology in St Louis in 2019, because of his passion to help those in his community lead happier and healthier lives, with a healthier heart, and to be there for them in their time of urgent need. Dr. Twyman’s team of highly skilled heart health practitioners are always available to answer all of your questions, so give us a call now or book an appointment. We are conveniently located at 1034 S Brentwood Blvd, Suite 1230, Saint Louis, MO 63117.