High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol services offered in Shenandoah, TX

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a common, but serious health concern that can affect anyone at any age, especially older adults. At Sparkman Family Medicine, a family medicine practice in Shenandoah, Texas, Chris Sparkman, MD, Tabatha Mize, FNP, and the team work collaboratively to help lower your cholesterol levels and prevent complications like heart disease. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online for individualized cholesterol management.

What is high cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance your body needs to build cells, create vitamins, and produce hormones. While cholesterol is essential for healthy bodily functions, too much of it can clog your arteries. Cholesterol tends to stick to the blood vessel walls, forming plaques that can restrict blood flow. There are two types:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

LDL is the “bad” type of cholesterol that can raise your risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, vision problems, and other serious complications.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

HDL helps remove LDL from your blood and carries it back to your liver, making it the “good” type of cholesterol.

At Sparkman Family Medicine, Dr. Sparkman and the care team work with you to lower your cholesterol and prevent health complications. 

What are the main warning signs of high cholesterol?

Similar to high blood pressure, high cholesterol rarely causes symptoms until the condition is advanced. However, understanding the warning signs of high cholesterol can help you identify potential issues and take proactive steps to manage them. 

Signs of high cholesterol can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Fatigue
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • High blood pressure

Because high cholesterol symptoms can be vague, a blood test is necessary to diagnose the condition. 

Am I at risk of high cholesterol?

High cholesterol tends to affect older adults more often than young people, but it can occur at any age. Common risk factors for high cholesterol include:

  • An unhealthy diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • A family history of high cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), most men between 45 and 65 and women between 55 to 64 should have their cholesterol tested at least once every two years.

How can I bring down high cholesterol?

There are many steps you can take to lower your cholesterol levels, including:

  • Consume less red meat and animal proteins
  • Eliminate trans fats from your diet
  • Increase your fiber intake
  • Eat more nuts, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Take medication

After a comprehensive physical exam and blood work, Dr. Sparkman and the team can offer personalized recommendations to manage your cholesterol. 

Call Sparkman Family Medicine today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.