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High Cholesterol Specialist

Cornerstone Medical Associates

Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Smyrna, TN

At least one in three American adults have high cholesterol, a condition that can increase your risk of serious health complications, even death. At Cornerstone Medical Associates in Smyrna, Tennessee, Olawumi O. Ayo Akatue, MD, and Richmond A. Akatue, MD, focus on education, disease prevention, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle to support optimal long-term wellness in their patients. To learn about the benefits of managing high cholesterol in a friendly environment, call Cornerstone Medical Associates, or schedule an appointment online today.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is not only found in certain foods, but it’s also made by all of the cells in your body. This molecule plays an essential role in your body by building hormones, vitamin D, and other elements to support your ability to digest food.

There are two kinds of cholesterol. HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, is the “good” kind. This type of cholesterol moves throughout your body before it returns to your liver for removal. LDL, or low-density lipoproteins, is the “bad” cholesterol. This form of cholesterol remains in your blood and can combine with other substances to create plaque.

When you have too much cholesterol in your system, you have high cholesterol. When left untreated, high cholesterol can cause serious health complications.

What are the risks of high cholesterol?

Having high cholesterol leads to plaque buildup in your blood. Plaque is a sticky substance that attaches itself to the insides of your arteries. As plaque builds up, it causes your arteries to grow narrow or even blocked. This increases your risk of several serious problems, like:

  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Your risk of these health complications increases if you have high cholesterol in addition to other chronic diseases, like high blood pressure or diabetes.

What causes high cholesterol?

You can develop high cholesterol because of certain health conditions, but it typically occurs because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, like:

  • Smoking
  • Consuming a diet high in trans and saturated fats
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle or not enough exercise

Your risk of high cholesterol also increases if you have a family history of the condition, are African-American, or are older.

How is high cholesterol diagnosed and managed?

High cholesterol usually doesn’t have any symptoms, so it’s essential to schedule regular testing. Dr. Olawumi O. Ayo Akatue or Dr. Richmond A. Akatue can measure your HDL and LDL cholesterol with a routine blood test.

Based on your test results and overall health, your doctor works closely with you to create a personalized approach designed to reduce your cholesterol and improve your heart health. In most cases, this involves lifestyle changes, including exercise, diet, and weight loss or weight management.

Depending on cholesterol numbers, your doctor might also suggest prescription medications to help manage your condition.

Call Cornerstone Medical Associates, or schedule an appointment online today.

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