Cardiology: How To Manage Cholesterol

Cardiology Boynton Beach, FL

Many people are unaware of the large correlation between their cholesterol levels and cardiology. Understanding how to manage cholesterol levels is important to help lower the chances of heart-related issues, including heart disease and heart attack. The following article aims to provide a better understanding of cholesterol, its impact on cardiology, and how to maintain safe cholesterol numbers.

The correlation between managing cholesterol levels and cardiology

Understanding cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that resides in all cells. It is essential for normal body function. Cholesterol is needed to make vitamin D and hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol. Cholesterol also makes bile acids, which help digest food by breaking down fats into smaller pieces so the bloodstream can absorb them through the intestines.

Cholesterol circulates throughout the bloodstream in packages called lipoproteins: low-density (LDL), very low-density (VDL), and high-density (HDL). LDLs, also known as bad cholesterol, carry cholesterol from the liver to other parts of the body. VDLs, another bad cholesterol, are produced when one eats an excess of carbohydrates and sugars that turn into triglycerides, another type of fat molecule. HDLs, also known as good cholesterol, remove excess cholesterol from tissues throughout the body so bile and urine can eliminate it. 

Cholesterol level’s impact on the heart

Excess amounts of LDLs, VDLs, or HDLs can cause health problems such as atherosclerosis and the hardening of arteries due to the accumulation (build-up) of fatty deposits, known as plaque, within them. This can result in serious cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular disease (PVD), peripheral arterial disease (PAD), heart attack, or stroke.

Managing cholesterol levels

In general, normal cholesterol levels we like to see in cardiology are as follows:

  • Total cholesterol: 170 or below
  • Good cholesterol: 50 or above
  • Bad cholesterol: 110 or below

One can do several things to manage their cholesterol, including improving their eating habits, exercising, smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol. One should consider consuming less food and beverages with high sugar and saturated fat content when trying to improve their eating habits. These foods are known to increase LDL levels and blood pressure significantly. We encourage patients to introduce more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean (low in fat) meats into their diet.

Those who are overweight have an increased chance of developing high numbers for their total cholesterol, directly increasing their risk for numerous cardiovascular conditions. Therefore, performing moderate-intensity exercises, such as walking, biking, or swimming for at least 30 minutes daily, can help balance their numbers.

Smoking and alcohol cause the LDLs to become “stickier” than they already are, making them cling to the artery walls more quickly than normal. Smoking and alcohol also lower HDL levels, preventing them from filtering the LDLs. Therefore, we encourage patients to cease tobacco products altogether and limit their alcohol intake to no more than half a cup a day. However, detailed recommendations may vary patient-to-patient depending on their medical situation.

Get your numbers under control

Contact our cardiology team if you or a loved one has trouble managing their cholesterol. We can help devise a plan to get your numbers under control and decrease the chances of severely compromising your heart’s integrity.

Request an appointment here: https://boyntonbeach.floridapremiercardio.com or call Florida Premier Cardiology at (561) 229-1411 for an appointment in our Boynton Beach office.

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