High Cholesterol

Tania Velez, MD -  - Family Medicine Physician

Velez Family Health

Tania Velez, MD

Family Medicine Physician & Integrative Medicine Provider located in Doctor Phillips, Orlando, FL

More than 70 million adults in the United States have high cholesterol. When your cholesterol numbers are high, your risk of developing heart disease doubles. If you're concerned about cholesterol, Dr. Tania E. Velez at Velez Family Health in the Doctor Phillips area of Orlando, Florida, takes a holistic approach to medicine and can help you understand and improve upon your numbers using a natural approach. Call the office or book an appointment online for an evaluation.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in fat. Your body makes its own cholesterol, and you take in more from the food you eat.

Cholesterol is used to help make cells, but when your body has too much cholesterol, the waxy substance sticks to your artery walls, causing them to narrow and making it harder for blood to pass, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Velez orders a blood test to check your cholesterol level.

What is high cholesterol?

High cholesterol is determined by your total cholesterol number from your blood test.

  • Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dl
  • Borderline high: 200 mg/dl to 239 mg/dl
  • High: Greater than 240 mg/dl

The total cholesterol count includes two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoproteins (LDL), referred to as bad cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), referred to as good cholesterol. In addition to your total cholesterol, Dr. Velez also wants you to pay attention to your LDL and HDL numbers.

For better heart health:

  • LDL less than 100 mg/dl
  • HDL greater than 40 mg/dl

What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?

There are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol. But there are factors that increase your risk of high cholesterol, including:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet choices
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Excess abdominal fat

How can I lower my cholesterol levels?

As a holistic practitioner, Dr. Velez recommends a change in diet and activity as your first steps to lowering your cholesterol. She creates a plan that fits your lifestyle and fitness level. A healthy diet and exercise plan may also promote weight loss, which helps reduce cholesterol.

If your numbers aren’t improved after making a change to your diet and activity, she may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication. There are a number of options, including:

  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
  • Statins
  • Bile-acid binding resins
  • Injectables

What steps can I take to prevent high cholesterol?

High cholesterol is preventable. Steps you can take to reduce your risk include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins
  • Exercising regularly

If you have concerns about your cholesterol and would like to get your numbers checked, call the office or book an appointment online.