Your body needs lipids to stay healthy. Even cholesterol fills essential roles, from supporting cellular structure and function to producing sex hormones. But too much cholesterol in the bloodstream leads to cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream in the form of a lipoprotein. The ratio of protein to lipids in each cholesterol package determines whether it’s a high-density lipoprotein (HDL), a low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or one of several other types of cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins.
LDL is called bad cholesterol because cholesterol from this lipoprotein sticks to blood vessel walls. HDL is known as the good cholesterol because these lipoproteins take LDL out of the bloodstream.
High levels of LDL and low levels of HDL increase the chance that cholesterol will build up, block blood flow, and cause angina or heart disease. A stroke or heart attack can occur when a piece of hardened plaque breaks off.
Your lipid levels must be determined to prevent and diagnose cardiovascular disease. Dr. Jindal performs advanced lipid testing because standard tests don’t always reflect accurate levels.
Just measuring LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol isn’t enough to predict your overall risk of heart attack and strokes. Advanced lipid testing gives Dr. Jindal additional information to ensure accurate evaluation and treatment.
Two of the most common risk factors measured in advanced testing include:
The apoB test measures the total amount of all the different types of cholesterol that can lead to atherosclerosis, which involves more than just LDL. Where standard tests only measure LDL, apoB tests also reveal the amount of four other types of cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins. High apoB indicates an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, even if you have normal LDL cholesterol.
Some types of cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins consist of differently sized particles. Knowing the precise amount of each type helps predict cardiovascular risks.
Cholesterol treatment begins with therapeutic lifestyle changes and includes medications as needed, depending on your blood tests and the effect of those lifestyle changes.
These include a healthy diet, weight management, and physical activity. Losing weight, consuming more soluble fiber, limiting cholesterol, and using unsaturated fats all help lower cholesterol.
Statins are often prescribed to lower cholesterol, but other medication options include bile acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, fibrates, and ezetimibe.
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