High Cholesterol

Jose L. Valdez, MD -  - Family Practitioner

Jose L. Valdez, MD

Family Practitioner located in Santa Ana, CA

High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and other concerning complications. In Santa Ana, California, Dr. Jose L. Valdez helps his patients protect their heart health and lower cholesterol to safe, normal levels with an array of individualized treatment methods. Lifestyle changes and medications can go a long way in treating and managing high cholesterol and enhancing your wellness. Learn more from Dr. Valdez and his friendly medical staff. Call the office today to book your appointment and talk cholesterol.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is high cholesterol?

If your LDL levels are above the normal range, you have high cholesterol. The term high cholesterol refers to excess LDL, or bad cholesterol, and not enough HDL, or good cholesterol, in your bloodstream.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a substance found in the fats in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells but having high cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and other health complications. High levels of HDL cholesterol and low levels of LDL cholesterol are a sign of a healthy heart.

LDL, or low-density lipoproteins, is the “bad cholesterol,” because LDL can build up in the walls of your arteries and cause them to harden and narrow. For this reason, you don’t want too much LDL cholesterol in your blood.

HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, is the “good cholesterol,” because HDL picks up excess cholesterol and returns it to your liver.

What are the complications of high cholesterol?

High cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to develop in your blood vessels. Gradually, these fatty deposits prevent enough blood from flowing through your arteries. When your heart doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood, your risk of a heart attack peaks.

Lack of blood flowing through your arteries can also result in decreased blood flow to your brain and a stroke.

What are the risk factors for high cholesterol?

Eating a poor diet high in saturated and trans fats can increase your risk of high cholesterol. Other risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Excess alcohol consumption

High cholesterol typically occurs over time and is caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, making it both preventable and treatable in most cases.

What are the treatments for high cholesterol?

High cholesterol doesn’t show any signs and can only be detected by a blood test. If Dr. Valdez gives you a high cholesterol diagnosis, you’re likely to require more frequent cholesterol testing than usual.

Once Dr. Valdez diagnoses you with high cholesterol following a blood test, he discusses your personalized treatment options. Treatments for high cholesterol include:

  • Stress reduction
  • Regular exercise
  • Quitting smoking
  • Medications, such as statins
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding trans fats and processed foods
  • Eating fruits and vegetables rich in dietary fiber
  • Choosing healthier fats in your diet, such as olive oil and nuts

Medication and healthy lifestyle changes can effectively manage high cholesterol and reduce your risks. To find out your cholesterol levels, call the office to book your appointment with Dr. Valdez.