Hyperlipidemia is a medical term for elevated levels of fat in the blood, which can get stuck on the walls of arteries and increase the risk of hardening them. This condition’s more common name is high cholesterol. Hyperlipidemia is quite common, especially in the United States.
Hyperlipidemia doesn’t show symptoms until it causes serious illnesses such as heart attack and stroke. These conditions develop when arteries are blocked with plaque buildup, which occurs silently until it is too late.
While the direct symptoms of hyperlipidemia are not always apparent, many risk factors and indirect symptoms can clue you in on the development of this condition. For example, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, pain in the upper chest, numbness in the limbs, and high blood pressure are symptoms of a heart problem. If you experience such symptoms, it is vital to get checked by a cardiologist immediately.
If you suspect you may have hyperlipidemia, a doctor can perform a blood test and a physical examination. A simple blood test can easily identify if you have high cholesterol. Results are typically in within a few days, after which a treatment plan can be created. When a patient is diagnosed with high cholesterol, a blood test is conducted every 3 months to check on how well the condition is controlled. This gives the doctor the opportunity to review your medication and adjust it, depending on how much your cholesterol levels changed from the last time your blood test was done.
Prevention and Treatment
Hyperlipidemia is a fairly easy condition to control and prevent. Your doctor will likely recommend the following:
Lifestyle Changes: Avoid saturated fats found in red meats, bacon, sausage, and full fat dairy products. Stick to leaner proteins like turkey, chicken, and fish. Also, cut out trans fats, which are mostly found on fried foods and processed foods, like crackers, cookies, and cakes. You should also increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for heart health. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
Medications: There are numerous medications on the market to control high cholesterol. The specific medication your doctor will prescribe to control your cholesterol will depend on your overall health, age, preexisting conditions, and the extent of your hyperlipidemia.
Hyperlipidemia Treatment in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Hyperlipidemia is a serious but controllable condition. Unfortunately, it is a condition that is easily ignorable because of the lack of symptoms it causes. This is why frequent checkups with your doctor and occasional blood tests to check your cholesterol levels are important.
If you suspect you may have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test. It only takes a few minutes and can give you great insight into your health.
If you are in search of an experienced doctor who can provide you primary care services and help you control hyperlipidemia, look no further than Intercoastal Medical Group. We have talented and highly experienced family practice and internal medicine providers ready to serve you. To schedule an appointment, call your preferred location or request an appointment online.