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High Cholesterol

Nightwater Medical Center

Primary Care Physician & Concierge Medicine located in the South Market District serving Downtown New Orleans and greater New Orleans, LA

More than 12% of adults in the United States have high cholesterol, which can lead to health complications such as chest pain, heart attack, or stroke. At Nightwater Medical Center in Downtown New Orleans and greater New Orleans, Louisiana, Paul Ikemire, MD, takes an integrative and personalized approach to health. The experienced primary care physician specializes in the diagnosis and management of high cholesterol and focuses on lifestyle changes to improve your numbers and risk of health complications. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book your appointment online today.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat produced by your liver. It’s found in every cell in your body and used to make hormones, vitamin D, and bile, a substance that helps you digest fat. 

Your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs. However, if you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it combines with other substances to form plaque, which sticks to the walls of your blood vessels, causing the passageway to stiffen and narrow.

When traveling in your blood, the fat combines with a protein to create a lipoprotein. There are different types of lipoproteins, including:

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

HDL is “good” cholesterol because it carries the fat out of your blood and to your liver for removal from your body. 

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

LDL is “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL in your blood leads to the development of plaque that affects your blood vessels. 

Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)

VLDL is also “bad” cholesterol and contributes to the formation of plaque. However, VLDL carries triglycerides in addition to cholesterol.

What are the health complications of high cholesterol?

Too much cholesterol in your blood leads to atherosclerosis, which is a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other substances on your blood vessel walls. Atherosclerosis increases your risk of:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Though genetics may predispose some people to high cholesterol, in most cases, the accumulation of fat in the blood develops from lifestyle choices, including unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. 

How is high cholesterol diagnosed?

Nightwater Medical Center specializes in the diagnosis and medical management of high cholesterol. During an exam, your primary care provider asks detailed questions about your medical and family history, usual diet, exercise routine, occupation, sources of stress, and other lifestyle habits and then performs a physical exam.

The primary care practice focuses on preventive health care. It conducts heart disease and cardiovascular screenings to assess health risks, which may include a fasting lipid profile to determine your blood cholesterol levels. 

How is high cholesterol treated?

Nightwater Medical Center takes an integrative and personalized approach to care. The specifics of your high cholesterol treatment plan may depend on the results of your blood lipid testing and your personal and family medical history. 

However, dedicated to improving your overall health and wellness, lifestyle management, and education is a significant part of your high cholesterol treatment plan. These may include nutrition and fitness recommendations. Your primary care provider may also work with specialists to ensure you get the most comprehensive care you need. 

High cholesterol is common but treatable. To schedule an appointment with Nightwater Medical Center, call the office or book online today.