Hyperlipidemia - including high cholesterol - is dangerous because it doesn’t produce symptoms yet it leads to heart disease. In fact, people with high cholesterol have twice the risk of heart disease compared to those with normal cholesterol levels. Dr. William T. Boulware and Dr. Robert J. Boulware at Boulware Medical Clinic in Liberty, Missouri encourage you to get regular screenings for hyperlipidemia because it’s the only way to catch the problem in its early stages – before you experience chest pain or a heart attack.
Hyperlipidemia refers to high levels of lipids, or fats, in your blood, primarily cholesterol and triglycerides. Hyperlipidemia can be inherited or caused by an underlying health condition, but it’s frequently due to an unhealthy diet and being overweight.
When you consume more calories than you need for energy, the excess calories are converted into fats called triglycerides. Triglycerides constantly circulate in your bloodstream and when levels get too high, they can cause an inflamed pancreas. High triglycerides also increase the risk for heart disease because high triglycerides are associated with low levels of good cholesterol.
Cholesterol fills such vital roles that your body produces about 80% of the cholesterol it needs. The remaining 20% comes from dietary sources such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
Fats travel through your bloodstream in packages called lipoproteins, which consist of cholesterol and triglycerides wrapped up in proteins. The proportion of cholesterol to protein creates different types of lipoproteins – high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins.
High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) are known as good cholesterol because they collect cholesterol and eliminate it from the body. Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) are the bad type of cholesterol because they stay in the bloodstream, carrying cholesterol to cells throughout the body.
When blood levels of bad cholesterol get too high, it sticks to blood vessel walls. Over time, excess cholesterol accumulates and develops into atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. As a result, blood flow is blocked, which raises the risk of blood clots, heart disease, and stroke.
Treatment for high cholesterol begins with making changes to your diet and losing weight, if needed. But when cholesterol stays too high, Dr. Boulware may recommend one of several types of medications, depending on your age, current health, and potential side effects.
Some of the medications commonly used for high cholesterol include:
At Boulware Medical Clinic, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed here. We do not accept insurance for cosmetic procedures at Beautification by Boulware