To prevent heart disease, it’s important to understand how to manage your cholesterol. At his Cumming, Georgia, internal medicine practice, Matthew J. Markey, MD, PA, offers routine cholesterol testing and treatment options, including smoking cessation resources and medications, to protect your heart health. To find out more about improving your diet and reducing cholesterol, call or book an appointment online today.
Your blood contains a wax-like substance known as cholesterol that is essential for building healthy cells.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are the “good” cholesterol; they carry extra cholesterol out of your blood and take it back to your liver for disposal.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are known as “bad” cholesterol; they transport other cholesterol throughout your body and can build up in the arterial walls.
When these deposits of fat begin to build up, your blood vessels become narrow and may begin to harden, making it difficult for your blood to flow properly. When your heart doesn’t get the blood it needs to function optimally, you are at increased risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.
High cholesterol is often the result of an unhealthy lifestyle and poor dietary choices. Eating saturated and trans fats can significantly increase your cholesterol levels. Other factors for high cholesterol include:
Smoking cigarettes causes damage to your blood vessels as well, making them more susceptible to a buildup of fat deposits. Smoking may also lower your levels of HDL.
Dr. Markey uses a blood test to determine the levels of both good and bad cholesterol in your blood. Before the test, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything for 12 hours to ensure accurate results.
If your cholesterol levels are slightly elevated, Dr. Markey may recommend certain lifestyle changes, such as incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet and avoiding processed foods with trans and saturated fats. If you smoke, Dr. Markey can provide resources to help you quit.
If these changes aren’t enough to improve your cholesterol levels, Dr. Markey may recommend medications, such as statins, which prevent your liver from making cholesterol.
To ensure your cholesterol is well-controlled and monitor any cholesterol medications you take, Dr. Markey schedules routine blood work and follow-up visits.
Schedule a consultation online or by calling the office directly to learn more about reducing high cholesterol.