Hyperlipidemia is usually considered a problem that only affects adults, but high cholesterol is diagnosed in one in five adolescents. At Medical Arts Associates P.S. in Bellevue, Washington, their team of experienced primary care providers works with people of all ages, preventing hyperlipidemia and restoring each person’s health with proactive treatment when needed. You can prevent heart attacks and stroke with comprehensive hyperlipidemia care at Medical Arts Associates P.S. Call the office or request an in-person or telehealth appointment online to learn if your health is at risk.
Hyperlipidemia means that you have too many lipids (fats) circulating in your bloodstream. You could have high triglycerides, cholesterol, or both.
Some triglycerides are stored as fat. Others stay in your bloodstream, joining cholesterol and building fatty plaque in the artery walls.
All cholesterol is the same, but you have good or bad cholesterol based on how it functions in your blood.
Your body turns cholesterol (and triglycerides) into packages called low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and high-density lipoproteins (HDLs).
LDLs are known as bad cholesterol because they stay in your bloodstream, allowing the fats to break free and stick to artery walls.
HDLs are called good cholesterol because they collect excess cholesterol and carry it to your liver. Then your liver eliminates the cholesterol.
Hyperlipidemia leads to clogged and hardened arteries (atherosclerosis) when the fats accumulate in an artery wall. The gradually enlarging plaque increasingly blocks blood flow in the affected artery.
Atherosclerosis can develop in any artery, causing:
Without treatment, these conditions cause heart attacks, strokes, and lower limb amputations.
Atherosclerosis doesn’t cause symptoms until the artery becomes substantially clogged. Then you may have chest or leg pain (depending on the affected artery). For many, a heart attack or stroke is the first sign of a problem. Getting a blood test is the only way to know you have hyperlipidemia before symptoms appear.
Your provider takes a three-pronged approach to preventing and treating hyperlipidemia:
Changing your diet (including limiting sugar), getting more exercise, and losing weight may lower your lipid levels. If you have mild to moderate hyperlipidemia, these modifications are often enough to restore normal blood levels.
Your provider prescribes lipid-lowering medications when lifestyle changes don’t help or your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are dangerously high.
It’s essential to treat the conditions contributing to hyperlipidemia, including high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and an underactive thyroid.
Treating hyperlipidemia prevents heart attacks and clots. To get help, call Medical Arts Associates P.S. or book an appointment online today.