At Internal Medicine Associates of Sand Canyon, Dr. Ahsan Rashid and his staff offer both testing and the latest treatments for high cholesterol and other types of chronic health conditions. Patients living in the Irvine, California area are encouraged to visit Dr. Rashid for all of their diagnostic and health care needs.

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What do HDL and LDL refer to?

HDL and LDL refer to the types of lipids that make up your cholesterol level. HDL, or high-density lipids, are the good lipids that help the body function efficiently. LDL, or low-density lipids, are the bad lipids that can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Eating foods that increase your HDL numbers may also help lower the numbers of the LDL type of lipids. Dr. Rashid and his staff can design a diet plan to help you control your cholesterol levels without the use of medications. Regular cholesterol monitoring will help a patient adjust their diet to include the right type of foods. With a medically supervised weight loss program, Dr. Rashid will monitor your cholesterol levels and adjust both diet and exercise to achieve better numbers.

How is high cholesterol treated?

High cholesterol is often treated with medications, but establishing positive lifestyle habits will also help reduce cholesterol levels and improve a patient’s health. Lifestyle changes can take time. Dr. Rashid may suggest medications until lifestyle changes start to eliminate the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Eliminating the use of tobacco and including a regular exercise routine will also help support the body’s efforts to work more efficiently. When it comes to controlling cholesterol, however, the main focus should be on a person’s diet. Eating fresh foods and avoiding unhealthy cooking habits, like frying, are the key to lowering cholesterol levels.

What are the long-term effects of high cholesterol?

If a person’s cholesterol levels aren’t brought under control, several things can happen in the body that will increase a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke. Because cholesterol travels through the bloodstream, it can take up space that would normally be used for nutrients and oxygen. As the lipids flow through the circulatory system, the blood becomes thick and sticky causing it to form deposits along the walls. As the deposits grow larger, they can begin to obstruct the flow of blood to the heart and the brain. If the heart is deprived of oxygen, a portion of the cardiac muscle will die, often resulting in a heart attack. If an obstruction occurs in the brain it may be deprived of blood, oxygen, and nutrients resulting in a stroke.