Monday, August 31, 2009
Cholesterol can be both good and bad, so itís important to learn what cholesterol is, how it affects your health and how to manage your blood cholesterol levels. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about cholesterol in todayís 60 Second Housecall.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs for many important functions, such as producing new cells. If you eat too many high-cholesterol foods or too much saturated fat or you have an inherited condition, your cholesterol levels may be too high. This increases your risk for hardening of the arteries, and can lead to life-threatening illnesses, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack or stroke.
Your body gets cholesterol from two sourcesóthe foods you eat and your liver.
Controllable risk factors for high cholesterol include medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism. Others include being overweight, smoking, not exercising and eating a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Treatment is based on your risk of developing coronary artery disease. If you have a high risk for or already have coronary artery disease, you will probably benefit more from medications than people who have a lower risk. If you have a lower risk, lifestyle changes may be more appropriate and cost-effective.
For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.