Cholesterol - what to ask your doctorHyperlipidemia - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor about cholesterol
Your body needs cholesterol to work properly. When you have extra cholesterol in your blood, it builds up inside the walls of your arteries (blood vessels), including the ones that go to your heart. This buildup is called plaque.
Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. ...
A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack. " If blood flow is cut off for longer th...
Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your cholesterol.
What is my cholesterol level? What should my cholesterol level be?
Cholesterol is a fat (also called a lipid) that your body needs to work properly. Too much bad cholesterol can increase your chance of getting heart...
- What are HDL (good) cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol?
- Does my cholesterol need to be better?
- How often should I have my cholesterol checked?
What medicines am I taking to treat high cholesterol?
Your body needs cholesterol to work properly. But extra cholesterol in your blood causes deposits to build up on the inside walls of your blood vess...
- Do they have any side effects?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- Are there foods, other medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements that may change how well my cholesterol medicines work?
What is a heart-healthy diet?
Your body needs cholesterol to work well. But cholesterol levels that are too high can harm you. Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter...
- What are low-fat foods?
- What types of fat are OK for me to eat?
- How can I read a food label to know how much fat it has?
- Is it ever OK to eat something that is not heart healthy?
- What are some ways to eat healthy when I go to a restaurant? Can I ever go to a fast-food restaurant again?
- Do I need to limit how much salt I use? Can I use other spices to make my food taste good?
- Is it OK to drink any alcohol?
What can I do to stop smoking?
Should I start an exercise program?
- Is it safe for me to exercise on my own?
- Where should I exercise, inside or outside?
- Which activities are better to start with?
- Are there activities or exercises that are not safe for me?
- Can I exercise most days?
- How long and how hard can I exercise?
- What symptoms may I need to watch out for?
Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(25 Pt B):2960-2984. PMID: 24239922 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24239922/.
Genest J, Libby P. Lipoprotein disorders and cardiovascular disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 48.
Hensrud DD, Heimburger DC. Nutrition's interface with health and disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 202.
Mozaffarian D. Nutrition and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 49.
Ridker PM, Libby P, Buring JE. Risk markers and the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 45.
Stone NJ, Robinson JG, Lichtenstein AH, et al. 2013 ACC/AHA guideline on the treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(25 Pt B):2889-2934. PMID: 24239923 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24239923/.
Understanding cholesterol results
Plaque buildup in arteries - illustration
A heart attack or stroke may occur when an area of plaque (atherosclerosis) ruptures and a clot forms over the location, blocking the flow of blood to the organ's tissues.
Plaque buildup in arteries
Review Date: 6/25/2020
Reviewed By: Micaela Iantorno, MD MSc FAHA RPVI, Interventional Cardiologist at Mary Washington Hospital Center, Fredericksburg, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.