What Is Hyperlipidemia?
Hyperlipidemia, more commonly referred to as high cholesterol, is a condition in which there are high levels of fat particles—lipids—in the blood. Lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides can deposit in blood vessel walls and restrict blood flow, creating a risk of heart attack and stroke.
Triglycerides are lipids that are made when the body stores extra calories it doesn’t need for energy. These lipids can also come directly from an individual’s diet and are in foods like red meat and whole-fat dairy. A diet that is high in refined sugar, fructose and alcohol also raises triglycerides.
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Cholesterol is produced naturally in your liver, as it’s a compound every cell in the body uses. Similar to triglycerides, cholesterol is found in fatty foods like eggs, red meat and cheese. LDL and HDL, also referred to as “bad” and “good” cholesterol, respectively.
Similar to hypertension, hyperlipidemia doesn’t cause any symptoms. Diagnosis is done by routine blood tests, which is recommended at least every five years for adults.
Hyperlipidemia is caused by having too much bad cholesterol, LDL, which builds up in the artery walls, making them hard and narrow. Unhealthy lifestyle choices can also raise the amount of LDL you have and reduce the amount of HDL. Being overweight, eating excess fatty foods, smoking, lack of exercise are all risk factors for hyperlipidemia.
Familial Hyperlipidemia is a type of hyperlipidemia that you can inherit from your family. People with this type of hyperlipidemia can develop high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels in their teens and receive a diagnosis in their 20s or 30s. This condition increases the risk of early coronary artery disease and heart attack.
Unlike typical hyperlipidemia, familial combined hyperlipidemia may have symptoms of cardiovascular disease after a few years like chest pain, heart attack, cramping in the calves while walking, sores on toes that don’t heal properly and stroke symptoms.
How We Can Help
Treatments for hyperlipidemia include medication, a healthy diet, and exercise. In addition to your physicians, pharmacists are ready available to assist patients identify and manage their LDL levels and goals. Pharmacists can help teach patients about the condition, the impact of diet and lifestyle changes and the mechanism of action, administration and adverse effects of the anti-hyperlipidemics prescribed. Pharmacists can also monitor compliance, laboratory test values and the response to treatment.
With over 25 years of combined experience, our team includes an Advanced Practice Pharmacist, a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, and expert staff members who are all dedicated to helping patients achieve their health goals. With their vast knowledge and experience in working with patients of all ages, we’re here to ensure all of our patients are well taken care of.
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