Mark Calendars for Cholesterol Screening
September 10, 2014
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 71 million Americans have high cholesterol– but may not know it. High blood cholesterol usually does not have symptoms, making it difficult for most people to detect on their own. Too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
September is National Cholesterol Education Month and a good time to resolve to get your cholesterol screened. Midwestern University’s Multispecialty Clinics offer cholesterol screening for adults as part of an annual physical exam or during an office visit.
“We recommend healthy adults get their cholesterol levels tested every five years,” said Kimberly A. Huntington-Alfano, D.O., one of the physicians in the Family Medicine Department at the Multispecialty Clinic in Downers Grove. “The lipid profile test helps determine the levels of both high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or ‘good’ cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body.”
Dr. Huntington-Alfano said physicians can work with patients to create an “action plan” to lower their cholesterol which often includes the following lifestyle changes:
- Eating heart-healthy foods – choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Maintaining a healthy weight – if you are overweight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body mass can help significantly reduce cholesterol levels
- Exercising regularly – add some physical activity to your everyday life
- Not smoking – can help improve your HDL cholesterol level and overall health
In addition to these lifestyle changes, some patients may also require medication to help lower their cholesterol. Patients should always consult their doctor before embarking on any new healthcare routines.
For more information on how to keep your cholesterol in check and stay healthy, contact the Family Medicine Department at the Multispecialty Clinic in Illinois at 630-743-4500 or in Arizona at 623-537-6000.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not for use in diagnosing any condition. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment and does not establish a provider/patient relationship. Always consult your own physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions regarding any possible medical condition.