High Cholesterol Specialist

Lilia Hernandez, MD -  - Internal Medicine

Lilia Hernandez, MD

Internal Medicine located in Brownsville, TX

More than 100 million adults in the United States are at an increased risk for heart disease due to their high cholesterol levels. At the office of Lilia H. Hernandez MD in Brownsville, Texas, custom treatment plans are available to reduce your bad cholesterol levels and protect your heart health. Whether you need a cholesterol screening or help managing high cholesterol, Dr. Hernandez can help. Call the office or request an appointment online today.

High Cholesterol Q & A

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance your body produces that circulates in your blood and attaches to proteins to form a lipoprotein. In addition to the cholesterol your liver makes, you also get cholesterol from your diet.

There are two types of cholesterol:

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

HDL is the “good” cholesterol that picks up excess cholesterol in your blood and returns it to your liver to be removed as waste.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

LDL is also known as “bad” cholesterol. LDL transports cholesterol particles throughout your body but can build up in your artery walls. This causes the vessel to narrow and harden, which interferes with proper blood circulation.

When you have too much LDL, your risk for heart disease and other chronic health issues increases.

Why do I have high cholesterol?

You may have high cholesterol because of underlying genetic factors that prevent cells from removing LDL or cause your body to produce too much cholesterol.

In addition to your family history, you may also have high cholesterol due to:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of exercise
  • Eating foods with saturated fat

You may also be at increased risk for high cholesterol as you get older and your body chemistry changes.

Because high cholesterol doesn’t cause symptoms, you should have routine cholesterol screenings, especially if you have a family history or other risk factors for the condition. Testing involves a lipid panel, a kind of blood work, to evaluate your cholesterol levels.

How is high cholesterol treated?

Your treatment plan for high cholesterol depends on the results of your lipid panel. Initially, Dr. Hernandez works with you on lifestyle changes that can reduce your bad cholesterol levels naturally. This typically involves incorporating exercise into your daily life and eating a low-fat, heart-healthy diet.

If these changes aren’t enough to control your cholesterol, Dr. Hernandez may recommend taking a statin, a medicine that blocks a substance your liver needs to make cholesterol. They also help your body reabsorb excess cholesterol to prevent the narrowing and hardening of your arteries.

Other medications are also available to lower your cholesterol and Dr. Hernandez can determine which are right for you during your evaluation.

If you have a family history or other risk factors for high cholesterol, request a lipid panel by calling the office or book an appointment online today.