Cholesterol doesn’t always deserve the bad rap it gets. In fact, your cells need cholesterol, and your body makes all that it needs. But you also get cholesterol from the foods you eat, and that can be a problem.
Cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood. If you have too much cholesterol, it starts to build up in your arteries. The buildup can narrow the arteries and make it harder for blood to flow through them – raising your risk of a heart attack and stroke.
Knowing and controlling your cholesterol levels all begins with your Mercy primary care physician. Your doctor will use a blood test called a lipid panel to measure the fats and cholesterol in your blood. High cholesterol levels don't make you feel sick, so a blood test is the only way to know your cholesterol levels.
The best to way to control cholesterol is eating healthy, staying active and losing weight. In addition, your doctor may prescribe medications called statins to control your cholesterol and lower your risk of developing heart problems or having a stroke.