As a leading family doctor in Westwood, CA, Dr. Sheibani and Dr. Broukhim help patients manage their cholesterol levels with regular screenings, healthy lifestyle changes and medication when needed so men and women can lower their risks for cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol is a sticky, waxlike substance that the body needs for many functions. It's especially important in the structure and function of cells and in the way cells are able to move. It also helps the body produce hormones, digestive juices and vitamin D. Cholesterol comes from the foods we eat, and it's also produced by the liver.
So-called bad cholesterol, or LDL, is the type of cholesterol that can build up along blood vessel walls, making them inflexible and causing plaques to form. In turn, plaques can cause cardiovascular diseases and form clots that can cause strokes. “Good” cholesterol is also referred to as HDL, and it can help lower your levels of LDL to decrease your risk for plaque formation.
Although it's a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, on its own, high cholesterol does not cause any symptoms. Unless you're tested regularly for your cholesterol levels, there's no way to tell if it's high. That means you could be at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and not even know it.
You should have your cholesterol levels tested every year for your annual physical. If you have a family history of heart disease or stroke of other risk factors, the doctors may recommend you have your cholesterol levels tested more often.
Following a healthy diet low in saturated fats and getting more exercise are the most effective ways to lower your “bad” cholesterol levels. When those methods aren't effective, Dr. Sheibani and Dr. Broukhim can prescribe medications to help you lower cholesterol to a healthy level.