Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body. It is needed for the body to function normally and is found in all cells of the body. Your body makes enough cholesterol for its needs.
An excess of either total or LDL cholesterol in the blood is a risk for heart disease and atherosclerosis. People can have an excess of cholesterol because of diet and because of the rate at which cholesterol is processed in the body.
When the arteries that carry blood to the heart are affected, coronary artery disease can result. A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery becomes completely blocked. A coronary artery can become blocked either by plaque buildup or by a plaque that ruptures or bursts which causes a clot. Angina can also develop because of plaque buildup. Angina happens when the heart does not receive enough oxygen–rich blood.
If it is found that your cholesterol is high, Dr. Thaxton may prescribe various treatments depending on your risk for developing heart disease. These include lifestyle changes such as diet, weight control, and physical activity. Certain drugs can also be prescribed to manage your cholesterol. Lifestyle changes are usually still recommended with medications. All people can do things to help keep cholesterol within the normal range.