Cholesterol tests in Napa and Benicia – Hyperlipidemia
Urgent Care and TeleHealth
Occupational Medicine & Urgent Care located in Napa, CA & Benicia, CA
At Urgent Care + TeleHealth, we offer same-day appointments for cholesterol testing. At our urgent care clinics in Napa and Benicia, we also accommodate walk-ins for cholesterol checks. You can book your appointment and register on our website, which saves time and allows you to pick a time that’s convenient for you. We know that your health privacy is critical and our urgent care clinics ensure your privacy by never sending health reports through your employer.
If you need a cholesterol check, consider visiting one of our urgent care clinics. Testing and treatment is faster and more affordable than going to an emergency room and appointments are often easier compared to a primary care provider. We take most health insurance plans and also offer discounts if you use your HSA or FSA account.
What is High Cholesterol?
In your blood, there are three kinds of fats. Triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) form what is called cholesterol. High cholesterol, also called hyperlipidemia, happens when you have too much of the LDL or not enough of the HDL circulating in your blood. LDL can accumulate in layers of fatty deposits in your arteries. HDL removes LDL. The LDL deposits obstruct arteries and put you at risk of heart disease.
Doctors recommend a total cholesterol level of less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). LDL should be less than 100 mg/dL, and HDL should be greater than or equal to 60 mg/dL. Triglyceride levels should be less than 150 mg/dL.
The effects of hyperlipidemia get worse as people age. Anyone age 20 or older should have their cholesterol checked once each year. The sooner you know if you have high cholesterol, the sooner you can take action to lower it and protect your health.
How Do You Know If You Have High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol doesn’t cause any symptoms. The only way to know whether or not you have hyperlipidemia is to go to the doctor for a blood test. The blood test to measure cholesterol levels is simple and quick.
What Are the Symptoms of High Cholesterol?
Although hyperlipidemia doesn’t have any symptoms, people with large amounts of cholesterol in their arteries will start to develop symptoms of their condition. When arteries are filled with cholesterol, they get stiff. This may cause chest pain. The reduced blood flow in the affected arteries may cause shortness of breath and fatigue. When an artery is blocked with cholesterol deposits, this may lead to a heart attack or stroke.
What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for High Cholesterol?
Your body makes cholesterol and gets cholesterol from the food you eat. Hyperlipidemia tends to run in families, and scientists are studying which genes play a role in the amount of cholesterol the body makes. Medical conditions may cause hyperlipidemia. Kidney disease, hypothyroidism, lupus, HIV and AIDS and diabetes may lead to high cholesterol. Medications prescribed to treat HIV and AIDS, high blood pressure, acne, cancer and irregular heartbeats often cause cholesterol levels to increase.
There are many risk factors for developing hyperlipidemia. Some of those risk factors are controllable, and others can’t be controlled. The controllable risk factors associated with high cholesterol include eating a diet high in saturated or trans fats, living a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drinking too much alcohol and having a body mass index greater than or equal to 30. The only risk factor for hyperlipidemia you can’t control is age. High cholesterol is more common in people over the age or 65.
What Are the Treatments for High Cholesterol?
Younger people without any other conditions that put them at risk for heart disease may try lifestyle changes in order to lower their cholesterol levels. Daily exercise, eating a diet low in saturated fats, reducing or eliminating alcohol intake and quitting smoking will help lower cholesterol levels. Losing weight also helps control hyperlipidemia. When behavioral changes alone aren’t enough to drop cholesterol levels, doctors prescribe medication. There are different medications to lower LDL and triglycerides and to raise HDL.
What Are the Classes of High Cholesterol Medications?
Statins are the most commonly used type of cholesterol medication. They block your liver’s ability to produce cholesterol. Statins allow the liver to remove cholesterol from the blood. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors drastically reduce your small intestine’s ability to absorb cholesterol from the food you eat. This class of drug can be used with statins. Bempedoic acid works like statins and can be combined with them to yield big drops in LDL. Bile-acid-binding resins indirectly lower LDL by binding to acids used in bile formation. Your liver then has to use cholesterol to make more bile acids. Fibrates raise HDL and lower triglycerides. Although rarely used, PCSK9 inhibitors work well at lowering cholesterol in people at risk of heart disease and who can’t tolerate the side effects of statins.
What Happens If High Cholesterol Goes Untreated?
Untreated hyperlipidemia may cause a blockage in an artery. If the artery is in your heart, this causes a heart attack. A blocked artery in your brain causes a stroke. The buildup may also cause blood clots to form. They may break off and cause a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or go to your lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
To schedule a cholesterol test or get treatment for hyperlipidemia in the Napa and Benicia areas, contact one of our urgent care clinics today.