Cholesterol

Catalina A. Grija, MD -  - Internal Medicine

Dacia Medical

Catalina A. Grija, MD

Internal Medicine located in Oak Park, IL

Cholesterol Management
Elevated cholesterol can lead to serious health conditions, such as heart disease. Catalina A. Grija, MD, of Dacia Medical in Oak Park, Illinois, creates a comprehensive, individualized care plan that’s designed to keep your heart healthy and your cholesterol levels within normal range. Contact the office today to set up an appointment.

Choesterol Q & A

by Catalina A. Grija, MD

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is one of the substances produced by our body to keep us healthy. The liver manufactures all the cholesterol we’ll ever need, even if we never ate another bite of cholesterol-containing food. The cholesterol we get from certain foods we eat — such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products — also enters the bloodstream and body. Further, the liver kicks into high gear and produces even more cholesterol when we consume saturated or solid fats such as butter, cheese, and cream.

Is there really good and bad cholesterol?

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is the bad cholesterol that can stick to artery walls and cause blockages that may eventually lead to heart attack and stroke. High density lipoprotein (HDL) is the good cholesterol. Its job is to attach itself to LDL and carry it away from arteries and preserve your health. Problems occur, however, when there’s too much LDL for the HDL to manage.     

What can I do?

See Dr. Grija for a physical exam and lab tests that include a cholesterol check so you know what your levels and risks are. Dr. Grija also considers other factors when she’s weighing your risk of developing high cholesterol and associated heart disease or stroke. High cholesterol can be hereditary, but is most often associated with lifestyle factors such as:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excess weight
  • Poor nutrition with a diet that’s high in saturated fats
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

If your LDL is high and your HDL is low, Dr. Grija may recommend a lipid lowering medication. Because she takes a comprehensive approach to health care, she might also recommend:

  • Education regarding cholesterol and healthy versus unhealthy fats
  • Regular exercise to increases HDL
  • Weight loss
  • A nutritious diet that’s rich in HDL-friendly foods, such as nuts, whole grains, beans and legumes
  • Dietary supplements
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