Over 102 million Americans have high cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. At Sunshine Cardiovascular & Vein in New Port Richey, Florida, Satish Sivasankaran, MD, MRCP(UK), FACC, MBA, or Dr. Siva to his patients, can diagnose high cholesterol and offers customized treatments to lower your cholesterol levels and restore your health. If you're concerned about your cholesterol levels or heart health, call Sunshine Cardiovascular & Vein, or book an appointment online today.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance your body uses to make new cells. Your liver makes cholesterol, including high-density lipoprotein (HDL - the good cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein (LDL - the bad cholesterol), and triglycerides — a lipid that provides the energy for cell repair and production.
LDL cholesterol travels through your bloodstream, depositing itself so your body can use it. Your HDL cholesterol follows it around, collecting any unused cholesterol and taking it back to your liver.
Your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs, but the standard American diet includes so much fat and additional cholesterol that your body can become overloaded. When you have too much LDL cholesterol and not enough HDL, the waxy substance remains in your blood vessels and can form plaque. This plaque hardens and blocks your arteries, causing high blood pressure and increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
High cholesterol doesn't cause noticeable symptoms. Many people don't know they have high cholesterol until they have a heart attack or stroke.
You should have your cholesterol checked at least once every five years with a complete blood panel. This simple blood test is the best way to identify elevated cholesterol levels before they cause health problems.
At Sunshine Cardiovascular & Vein, Dr. Siva usually takes a conservative approach to lower cholesterol. He often combines lifestyle modifications and medication as a first step. For example, cutting excess fat from your diet and losing weight can significantly improve your health.
Dr. Siva prescribes statins to lower LDL levels and your overall cholesterol numbers. Statins block the liver enzyme that produces cholesterol. They also help stabilize the plaque in your arteries. That prevents plaque from rupturing and causing a heart attack.
Sometimes statins can elevate other liver enzymes, so Dr. Siva monitors your health with regular blood tests and checkups. Make sure to mention any side effects like muscle cramps, so Dr. Siva can adjust your prescription as needed.
Dr. Siva aims to reduce your LDL cholesterol numbers to 100 mg/dl or lower. If you've already had a heart attack, he tries to decrease your LDL numbers or lower than 70mg/dl if possible.
PCSK9 proteins are also made in the liver. They break down your LDL receptors, so you have less of them, which increases your cholesterol levels.
Your LDL receptors help take cholesterol out of your blood and return it to your liver to break down. The PCSK9 inhibitor injections increase your active LDL receptors, which helps keep your blood cholesterol low.
PCSK9 inhibitor injections are helpful when you can't take statins, but aren't suitable for everyone. Dr. Siva might also combine PCSK9 inhibitor injections with statins. Depending on your individual needs, Dr. Siva provides subcutaneous PCSK9 inhibitor injections every 2-4 weeks.
Call Sunshine Cardiovascular & Vein, or schedule a consultation online, for personalized treatment plans to lower cholesterol.
We are located in 5340 Gulf Drive, Suite 101, New Port Richey, FL 34652. Call us to book your appointment today.