People with high blood cholesterol are at a much greater risk of getting heart disease. Because this does not often cause symptoms on its own, many people are unaware their cholesterol level is too high and do not seek treatment.

The buildup of cholesterol is called plaque. Over time, plaque buildup can cause hardening of the arteries, a dangerous condition known as atherosclerosis. This harmful plaque can burst (rupture), releasing cholesterol and fat into the bloodstream and may cause your blood to clot. A clot can block the flow of blood, which puts you at high risk for angina or a heart attack.

Working with your doctor to reduce your blood cholesterol level is the key to preventing serious heart problems and may slow down, reduce or even stop plaque from accumulating. Lifestyle changes to lower your reading include eating a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet; exercising; quitting smoking; drinking alcohol in moderation; and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure. Contact Dr. Helmy or make an appointment at one of our Los Angeles area offices to find treatment options for high cholesterol or plaque buildup.