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How Does High Cholesterol Hurt Your Heart?

cardiac care

The best way to improve heart health is by engaging in healthy activities, including a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Unfortunately, countless people are plagued by high cholesterol.

But what is high cholesterol and how does it affect your heart health?

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a natural -- and necessary -- part of your body. This waxy substance is produced by the liver in order to help build new cells, digest food, balance your hormone levels, and insulate your sensitive nerves. However, cholesterol can also be introduced to your body through the food you eat. This is particularly common in fatty foods and animal-based foods such as milk and meat.

Why is high cholesterol bad?

When your blood contains too much cholesterol, they're likely to combine with other substances in your blood. This leads to the formation of plaque in your arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. The plaque buildup will slow down blood flow to the heart, depriving it of the necessary oxygen. In more serious cases, some arteries can be completely blocked by plaque buildup. If a part of your heart doesn't receive oxygen, a heart attack is sure to follow. It's estimated that someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds in the United States alone.

What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?

Unfortunately, high cholesterol levels don't result in any symptoms. This means that countless people are often unaware of the amount of cholesterol in their blood. The only way to tell whether or not your cholesterol is high is by relying on a doctor to perform a blood analysis.

Who is more likely to have high cholesterol?

You will be at an increased risk for high cholesterol if you're overweight, have a poor diet, or don't get enough exercise. While healthy habits can lower cholesterol levels, older individuals are more prone to high cholesterol. The risk for high cholesterol also has a hereditary component.

Fortunately, with the right cardiac care, you can find ways to lower bad cholesterol levels. When you're in need of a great family health clinic, rely on the heart care services you can trust; at Ozarks Medical Center, our team of cardiologists works hard to improve your heart health. Call or visit us today for reliable cardiac care and heart healthy information.

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