Cholesterol plays many important roles in the functioning of the human body. It helps comprise the structure of cells and produce important hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. It even aids in metabolism. Yet, it can also play a detrimental role in health should it become imbalanced.
Cholesterol is an insoluble, waxy-like substance that travels throughout the circulatory system via lipoproteins. In a healthy system, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol makes its way through the bloodstream and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol comes along after to help clear away the excess, delivering it to the liver where it can be processed out of the body. However, when the body begins to produce too much LDL cholesterol and too little HDL cholesterol, there is no longer a way to remove all of the excess. Instead, it sits in the arteries where it begins to build and restrict the path of blood flow.
The narrowing of the arteries and restriction of circulation can lead to many significant health concerns such as stroke, heart attack, and PAD. This makes monitoring and managing cholesterol an incredibly important component of maintaining health. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, action is imperative. Speak with your physician about your treatment options, and consider a health management program such as the Chronic Care Management Program at Cardiovascular Institute of the South.