If you have high cholesterol, you have nearly double the risk of heart disease compared to those with normal cholesterol levels. Fortunately, Dr. Orlando Fernandez at the Endocrinology Institute of South Florida has years of experience helping people with high cholesterol from any cause. He also specializes in lowering your cholesterol when a thyroid condition or other hormone problem is to blame. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call one of their offices in Bonita Springs or Fort Myers, Florida.
Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones, digest fats, and maintain healthy cells. When cholesterol levels get too high, however, the excess cholesterol causes health problems.
As cholesterol travels through your bloodstream, it can stick to artery walls. When cholesterol builds up in one area, it gradually develops into an atherosclerotic plaque.
Over time, plaques harden and narrow the artery, blocking blood flow and increasing your risk of:
Before cholesterol can enter your bloodstream, it’s turned into a lipoprotein, which is a package of cholesterol wrapped in a layer of protein. There are different types of lipoproteins, and the type determines whether the cholesterol it carries is good or bad.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) carry a high amount of cholesterol because their job is to deliver cholesterol to cells throughout your body. LDL is called bad cholesterol because it stays in your bloodstream, where it increases your risk of arterial disease.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) have less cholesterol and more protein. HDL is called good cholesterol because it picks up excess cholesterol and carries it out of your bloodstream.
Your cholesterol levels can get too high when certain hormones are out of balance. Two examples include:
Estrogen has several vital roles in your cardiovascular health. It helps maintain the health of your blood vessels, keeping them elastic and relaxed.
Estrogen also regulates cellular function in your heart and lowers levels of LDL, while increasing HDL. As a result, when estrogen levels decline, levels of LDL increase.
Thyroid hormones regulate cholesterol metabolism. When thyroid hormones are too low, a condition called hypothyroidism, cholesterol levels increase. The opposite occurs if you have hyperthyroidism, a condition where you have high levels of thyroid hormones.
When Dr. Fernandez evaluates you, you receive a thorough physical examination and special tests to assess your hormone levels and determine whether you have underlying conditions that could affect cholesterol, such as diabetes.
Your treatment is always customized to address your individual health needs. It may include medications targeted to hormone or other underlying problems or recommendations about changing lifestyle factors that are known to contribute to high cholesterol.