September is Cholesterol Education Awareness Month. According to the CDC, nearly one hundred million adults in the U.S. have borderline high cholesterol, and twenty-eight million of them actually are diagnosed with high cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that the body needs to make hormones and digest fats. The body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but you can also get cholesterol from foods such as egg yolks and fatty meats. Maintaining a diet low in fat, and high in fiber can help maintain healthy cholesterol.
Risk factors that can lead to high cholesterol include: a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol, age, obesity, having diabetes, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, or smoking. Males tend to have more of a risk for high cholesterol, until women reach menopause, then a woman’s chance increases substantially.
High cholesterol is easily overlooked as it alone is symptomless. The CDC recommends people over 20 years old get their cholesterol checked every five years, and more frequently for people with cardiovascular risk factors. Having high blood cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
A cholesterol test is a simple blood test. Mille Lacs Health System offers a variety of Direct Access Testing options through the brand new Laboratory facility just completed during Phase 2 of the Next Chapter: Building Our Better Future expansion project. The cholesterol test can be requested by the patient directly, and with the cholesterol test same-day results are available for just $10. To schedule your Direct Access Testing cholesterol test call 320-532-3154, and press option one to make an appointment.