High cholesterol puts you at greater risk of developing heart disease. Protect yourself by knowing your numbers and, if they are high, taking action to ensure they’re at a healthier range. At DRS Medical Associates in Jersey City, New Jersey, Dr. Ray Santos and Dr. Ritu Sharma will monitor your cholesterol and help you with lifestyle advice, and medication when necessary, to get and keep your numbers in the safe zone.
After age 20, have your cholesterol tested at least once every 5 years. It requires a fasting test, meaning you shouldn’t eat or drink anything, except for water, for 9-12 hours prior to having your blood drawn. The test can be done in office at DRS Medical Associates.
It’s desirable to have a total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL. The mg/dL represents milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. A borderline high level of cholesterol measures between 200 and 239 mg/dL; high cholesterol is diagnosed at 240 mg/dL.
LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. This is the “bad” cholesterol that contributes to cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries. The standards for LDL levels are as follows:
HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and is considered “good.” It actually helps stop cholesterol from building up and clogging your arteries. When your HDL is too low, it puts you at risk for developing heart disease. Lower than 40 mg/dL is low and levels at 60 mg/dL reduces your risk of heart disease. It’s ideal to have a HDL number higher than your LDL number.
When you have high cholesterol, and especially too much LDL, it starts to accumulate in the walls of your arteries. As these pathways for your blood get narrower it can slow the delivery of blood throughout your body and back to your heart. If this leads to a blockage, you may have a heart attack.
Factors you can’t control, like age and genetics, contribute to higher cholesterol levels. But, you can adjust your lifestyle to ensure that your diet, weight, and a sedentary lifestyle don’t contribute to higher cholesterol levels.
Your body produces cholesterol naturally and eating cholesterol-laden foods and ones high in calories encourages your body to amp up this production, potentially to unhealthy levels.
Being overweight increases your risk of high cholesterol, too.
Physical activity actually encourages the production of HDL and discourages LDL, so it helps bring your cholesterol to healthier levels and ratios.
Medications may help reduce high cholesterol, too.
At DRS Medical Associates, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"Dr. Sharma was friendly, informative and straight forward when it came to health concerns. She took time to get all the medical history and shared a lot of knowledge."
"I have been to DRS several times and seen Dr Ritu. She is a very very good doctor who truly cares about her patients. "
"Not once did I feel rush and both doctors took their time to answer my questions. I didn't leave there thinking that they were pushing me into anything either. "
"I am so thankful for his passion and knowledge. He is officially our family doctor here in JC with a great location and hours!"
"I have been with Medical associates for the last 2 months and like them a lot. They respected my wishes and made sure I got the correct treatment."
"Our experience has been with Dr. Santos. He is a patient and kind physician who listens and provides compassionate feedback about childcare."
"Dr. Santos was great. He took the time to understand all my symptoms and any any history since I was a new patient. Did not feel rushed and felt very comfortable."
"I see Dr. Sharma and she has always been very patient in listening to my history and accurate with her diagnosis."
"Dr Sharma is really good doctor. She is thorough, very diligent, and takes her time to listen before arriving at a diagnosis. Highly recommend."
"Excellent doctors!!! Wonderful staff !!"
"The office is very clean, comfortable, and nicely decorated. I did not wait at all to be seen. Highly recommend this practice!"
"Greatest service! Best docs! Dr. Ritu & Dr. Ray are extremely friendly and patience. Highly recommended"
"I had a great experience with Dr. Sharma. I did not have to wait and she was very thorough. I have now found a doctor I love!!!"
"Dr. Ray cares about giving his patients quality service and attention. Highly recommended."
"Her bedside manner is awesome. She takes the time to explain things and answer questions and not trying to rush you out like other doctors."