Scientific terms can be a bit daunting to comprehend, and such uncertainty can even create anxiety. That is true when some people first come to realize that they have one or more risk factor for heart disease.“What is hypercholesterolemia?” you may ask. This article will look at some of the things you can do to understand and treat this condition before it goes out of control.
- Do Your Research
The internet has provided a range of resources at your fingertips. Try running a search for the following natural phrase: “what is familial hypercholesterolemia and how is it inherited.” Now look at the results. Focus on visiting websites that end with .org and .edu, as they’re less likely to have a commercial bias. You may find articles and videos to help you see how common the FH condition is and what others have done to manage it. This helps take a lot of the fear out of the unknown. It also helps you prepare for the next step.
- See a Doctor
Those who suspect they’ll test positive for FH should make an appointment with their primary care doctor as soon as possible. He or she can evaluate you for the condition and refer you to a specialist if needed. This offers you another excellent opportunity to ask “What is hypercholesterolemia?” and get a trustworthy response. The clinic’s lab should be able to provide you with information ahead of time to help you prepare for a blood test that yields accurate results. Oftentimes it includes fasting for a particular number of hours. This test is vital for understanding your current cholesterol levels.
- Follow Through With Your Follow-Up Appointment
During your first trip to the clinic, a staff member probably asked you about making a second appointment. Likely you’ll receive the test results before said visit, by means of a phone call, email or letter. In any case, though, the next appointment should not be minimized; rather, it is key to understanding what actions you should take going forward. Of course, if your cholesterol comes out low, perhaps you’re not affected by FH.Still, you may have another condition calling for your attention. That’s why beyond a quick phone conversation or email exchange you should follow-through on your next scheduled visit.
- Put Recommendations Into Action
By this point, you may have already done additional research and had at least one follow-up visit with your physician. Now it’s up to you to follow through with the treatment plan you’ve been provided. Some people are given prescription medicine to take. Many patients are successful with taking their pills on-time when they use reminders. A large calendar on the kitchen wall helps some to keep track of what they need to do each day, allowing them to check off items as they complete them. Others use their smartphone to send an alert at a specific time each day. Use whatever system works best for you.
Understanding what is hypercholesterolemia isn’t difficult when you take time to do research, visit the doctor and follow-up with your physician. When you follow-through with the doctor’s recommendations, you’ll have a good chance of lowering your bad cholesterol and thereby reduce your risk of disease.