Cholesterol Specialist

William Lee Harris, M.D.

Family Medicine & Geriatrics located in Charleston, WV

Cholesterol isn’t always bad, but when you have too much in your blood, it can cause serious health problems. Dr. William Harris in Charleston, West Virginia, has more than 45 years of experience caring for adult and geriatric patients. Take the necessary steps to manage your cholesterol with Dr. Harris. Call his office to schedule an annual physical exam. He also services the communities of South Charleston, Cross Lanes, Saint Albans, Huntington, Vienna, Summersville, Madison, Clay, Sutton, Fayetteville, Logan, WV.

Cholesterol Q & A

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is in all of your cells. This waxy, fat-like substance is made in your body and also found in certain foods. It’s a necessary component in the building of vitamin D, hormones, and other materials that support your body’s ability to digest food.

Your body has two types of cholesterol: HDL, the “good” kind, and LDL, the “bad” kind. HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, carry cholesterol throughout your body and return it to the liver where it’s removed. LDL, or low-density lipoproteins, leave cholesterol in your blood where it can combine with other substances.

When you have too much cholesterol, you have high cholesterol. Left untreated, it can cause serious health problems.

What are the risks of high cholesterol?

High cholesterol contributes to plaque formation in your blood. Plaque sticks to the walls of your arteries and causes them to narrow or become blocked. This increases your risk of serious health conditions, including:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Peripheral arterial disease

These risks increase if you have other health conditions like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.

High cholesterol usually has no symptoms, so it’s important to have annual physical examinations to review your numbers and evaluate your risks.

What causes high cholesterol?

While some health conditions can lead to high cholesterol, it’s usually the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, such as:

  • A family history and genetic disposition
  • Smoking, which raises your LDL and lowers your HDL
  • Poor diets high in saturated and trans fats that raise your LDL
  • Sedentary lifestyles that lower your HDL because of little exercise

You’re also at risk of developing high cholesterol if you’re overweight, aging, or African American.

How is cholesterol diagnosed and managed?

Dr. Harris measures your cholesterol during a routine blood test. Based on the results, he works with you to develop a personalized approach to make heart-healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercise recommendations, dietary changes, and weight management strategies. You can also use medication to manage high cholesterol.

Call William L. Harris, MD, to have your cholesterol checked today. Same day appointments are available!