Step 1: The dangers of high cholesterol
St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Men's Center

Step 1: The dangers of high cholesterol
Next Page

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that travels throughout the body in the blood. It has many important functions and is used by all of the cells in your body. It is part of the outside layer of cell membranes and helps in the production of vitamin D and hormones like testosterone and estrogen.

Cholesterol comes from two sources. Our liver produces it, and we obtain some cholesterol in our diet from foods like meat and dairy products.

High cholesterol

Your liver makes most of the cholesterol you need. This guide is primarily about a problem that millions of people have, which is excess cholesterol floating around in their blood. (Healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels are defined in Step 5, Cholesterol Testing.)

There are steps you can take to keep your cholesterol under control. Starting at about age 20, all adults should get a blood test on a regular basis to see if their cholesterol levels are in good shape.

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, the excess can build up on the inner walls of arteries throughout the body, forming scar tissue and plaque (fatty deposits in the arteries). This build-up of plaque is referred to as atherosclerosis.

The plaque deposits harden and narrow the wall of the artery, reducing or stopping blood flow. In addition, the hard and inflexible artery may tear. The body forms a blood clot to try to repair the tear, but the clot may block blood flow too.

When blood flow is blocked because of narrowed arteries or a clot, serious tissue damage can occur. The result can be a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular problem.

To continue to the next step of the cholesterol guide, click "next" below.


Next Page

Review Date: 12/31/2012
Reviewed By: Glenn Gandelman, MD, MPH, FACC Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College; Private Practice specializing in Cardiovascular Disease in Greenwich, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs

Brain & Spine
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile