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About High cholesterol

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Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body. There are three primary types of cholesterol: HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is sometimes referred to as “good cholesterol” because it carries cholesterol back to your liver, which then removes it from your body. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) are often referred to as “bad cholesterol” because they both lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries.

Cholesterol is important. Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones, produce vitamin D, and make healthy cells. However, your body generally makes all the cholesterol it needs, and excess cholesterol in your blood may join with other substances to form plaque. This plaque sticks to the walls of your arteries and can lead to an array of serious health conditions, such as coronary artery disease, blood clots, chest angina, heart attack, stroke, and more.

Common Medication
Treatment Options

Healthy lifestyle changes such as a clean diet rich in vegetables and whole grains, and getting enough exercise are foundational in lowering high cholesterol, and often these will be enough. Sometimes these changes won’t yield the desired results, however, and your doctor may recommend you take medication, as well.

There are many types of medication and several possible combinations available to treat high cholesterol. The prescription you receive will depend on your risk factors, your age, your health, and other variables. Below you will find a list of commonly prescribed medications to help you and your doctor discuss a treatment plan that is right for you.

In addition to medication, your doctor may recommend the following as part of a prevention and treatment plan for high cholesterol. Note that you should always defer to your doctor before beginning any treatment plan.
FAQs

Cholesterol Care

How do I lower my cholesterol?

Several self-care methods to lower your cholesterol are detailed below. During your appointment, talk to your provider about medication and treatment options for high cholesterol.

Lifestyle changes and self-care methods include:


- A healthy diet: Limit your consumption of processed foods, animal fats, and salt. Good fats are okay, but eat them in moderation. Veggies are your friend, as well as fruits and whole grains.

- Exercise: Regular physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle and may help you prevent and manage high cholesterol.

- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

- Quit smoking.

- Minimize alcohol consumption.

- Manage stress: Meditate, schedule therapy, take time off, spend time with family and loved ones - whatever helps reduce stress and improves your quality of life.

What are the most common chronic diseases in older adults?

The most common chronic diseases in older adults includes:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- High Cholesterol
- Arthritis
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Diabetes
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Heart Failure
- Depression
- Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)


Don't let chronic conditions get you down keep you down. Save up to 60% when you book an appointment through Sesame today. Get your wellness journey started today with convenient and affordable care on Sesame.

What are lipids?

Lipids are fat molecules in the blood. They act as energy stores and chemical messengers in the body. A lipid panel measures levels of 3 different lipids, as well as your total cholesterol levels:

- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: Commonly known as “bad cholesterol”, LDL will build up and clog the arteries. Excess levels of LDL cause plaque in blood vessels, which can obstruct and slow blood flow. If this plaque build-up occurs in the blood vessels around the heart, it can lead to coronary artery disease.

- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: Known as “good cholesterol”, HDL carries cholesterol through the body and deposits it back into the liver, which removes these fatty molecules from the body.

- Triglycerides: When you eat, your body converts any unneeded calories into triglycerides - a molecule that is stored in fat cells. In between meals, these molecules are converted into energy. Eating more calories than you burn can result in a build-up of triglycerides, which can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

What is a lipid panel?

A lipid panel is a group of tests that measures cholesterol and other fats in your blood. These results can then be used to help assess your risk of heart disease or stroke. Your doctor may recommend a lipid panel if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke - or if you have any conditions that may increase your risk of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, obesity, high total cholesterol, and more.

A lipid panel test is performed by taking a sample of blood via a finger prick. This blood is sent to a lab to measure lipid levels in the blood.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends that adult men should receive a lipid panel test every 1-2 years between the ages of 45-65. Women should be tested every 1-2 years between the ages of 55-65. Adults over the age of 65 should receive a lipid panel test every year.

Children usually receive a lipid panel test once between the ages of 9-11 and every five years after that.

More frequent testing may be recommended if you are at risk of coronary artery disease.

Common risk factors include:
- Family history of heart disease or high cholesterol - Being overweight/ obese - Cigarette smoking - Lack of physical activity/ Cardiovascular conditions - High blood pressure - Diabetes - Unhealthy diet - History of high cholesterol


If you experience one or more of the risk factors listed above, talk to your health care provider about how often you should undergo lipid testing. The test is quick and relatively painless and plays a crucial role in detecting heart and arterial diseases.

What happens during a lipid panel?

Before your appointment, you may be asked to fast for 9-12 hours. Usually, this means no food or water for the ordered period of time. Because of this, it is generally recommended that you undergo a lipid panel test right away in the morning. After your test, you will be cleared to eat and drink.

During the test, blood will be drawn via a needle inserted into your arm. An elastic band will be wrapped around your upper arm to encourage blood flow. A lipid panel requires a small amount of blood, which will be deposited into a vial or tube for testing. After this, the needle will be removed and the puncture site will be cleaned and bandaged.

Some individuals may experience mild dizziness or lightheadedness after getting their blood drawn. Once the test is over, you can eat and drink normally. It is recommended that you bring a snack and some water with you if you think you may become lightheaded. Eating and hydrating can help reduce these sensations.

What do my results mean?

Your provider will discuss the results of your lipid panel with you but for reference, see below:

Total Cholesterol - lower is better:

  • Below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered healthy.
  • 200 to 239 mg/dL is borderline high.
  • 240 mg/dL is high.

HDL (Good Cholesterol) - higher is better:

  • 60 mg/dL or higher is best -- High HDL levels protect against heart disease.
  • 40 to 59 mg/dL is a healthy level of HDL.
  • Less than 40 mg/dL is low, which can increase risk of heart disease.

LDL ("bad cholesterol") - lower is better:

  • Less than 100 mg/dL is ideal, especially for individuals who have coronary heart disease.
  • 100 to 129 mg/dL is optimal for individuals at risk of coronary artery disease.
  • 130 to 159 mg/dL is OK for individuals with little risk of coronary artery disease
  • 160 to 189 mg/dL is high.
  • 190 mg/dL or more is very high

Triglycerides - lower is better:

  • 150 mg/dL or less is desirable.
  • 151 to 200 mg/dL is borderline high
  • 200 to 499 mg/dl is high, which increases your risk of heart disease
  • Over 500 mg/dl is very high.

Where do I get a lipid panel?

Lipid tests may be performed at your primary care provider’s office. The procedure only takes a few minutes, and it is safe to go about your daily activities after you are finished.

Can you get a doctors prescription online?

Sesame makes it easier than ever to get a prescription or refill a prescription from the comfort of your own home! To discuss a new prescription or refill, book a video visit with a doctor on Sesame. Physicians on Sesame can prescribe drugs that help treat infections, allergies, high blood pressure, and more.

Note that doctors on Sesame cannot prescribe controlled substances

Plus, because Sesame works to set prices directly with doctors, you can find visits with doctors at rates up to 60% less than what you’ll find through insurance networks.

Book a video visit on Sesamecare.com based on the health care you need, and pick up a new prescription or existing prescription refill at a pharmacy of your choice. If you don’t want to go pick up a prescription in-person, many pharmacies offer a prescription mail service for home delivery. Your medication will be shipped directly to you. Browse services on Sesame, set up an appointment with a real doctor at your convenience, and get the care you need. It’s simple, convenient, and affordable. Book a visit today!

Can I get a prescription refilled?

Yes, you can book a video or in-person prescription refill appointment in which a provider will review current medications and prescribe a refill if necessary. Search appointments here.

Can you get a prescription refill at a different pharmacy?

Yep! If you request a prescription transfer, you can easily move your prescription from one pharmacy to another. Plus, many pharmacies now offer mail services for home delivery. Here's how to request a prescription refill at a different pharmacy:

1) Call your new preferred pharmacy to request a transfer.

2) Provide that pharmacy with health insurance/ prescription info

3) Wait for the prescription to be transferred before you pick it up. It usually takes pharmacies a few days to transfer a prescription, but you will get a notification once this step has been completed. Either go pick up your prescription in person or set up home delivery.

If you need a prescription refill, book a visit with a real, quality doctor on Sesame today. Doctors on Sesame can refill prescriptions for high blood pressure, birth control, allergies, and more! Save up to 60% on your prescription refill visit when you book with Sesame.

Can I use any pharmacy when getting a refill?

Yes, your doctor can send the prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.

When will I get my refills?

Refills are shipped at regular intervals for the length of your prescription - depending on how your provider wrote your prescription. Our care team will time it so that your next shipment will arrive before you run out of your current medication.

You'll be sent an email notification about a week before we begin processing your refill. You may find the exact processing date of your next refill in the Your Prescriptions section when you log in to your Sesame account.

Can I refill any medication over video?

Doctors on Sesame can refill most prescriptions for simple things like medication for diabetes and high blood pressure, antidepressants, birth control, and more. Doctors can't refill controlled substances over video. Yep, even if you've taken it for years.
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