Health Plus: Controlling cholesterol - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Controlling cholesterol

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Not all cholesterol is bad of course. You need some for your body to function properly.

But in Health Plus, too much cholesterol can lead to serious health problems.

So doctors want to help you get it under control.

Four years ago, Lesa Ruane went to see a doctor when she was short of breath.

The 52-year-old was diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, in other words she had high cholesterol.

 "I have other issues so she just started testing and we came to the positive result that is was the high blood pressure and the cholesterol," said Lesa Ruane.

Lesa's Covenant Clinic doctor in Waterloo reminds us why elevated bad cholesterol needs to be controlled.

"It leads to heart disease, so you're looking at things like heart attacks, strokes. So the best is really screening. Nobody's going to present with symptoms. And the ideal thing is for you to be screened for this cholesterol," said Dr. Hetal Patel.

To manage her cholesterol Lesa exercises, avoids fried and fatty foods and takes two medications.

"Just always check it and be a positive person about working out, watching what you eat. I try the best I can but I know I'm not a skinny little minnie but it's just to keep healthy," she said.

"You wanna be on top of it. You wanna watch your diet. You wanna exercise. Diet and exercise in itself can help a lot but people have to be motivated for that," said Dr. Patel.

16% percent of Americans reportedly have undiagnosed high cholesterol.

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