Dyslipidemia is a condition you can have without even knowing it. However, if you’re living unaware with the disease, you may be putting yourself at increased risk for chronic heart disease or a heart attack.
As a skilled physician, Lisa Hitchins, MD, PA, offers insight into what dyslipidemia is, why you have it, and how it can impact your health. Dr. Hitchins also provides resources to help you reduce your risk factors for long-term disease and health complications.
An overview of dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia describes unhealthy levels of lipids, or fats, in your blood. There are three primary types of fats naturally found in your blood:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
In dyslipidemia, it’s typically your triglycerides or LDL levels are too high. In some cases, you may also have dyslipidemia if your HDL levels are too low.
How lipids work in your body
The lipids in your blood are more commonly referred to as cholesterol. HDL is the good kind of cholesterol. It circulates through your body removing the bad cholesterol, or LDL.
You get triglycerides from dietary calories that your body doesn’t immediately burn off. These triglycerides get stored in your fat cells and when you need energy, the cells release them. When you eat a lot of calories and don’t stay physically active enough to eliminate them, it can lead to a build-up of triglycerides.
Too much LDL cholesterol, or triglycerides, or too little HDL cholesterol can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack. Unfortunately, dyslipidemia doesn’t cause any symptoms and if you have the condition without knowing it, you may not be receiving the treatment you need to stay healthy.
Connecting dyslipidemia to dermatologic conditions
Psoriasis is a common type of chronic inflammatory skin disorder that causes white, scaly patches to develop on the skin. Your immune system and genetic background play a role in developing psoriasis, but cardiovascular health also seems to determine how often you have psoriasis-related flare-ups and their severity.
Unhealthy lipid levels may trigger psoriasis and other chronic inflammatory skin diseases. You may also develop a dermatologic disorder because of your treatment for dyslipidemia.
Treating chronic skin disorders and dyslipidemia
In order to effectively manage a chronic inflammatory skin condition like psoriasis, Dr. Hitchins may order blood work to evaluate your cholesterol levels before starting your treatment. She can also monitor changes in your lipid levels if you’re taking retinoids or other anti-inflammatory medications and coordinate with your primary care provider to help you manage elevated cholesterol levels.
The long-term goals of treatment are to reduce the frequency and severity of psoriasis flare-ups while protecting your cardiovascular health.
If you need help managing a chronic skin condition like psoriasis, schedule dyslipidemia testing by calling Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston or by requesting an appointment online today.