High Cholesterol: Your Healthcare Team
If you have high cholesterol, a number of healthcare professionals can help take care of you. You may not need to see everyone on this list, but it can be helpful to consider how their expertise can help you.
Primary care physicians: The PCP, or family doctor, is who you see for annual checkups and general health problems. Some women prefer to consider their gynecologists as their PCP and some people choose nurse practitioners. A PCP is usually the main contact for someone with high cholesterol, but if he or she thinks that you are in a high risk group for heart disease, you may be also be referred to a cardiologist.
Cardiologists: Cardiologists are physicians who specialize in treating problems of the cardiovascular system (your heart, arteries and veins). A high cholesterol diagnosis by itself is typically not reason enough to be examined by a cardiologist, but other risk factors, such as obesity, other conditions (such as diabetes) and strong family history of heart disease or unusual symptoms may make seeing a specialist necessary.
Nurse practitioner: An Advanced Practice Nurse who can provide high-quality care and treatment to patients. They can diagnose and treat a variety of health problems and inform patients about lifestyle changes that can improve their health.
Physician assistant: Health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. They perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from basic primary care to high-technology specialty procedures.
Nurse educators: These nurses specialize in helping patients to understand their condition and implement their doctor's treatment plan.
Dietitians: Nutrition experts who can offer advice on how to eat in ways that will lower your triglycerides, and help you set weight loss goals.
Social workers: These trained professionals can help you overcome challenges that are related to your condition. This may mean dealing with insurance, working out financial hardships, finding home health care and more.
Psychologists: These specialists can help you cope mentally and emotionally with your condition. This may mean finding a way to stop smoking, or reduce stress the amount of stress in your life.
Weight loss counselors: These professionals can help you understand how exercise and eating right can impact your body.
Personal trainers: Trained fitness professionals that can help you find a safe workout that will help you get results.