Cholesterol is a building block that keeps cells healthy and is necessary for normal body functions. But there’s a balance necessary for good health, and when it breaks down, medical care may be necessary to avoid complications. Dr. Mirela Mircea and Dr. Vivian Lugo-Eschenwald of Family Medicine Associates of Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia are your partners along the path to correct cholesterol issues. If you haven’t been screened for high cholesterol recently, call FMAA today.
Cholesterol is a type of waxy fat found in the blood. It’s used to build new cells through the continuous maintenance cycles the body performs. Cholesterol travels through the body attached to proteins in a combination called a lipoprotein. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) carry cholesterol through the body. Think of these as the trucks bringing material to a building site. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) carry excess cholesterol to the liver for processing, so they’re like garbage trucks, taking waste away.
When too much LDL gets delivered, it clutters up the worksite – your blood vessels. In the case of high cholesterol, the HDL can’t haul excess fast enough, and LDL builds up in the blood vessel walls. LDL gets out of balance due to a variety of factors. Some are under the patient’s control, while others are not.
In some cases, the body simply has a function issue, whether from genetics, when high cholesterol runs in the family, or a defect of the liver, causing it to produce too much. Other factors include being overweight, inactive, or eating an unhealthy diet that contributes more cholesterol in the form of high fat. Saturated and trans fats are particularly problematic.
Seeing a health care provider at FMAA is a great first step. Blood screening for high cholesterol is simple, and once your numbers are known, Dr. Mircea or Dr. Lugo can create a treatment plan. This may involve medication to lower cholesterol levels. There are a few drug classes that address high LDL levels in several ways. Lifestyle changes work on their own or in combination with medication. These include increased exercise and a diet low in fat. If a patient’s diet and activity require major changes, this may be the first step to reducing cholesterol without medication.
We accept most major insurances. Please see the full list of plans that we accept. If you do not see yours, please call our office to see how we can help. We will file out of network insurances but visit must be paid at checkout in full.
"Fantastic doctors & staff; they take the time to truly understand patients and put them at ease. The doctors do a great job giving you their rationale..."
"She has a phenomenal, empathetic bedside manner; I never feel rushed, she asks lots of questions, and makes me an active participant in decisions about my care."
"Had my first visit there a month or so ago. It went exactly as I wanted. I waited only a few minutes, the staff was professional. They answered all of my questions."
"...FMAA has been a loyal and consistent part of my family staying healthy while overcoming a myriad of different issues."
"I'm usually really uncomfortable with doctors offices, but the staff here is all very friendly...Billing was really easy- they have online payment..."
"I have been trying to find a good doctor for many years. My first visit here was excellent. Professional and courteous..."
"Dr. Vivian Lugo is a very professional - ethics, knowledge and experience. She has been my primary physician for 11 years...She is the best!"
"Dr. Vivian Lugo is a very caring and professional MD. The feeling of being listened to and care for is achieved when seeing Dr Lugo. She is thorough and clear..."
"I've been going to Family Medicine for three years. Usually can get an appointment with Dr. Mircea within a week..."