Cholesterol (Lipid Management)

Lipids are tiny particles that circulate in the blood and have many functions, including energy storage. More commonly known as cholesterol, lipids include good cholesterol, known as HDL, bad cholesterol, known as LDL, and triglycerides, which are a type of fat in your blood. The Lipid Management Program, a division of Michigan Medicine's Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation program, offers a multidisciplinary service to control your lipids and reduce your risk for heart disease.

People with poor lipid control are at high risk of having a heart attack, stroke and vascular disease of all types.

Our referral-based clinic helps physicians by getting to the bottom of why a patient has a lipid disorder and/or why a patient isn’t responding to therapy.

During your initial consultation, we perform blood tests to determine what lipid disorder you have, as well as to determine if the lipid problem is due to something other than diet or heredity. There are many disorders that could be responsible for the lipids, so treating the illness can also treat the lipid disorder.

Nutrition is a deciding factor in controlling your lipids, so all patients are seen by a nutritionist, who performs a food survey and works with you on diet changes. An exercise physiologist works with you to create a fitness regiment specific to your needs and abilities. A lipids specialist discusses various medication therapies, as well as finds alternative medicines for those who are intolerant to standard statin drugs. We schedule follow-up visits to go over lab studies, check on how your lipids have responded to the diet changes and discuss further medication changes.

For very severe lipid disorders, we are one of only a few centers in the U.S. to offer LDL apheresis, an FDA-approved treatment which removes unwanted LDL cholesterol from the blood. A machine is used to pump the patient's blood through a filter that selectively removes LDL particles containing the cholesterol. This is done on an outpatient basis.

Education is vital to changing a behavior, so a nutritionist and physician will explain everything you need to know about lipids from acceptable ranges to complications from medicines. They will also discuss in depth what you need to know to manage your lipids, including food shopping, food selection and portion size. You will also learn about the probability of family members having similar lipid disorders, and how your family can come in to have blood tests, too.

Patient Resources

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment with the Lipid Management Program or with any other cardiovascular program at Michigan Medicine, call the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Call Center at 888-287-1082 or visit our Make a Cardiovascular Appointment page, where you can learn what to expect when you call us.