High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of lipid in the blood. High cholesterol is an abnormally high level of cholesterol in the blood. There are different types of cholesterol in your blood including:

  • Causes

    Causes of high cholesterol include:

    • Genetics
    • High-fat diet
    • Overweight
    • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Definition

    Cholesterol is a type of lipid in the blood. High cholesterol is an abnormally high level of cholesterol in the blood.

    There are different types of cholesterol in your blood including:

    • Low density lipoproteins (LDL)—causes build up of cholesterol and other fats in the blood vessels. Known as bad cholesterol because high levels can cause disease in the arteries and heart disease.
    • High density lipoproteins (HDL)—can remove cholesterol and other fats from the blood. Known as good cholesterol because it may protect against heart disease.

  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor will ask about factors that may increase your risk of heart disease or stroke.

    A blood test will also be done. Blood will be sent to a lab to measure lipid levels in your blood. Tests may include:

    • Total cholesterol
    • HDL cholesterol
    • LDL cholesterol
    • Triglycerides

    Your doctor may do other tests to look for other conditions that can be associated with high cholesterol levels.

  • Prevention


    To help reduce your chance of getting high cholesterol, follow the
    lifestyle and nutrition changes
    above.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your risk of high cholesterol include:

    • Age: cholesterol levels tend to rise with age
    • Sex:

      • Males
      • Females after menopause
    • Family members with high cholesterol
    • High-fat diet
    • Obesity, overweight 
    • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Symptoms

    It is rare for high cholesterol to cause symptoms. However, high cholesterol can increase your risk of
    atherosclerosis. This is a dangerous hardening of the arteries. It can block the flow of blood. Some complications of atherosclerosis include:

    • Angina
    • Heart attack
    • Stroke
    • Peripheral artery disease
    • Other serious complications

    Some people with high cholesterol may also have cholesterol deposits in tendons, under the eyes, or in the eye.

    Atherosclerosis
    atherosclerosis
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  • Treatment

    Talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment is aimed at decreasing your LDL cholesterol levels and decreasing your risk for heart disease and stroke. Options include: