Take a look at your lifestyle
You can make lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol numbers.
Your body naturally produces all the LDL (bad) cholesterol it needs. An unhealthy lifestyle makes your body produce more LDL cholesterol than it needs. This is the cause of high LDL cholesterol for most people.
Behaviors that can negatively affect your cholesterol levels include:
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
- Being overweight or obese
Heredity can play a role
Some people inherit genes from their mother, father or even grandparents that cause them to have too much cholesterol. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The severity of FH is related to the duration and degree of LDL cholesterol in the blood. FH is dangerous because it can cause premature atherosclerotic heart disease.
If you have a family history of FH or problems related to high cholesterol, get your levels checked.
Make the changes worth making
If you have high blood cholesterol, making lifestyle changes is a great first step to lower your risk of heart disease. If those steps don’t reduce your risk enough, your doctor may prescribe medications to help.
Remember: Making even modest changes now can help to prevent significant medical issues later. Do all you can to reduce your risk for the serious effects of heart attack and stroke.