How to diagnose and manage your high cholesterol

While your body needs cholesterol in a small quantity, having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. Here's what you need to know.

How to diagnose and manage your high cholesterol

When you have high cholesterol, you develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.

These fatty deposits make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries and they can get clogged. Your heart may not get as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs, which increases the risk of a heart attack In addition, decreased blood flow to your brain can cause a stroke. Cholesterol can lead to a plethora of health conditions that can prove fatal.

High cholesterol can be inherited, but more often that not, it's due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. A healthy diet, regular exercise and medication, if the condition is severe enough, can go a long way toward reducing high cholesterol and restoring your health.

Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. You may have heard of different types of cholesterol, based on what type of cholesterol the lipoprotein carries. They are:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Factors that may increase your risk of high cholesterol include:

  • Poor diet.
  • Obesity.
  • Large waist circumference.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Smoking.
  • Diabetes.

High cholesterol can cause a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other fatty deposits on the walls of your arteries. These deposits can reduce blood flow through your arteries, which can cause complications, like:

  • Chest pain.
  • Heart attack.
  • Stroke.

The same heart-healthy lifestyle changes that can lower your cholesterol can help prevent you from having high cholesterol in the first place.To help prevent high cholesterol, you can:

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