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How to Manage High Cholesterol with Diet and Lifestyle Changes

How high cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia, may affect your health and cholesterol. A short guide:

1. High Cholesterol Basics: High cholesterol is when you have too much cholesterol in your blood¹²³⁴. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like thing that your body needs to make healthy cells¹. But, too much cholesterol can make your risk of heart disease higher¹.

With high cholesterol, you can get fatty lumps in your blood vessels¹. Over time, these lumps grow, making it hard for enough blood to move through your arteries¹. Sometimes, these lumps can break suddenly and make a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke¹.

High cholesterol can be passed down, but it’s often because of bad lifestyle choices, which make it possible to prevent and treat¹. A good diet, regular exercise, and sometimes pills can help make high cholesterol lower¹.

Cholesterol moves through your blood, stuck to proteins. This mix of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein¹. There are different kinds of cholesterol, based on what the lipoprotein carries¹. They are:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): Often called the “bad” cholesterol, LDL carries cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow¹.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL): Called the “good” cholesterol, HDL takes extra cholesterol and brings it back to your liver¹.

High cholesterol has no signs, so a blood test is the only way to find out if you have it¹. Regular cholesterol checks are important, especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or other problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure¹.

In summary, high cholesterol is a bad condition that can cause heart disease and stroke. But, with lifestyle changes and medical help, it can be controlled well¹²³⁴.

(Note: This is a general guide and different people might need different things. Always talk to a doctor for advice that is right for you.)

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