What's high cholesterol?


Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood that's important for good health. But if you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and restrict blood flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body.


High cholesterol can be caused by things in your control such as being overweight, lack of physical activity and an unhealthy diet. But it may also be caused by factors beyond your control like your age or family history.


What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?


High cholesterol itself doesn't usually have symptoms, but the higher your cholesterol is, the higher your risk of serious health conditions like heart disease and stroke. That's why it's very important to have regular visits with your healthcare provider. A simple blood test can measure the level of cholesterol in your blood.


What's the treatment for high cholesterol?


You should discuss your overall risk of heart attacks and strokes with your healthcare provider. In addition to high cholesterol, other factors such as cigarette smoking, high blood pressure or having a family member who got heart disease at a young age (younger than 55 for men and younger than 65 in women) can affect your risk.


Visit a healthcare provider to help determine an individual treatment plan for your cholesterol. Treatment may include medications, changes to your diet or activity or additional tests. In addition, you may be referred to a specialist.


Alert

If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.