High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a common condition in the United States, and it raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. It has no symptoms, and the only way to tell if you have it is to take a blood test. Fortunately, eating right and exercising are a great way to prevent high cholesterol, and medication can help lower it.

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Causes and Risk Factors

Many things can increase your risk for cholesterol problems, including eating foods high in saturated fat, being overweight, and not getting enough physical activity. And some people are just more prone to have high cholesterol because it runs in their family. Typically, your cholesterol levels rise as you get older, starting around age 20.

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Prevention

Want to keep your cholesterol levels in the healthy range? Eating right and exercising are the best ways to prevent high cholesterol. Not smoking and staying at a healthy weight are also important.

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Symptoms and Diagnosis

High cholesterol doesn’t have obvious symptoms, so the only way to know your cholesterol levels is to get your blood checked. Your health care professional can order the test, which may or may not require fasting.

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Complications

While there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, it can lead to serious problems such as heart attacks, strokes, and other heart-related diseases. This is because high cholesterol can narrow, harden, or block your arteries due to plaque buildup. But simple steps like eating healthy and getting exercise can help keep cholesterol down and prevent these complications.

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Treatment

There are two key ways to treat high cholesterol, taking medicine and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Eating right and getting exercise is always a good idea. Depending on your risk factors, your doctor may also recommend cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins.

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Management

The key to to lowering your high cholesterol by adopting a healthier lifestyle is to start small, and take one baby step after another. After a while, these small changes can add up! Focus on knowing why you want to change, what habits you want to change, and then picture success.

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Causes & Risk Factors

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Prevention

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Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Management

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Causes & Risk Factors

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Prevention

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Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Management

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