Updated: Nov 27, 2019
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But, when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This can lead to heart disease and stroke—leading causes of death in India.
Are you at risk?
About one in every six adults has high cholesterol. Anyone, including children, can develop it.
Several factors that are beyond your control can increase your risk. These include your age, sex, and heredity. But, there are some risk factors that you can change. Examples include eating an unhealthy diet, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise.
What are the signs and symptoms?
High cholesterol itself does not have symptoms. Many people do not know that their cholesterol level is high. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular visits with your Endocrinologist. Be sure to ask about having your cholesterol tested.
How is high cholesterol diagnosed?
Doctors can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol. Most adults should get their cholesterol levels checked every five years. If your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL* or more, or if your HDL (good cholesterol) is less than 40 mg/dL, you will need to have a lipid profile blood test done. Ask your Endocrinologist about what may be right for you.
What levels of cholesterol are healthy?
Total Cholesterol : Less than 200 mg/dl
Triglycerides : Less than 150 mg/dl
LDL Cholesterol : Less than 100 mg/dl
HDL Cholesterol : More than 40 mg/dl (Male); 50 mg/dl (Female)
How is it treated?
Lowering high cholesterol levels is important for people at all ages, with and without heart disease. If you have high cholesterol, you will need to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, quit smoking, and you may need to take medication.
Can it be prevented?
You can take several steps to maintain a normal cholesterol level:
Eat a healthy diet. A high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in food that you eat can increase blood cholesterol.Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase your cholesterol level. Losing weight can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol level, and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol level.Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. You should try to be physically active for 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) each week.Don’t smoke.
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