Hyperlipidemia, or high blood cholesterol, is a condition that occurs when there are too many lipids, or fats, in the blood. High cholesterol levels have been considered a contributing factors in many diseases, including heart disease. Learning how to identify and control hyperlipidemia is an important step toward protecting your health.
Identifying High Cholesterol
Hyperlipidemia is typically identified through a blood test at any doctor’s office. Tests are given annually to check cholesterol levels in older adults, but you can begin annual testing anytime if you have a family history of any disease related to high cholesterol. Ideally, you should test every year beginning at the age of twenty to prevent damage caused by high cholesterol. It is recommended that everyone have their cholesterol levels tested at the age of thirty-five. Some lifestyle choices have an impact on cholesterol levels. Eating a diet that is high in cholesterol or fat, not getting enough exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption are all linked to high blood cholesterol levels.
The symptoms of high levels of cholesterol can be very mild initially. Many people don’t realize that they have high cholesterol without a blood test. After some time, however, symptoms can become very serious. One of the main side effects of having too much fat in the blood is a buildup of plaque on the arteries, which restricts blood flow and can lead to chest pain and heart attack if left untreated. Taking steps to identify and treat hyperlipidemia can reverse the disease and improve your overall health.
Treating High Cholesterol
There are several ways to control cholesterol levels in the body. The first step is to make lifestyle changes that reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by reducing red meat and other foods high in saturated fats. Eating a diet that is low in fat and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat is often enough to control cholesterol levels. A regular exercise routine can also make a big difference in cholesterol levels.
Some people will need to take medications to control hyperlipidemia. Prescription medications are combined with lifestyle changes to benefit overall health and lower cholesterol levels quickly. It is important to make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of heart disease for long term treatment of hyperlipidemia.