Cholesterol Engels

Cholesterol

High cholesterol

High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood.

Causes

High cholesterol is mainly caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol. It can also run in families.

Symptoms

High cholesterol does not cause symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.

Risk of cholesterol

Too much cholesterol can block your blood vessels. It makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke.

Lower cholesterol

You can lower your cholesterol by eating healthily and getting more exercise. Some people also need to take medicine.

Eat less fatty food
To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat. You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat.

Try to eat more:

  • oily fish, like mackerel and salmon
  • brown rice, bread and pasta
  • nuts and seeds
  • fruits and vegetables
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Try to eat less:

  • meat pies, sausages and fatty meat
  • butter, lard and ghee
  • cream and hard cheese, like cheddar
  • cakes and biscuits
  • food that contains coconut oil or palm oil
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Exercise more
Aim to do at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of exercise a week.

  • walking – try to walk fast enough so your heart starts beating faster
  • swimming
  • cycling

Stop smoking
Smoking can raise your cholesterol and make you more likely to have serious problems like heart attacks, strokes and cancer. If you want to stop smoking, you can get help and support from your doctor.

Cut down on alcohol

  • avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week
  • have several drink-free days each week
  • avoid drinking lots of alcohol in a short time (binge drinking)

Medicines against high cholesterol

You might need medicine to lower your cholesterol if your cholesterol level has not gone down after changing your diet and lifestyle or if you're at a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Statins
Statins are the most common medicine for high cholesterol. They reduce the amount of cholesterol your body makes. You take a tablet once a day. You usually need to take them for life.

Other medicines for high cholesterol
Other medicines may be used if statins do not work or you do not want to take statins. Such as ezetimibe, fibrates, bile acid sequestrants (also called resins) and bempedoic acid. You might also get injections – such as alirocumab and evolocumab.

Source: NHSinform