Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all cells of the body. It is essential for making hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but it's also found in foods from animal sources, such as meat and dairy products. There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often called "bad" cholesterol because high levels can lead to plaque buildup in arteries, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as "good" cholesterol because it helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream....


Who would benefit from testing their cholesterol levels?

Testing cholesterol levels is beneficial for individuals who are at risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. This includes adults over the age of 20, people with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, those who are overweight or obese, smokers, and individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a sedentary lifestyle. Regular cholesterol checks are also important for those who have had high readings in the past or are on medications that can affect cholesterol levels.

What are symptoms of high cholesterol levels?

No specific symptoms directly indicate high cholesterol levels. It typically does not cause any noticeable symptoms. High cholesterol is often identified through a blood test.

How do you improve your cholesterol levels?

Improving cholesterol levels involves lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication. Lifestyle changes include adopting a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption. For some individuals, especially those with very high cholesterol levels or additional risk factors, doctors may prescribe medications like statins to help lower cholesterol.

What factors affect your cholesterol levels?

Several factors can affect cholesterol levels. Genetics play a role, as some people inherit genes that lead to high cholesterol. Diet is another key factor, particularly the intake of saturated and trans fats. Physical activity influences cholesterol levels, with regular exercise helping to raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Age and sex also influence cholesterol, as levels naturally rise as people get older, and women’s levels can change due to menopause. Smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain health conditions like diabetes and thyroid disorders also impact cholesterol levels.

Test(s) that measure/test for Cholesterol

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