Take a look at your lifestyle
Odds are, there are lifestyle changes you can make to improve your cholesterol numbers. That’s true because, more often than not, unhealthy behaviors are the main culprits behind high cholesterol.
Your body naturally produces all the LDL (bad) cholesterol it needs. An unhealthy lifestyle – not enough exercise, too many unhealthy foods – makes your body produce more LDL cholesterol than it needs. This is the cause of high LDL cholesterol for most people.
Behaviors that can negatively affect your cholesterol levels include:
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
- Excess weight
Stopping or reversing these unhealthy lifestyle factors can help improve your cholesterol numbers.
Heredity can play a role
Some people inherit genes from their mother, father or even grandparents that cause them to have too much cholesterol. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia. The severity of FH is related to the duration and degree of LDL cholesterol in the blood. FH is dangerous because it can cause premature atherosclerotic heart disease.
If your cholesterol numbers are concerning, check your family history for problems related to high cholesterol.
Make the changes worth making
If you have high blood cholesterol, making lifestyle modifications is a great first step to lower your risk of heart disease. If those steps don’t reduce your risk enough, your doctor may prescribe medications to help.
Remember: Making even modest changes now can help to prevent significant medical challenges later. Do all that you can to reduce your risk for the serious consequences of heart attack and stroke.