What is it?
Hypercholesterolemia (hi-per-ko-LES-ter-all-e-mee-uh) ) means having too much cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is a type of fat that the body uses as a building block to make hormones and other important compounds. There are two main types of cholesterol. One is low density lipoprotein (LDL) and often called "bad" cholesterol. The other is high density lipoprotein (HDL) and is often called "good" cholesterol. LDL damages the walls of the arteries and attaches to them, causing hardening of the arteries. HDL scoops up cholesterol deposits in the arteries and sends them back to the liver for disposal.
We eat cholesterol in our diets from animal foods. We can also make cholesterol from the food we eat. Most of us make considerably more cholesterol than we eat. Therefore, even though diet does play an important level, genetics may play an even larger role. An underactive thyroid gland may also cause increased cholesterol levels.
Signs and Symptoms:
Most people have no signs or symptoms of a high cholesterol. Since high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, the first signs or symptoms can be a heart attack or a stroke.
Regular exercise can lower cholesterol and raise HDL levels and decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. Do not smoke! Smoking increases the risk of problems from hypercholesterolemia. Controlling your stress may help to decrease your cholesterol.
Ask your caregiver for more information about a healthy heart diet. This diet means eating the right foods to control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease. Eating low fat foods and high fiber foods helps control the amount of cholesterol in your blood. This helps prevent hardening of the arteries and heart attacks. You also need to avoid high sodium (high salt) foods. This helps to control your blood pressure and also improves the health of your heart.
Keep your fat intake to 30% or less of your calories. Eat mostly low fat foods and avoid high fat foods. Other suggestions for eating a healthy diet include:
Herbs and Supplements:
Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.
Other ways of treating your symptoms : Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you.
Talk to your caregiver if:
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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Last Updated: 6/13/2013
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