You have high blood cholesterol when you have a lot of lipids, or fat, in the blood. This is a risk factor for stroke and coronary heart disease, which is the No. 2 cause of death in Singapore, after cancer.Too much cholesterol means fat builds up in the walls of your blood vessels. This can lead to the vessels becoming blocked, so blood flow is reduced. With less blood getting to parts of your body that need it, your heart muscles can become damaged. This can lead to a heart attack. If the blood flow to your brain is reduced, you may suffer a stroke.
You may not show any signs or symptoms if you have high blood cholesterol, so you should check your cholesterol level if you are over 40 years or have a family history of the problem.
You are at risk if you:
Have Certain Illnesses
Do Not Get Enough Exercise
Have Too Much Cholesterol And Fat In Your Diet
Have Hereditary Metabolic Disorders
Your doctor will check your cholesterol levels, especially your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). These are types of cholesterol. If you already have coronary heart disease, you must watch your LDL levels. HDL, on the other hand, protects against heart disease, so a higher level of HDL is good.
Your doctor may first ask you to change your diet to reduce your blood cholesterol level. If that does not work, you may have to take the following types of medicine:
Statins: These stop your liver from producing cholesterol
Bile acid sequestrants: These remove bile from your body. When your body realises there is less bile, it turns cholesterol into bile, which then helps to lower your cholesterol levels
Niacin: This makes your liver cut down on how much LDL is produced
You can control your blood cholesterol level through a healthier lifestyle. This includes:
Watching your diet
Avoid food with high saturated fat and cholesterol
Choose food high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables and wholegrain products
Eat more food with soluble fibre, such as oat and barley, which can reduce your cholesterol level
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