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The importance of managing your cholesterol
It’s important to understand that having abnormal levels of cholesterol (dyslipidemia) is a medical condition that should be taken seriously. It is particularly problematic when your cholesterol levels get too high (hyperlipidemia), as cholesterol starts to build up on the walls of your arteries. A hard, thick buildup (plaque) forms, which can narrow your arteries, slowing down and even blocking the flow of blood to your heart. This is dangerous because blood carries oxygen to your heart and brain. If not enough oxygen reaches your heart, you may feel pains in your chest, and if blood supply is completely blocked to any part of your heart, it can cause a heart attack. If blood flow to the brain is blocked, it can result in a stroke. But this doesn’t have to happen. By managing your high cholesterol, you may also help reduce your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
High cholesterol is a problem that affects millions of people
In the US, more than 102 million American adults, age 20 or older, have total cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dL or higher, which is above healthy levels. More than 31 million of these people have levels of 240 mg/dL or higher, which puts them at increased risk both for heart disease, the number 1 cause of death for Americans, and for stroke, which is the second leading cause of death in the US.
Although high cholesterol is a serious medical condition, it can be managed
Eating a heart-healthy diet and consistent exercise are two important factors in managing your cholesterol levels. Switching to a diet of low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-fiber foods is a great start. But if modifying your diet and lifestyle changes aren’t effectively managing your cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a statin, like LIVALO.
Regular cholesterol checkups can help you keep on track with managing your cholesterol
Once your doctor has determined you have high cholesterol from an initial simple blood test, he or she will recommend that you follow a heart-healthy diet and exercise regularly to stay fit, and he or she may also prescribe medication. Your doctor will want you to visit regularly and have cholesterol checkups performed so he or she can assess how well your cholesterol levels are responding to modified diet, increased physical activity, and/or medication. If your doctor feels your levels are not improving as well as expected, he or she may adjust the recommendations for you—which may include either starting you on medication or switching you to a different one.