Cholesterol is a fat-like substances made by your body. Although the cells of your body need some cholesterol, excess can build up in your blood vessels. When this happens it can cause a narrowing of the blood vessels which in turn reduces blood flow to your heart.
There is 'good' cholesterol HDL and there is LDL which is "bad" cholesterol. HDL helps take cholesterol out of your arteries so that it can be removed from your body. LDL can build up in the walls of your arteries which can reduce blood flow. High levels of LDL may cause heart problems.
Triglycerides (TGs) is a type of fat found in your blood and stored in you body as fat. High levels of TGs can also increase your risk of heart disease.
Who is more likely to have high cholesterol? Any adult 20 or older can have high cholesterol; usually there are no symptoms. If some of your family members have it, you may also. If that is the case, tell your doctor so you can get a plan to lower it; one that will work for you. You should also have your triglycerides checked. With your cholesterol and triglycerides both high, it puts you at a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Diet, exercise, and medicine can help to lower them.
You can take a easy blood test to see if your cholesterol is high and also to find out your triglycerides level. Anyone over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol checked at least once every 5 years.
To keep your cholesterol at a healthy level and to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke you should: eat a healthy diet, exercise, have your cholesterol checked, and take your medicine if your doctor has prescribed it.
Some more facts you need to know. More than half of American adults have a cholesterol level that should be treated. Any adult can have high cholesterol. One in 5 American adults has a cholesterol number over 240.