The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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with high cholesterol

Living with high cholesterol: frequently asked questions

Why have my cholesterol levels gone up since my last test?

Many factors can come into play, when it comes to high cholesterol levels. Among others, one can mention age (the risk for hypercholesterolemia increases with age), lifestyle choices, including food habits or a lack of exercise, weight gain, or even the use of some medications.1,2 Indeed, some drugs can increase LDL or triglyceride levels. Among those, one can mention glucocorticoids, some diuretics, oral estrogens, and beta blockers.2

I have just gone through menopause, and my physician prescribed me a test to assess lipid profile. Is there a connection?

Indeed. After women go through menopause, their bad cholesterol levels tend to increase.1

I noticed that some products at my local supermarket are labelled “low cholesterol”. Does that mean that they are low in fat?

Not necessarily. Some foods labeled “low cholesterol” can contain unhealthy oils high in saturated fats. Moreover, unsaturated fats like vegetable oil can also be high in calories.1

I have high cholesterol. Should I avoid fat at all cost?

In fact, the total amount of fat in your diet should be kept to about 20% to 30% of your daily intake.1

I am 25 years old. Should I have my cholesterol checked?

Cholesterol level checks should begin when you are young, since clogging of the arteries is a progressive process that takes many years.1

How often do I need to get my cholesterol checked?

Cholesterol levels should be tested at least every 4 to 6 years starting at age 20, and more often if you have a family history of high cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.1

Are there any risks to the cholesterol test?

Don’t worry, there is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.3

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the cholesterol test?

You may need to fast–no food or drink–for 9 to 12 hours before your blood is drawn. Your health care provider will let you know if you need to fast and if there are any special instructions to follow.3

References

  1. WebMD. Frequently Asked Questions About Cholesterol. 2017. Available at https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/cholesterol-faq#1 Accessed on 08 July 2019.
  2. Rhee EJ, Kim HC, Kim JH, et al. 2018 Guidelines for the management of dyslipidemia. Korean J Intern Med. 2019;34(4):723-771.
  3. National Institute of Health – US National Library of Medicine. Cholesterol Levels – MedlinePlus Lab Test Information. 2019. Available at https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/cholesterol-levels/ Accessed on 08 July 2019.