Managing Cholesterol

Lowering your blood cholesterol levels can dramatically reduce your risk of serious illnesses like heart attack and stroke. Having high blood cholesterol levels can lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries making them narrow, a condition called atherosclerosis. As theĀ arteries narrow and become damaged, it can make it more difficult for blood to flow through your heart and body, putting you at increased risk of circulatory problems, heart disease and stroke.

Everyone is unique, so finding the best way to manage your cholesterol levels will depend on many factors, including your age, weight, gender and your risk of developing heart disease. For most people, making simple lifestyle changes is a good place to start.

Some people have a much stronger inherited risk of developing high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. If you have diabetes or an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian for more specific information on how to manage your cholesterol levels.

What is familial hypercholesterolaemia?

Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is not caused by an unhealthy lifestyle but is rather an inherited genetic condition, which leads to very high blood cholesterol levels. FH is present from birth and can lead to the early onset of atheroscerosis and heart disease. People with FH can have cholesterol levels that are two times higher than the general population. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have or be at risk of FH.