Information on High Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is "bad." In fact, the body needs some cholesterol in order to work properly. However, high levels can be dangerous, increasing your risk of angina, coronary heart disease, or heart attack.
If a diagnosis of high cholesterol is suspected, your healthcare provider may perform certain tests to gather information on your particular situation. Currently, several types of cholesterol tests are available. Each test examines different components of cholesterol and fats in the blood, including:
- Total cholesterol
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) -- this is the "bad" cholesterol
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) -- this is the "good" cholesterol
Certain factors can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol, including diet, age, weight, and physical activity. Many treatment options are available; lifestyle changes are typically tried first. Medications are also available if your cholesterol cannot be controlled through lifestyle changes alone.
(Click High Cholesterol for more information on this topic, including specific dietary changes that can help bring down your cholesterol.)