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How Is High Cholesterol Treated?

Clip Number: 10 of 12
Presentation: High Cholesterol
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for a person with high cholesterol.
Lifestyle changes include:
Changing your diet
Weight loss
Exercise and
Quitting smoking or nicotine use
It may take 3 to 6 months before you and your health care provider see the full benefit of lifestyle changes on your cholesterol level.
Generally, the first thing a person with high cholesterol should do is to eat less fatty and cholesterol rich foods, and eat more foods that are low in fat and cholesterol.
Your healthcare provider can help you set goals and figure out the best diet for you.
The more weight a person gains, the more their cholesterol tends to rise. Just a little weight loss can decrease your cholesterol level by about 10 percent.
A moderate exercise program will help you keep your heart and blood vessels in shape and lower your cholesterol. Exercise will not only lower LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, but it will raise HDL, which is the good cholesterol. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program.
Nicotine can make blood vessels narrow AND lower HDL.
If lifestyle changes alone are not enough, your doctor can prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication.

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