The goal of high cholesterol treatment is get your cholesterol lowered enough to reduce your risk for heart disease or a heart attack. To do this, it's usually best to begin with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and changing your diet. Exercise can also help. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough, medications may be necessary.
It can take decades for high cholesterol to have a negative effect on your health, although it still does damage even when you don't have any noticeable cholesterol symptoms.
If you have high cholesterol, and nothing is done to lower it, you will be at greater risk for serious medical problems later on, such as a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, working to lower your level of cholesterol is an important issue for anyone's general health. If you have high cholesterol, you will need to take steps to fight it every day, just like you would brush your teeth to fight gum disease.
The main goal of high cholesterol treatment is to lower your low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels enough to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. The higher your risk, the lower your LDL goal will be.
(Click High Cholesterol Risk to see what your risk is and what your LDL cholesterol level should be under.)
Lifestyle changes are the first step to achieving a healthier cholesterol level. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower it to a desirable level, cholesterol medication may be necessary.
For most people, living with high cholesterol is a lifelong journey.