We all need cholesterol in our blood for our bodies to stay healthy. But if your cholesterol levels are too high this can lead to serious health problems in the future, including heart attacks and strokes.
Anyone can have high cholesterol, even if you are young, slim, eat well and exercise. That’s because high cholesterol can be caused by different things. It can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, but it can be genetic too.
High cholesterol is very common, but most people don’t know they have it, which is why everyone should have a cholesterol check.
About your cholesterol result
A cholesterol test can measure:
- total cholesterol – the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both “good” and “bad” cholesterol
- good cholesterol (called HDL) – this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- bad cholesterol (called LDL and non-HDL) – this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- triglycerides – a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol
When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.
You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Ask your doctor or nurse.
Check what your cholesterol levels should be
This is just a guide. The levels you should aim for might be different. Ask your doctor or nurse what your levels should be.
Healthy levels for different types of cholesterol
5 or below
HDL (good cholesterol)
1 or above
LDL (bad cholesterol)
3 or below
Non-HDL (bad cholesterol)
4 or below
2.3 or below
If your cholesterol is raised, there are treatments available if you need them. But it’s usually possible to lower cholesterol naturally with healthy lifestyle changes.
What does high cholesterol mean? Cholesterol is a type of blood fat.
High levels of cholesterol in your blood can clog up your arteries – the large blood vessels that carry blood around your body. Over time, this can lead to serious problems.
How does cholesterol clog up your arteries?
If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can be laid down in the walls of your arteries. Fatty areas known as plaques can form, and these become harder with time, making the arteries stiffer and narrower. This process is called atherosclerosis.
Find out more about Cholesterol and how to manage high cholesterol by right clicking on the link below: