Font Size

Cholesterol FAQs (cont.)


What Are the Signs and Symptoms of High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol does not cause symptoms by itself. Instead, it is a risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis or narrowing of arteries in the body that can lead to hear attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease. Blood tests are used to measure cholesterol levels as part of routine screening for risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

What Are the Medication Guidelines to Lower Cholesterol?

The main goal of a treatment program is to lower total cholesterol levels, LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. Treatment may cause a slight rise in HDL or good cholesterol in the blood. There are two main ways to control cholesterol;

  1. lifestyle changes, and
  2. medication.

Medications may be prescribed by a health-care professional if attempts at lifestyle changes fail to make a difference in cholesterol levels (usual goal is to be under 200 mg dL). A variety of medication options are available and the decision as to which medication to use depends upon the individual situation and other medical conditions that might be present. Usually, the health-care professional and patient will discuss options and decide together upon the treatment options. There are many treatment options such as statins, niacin, and fibric acid agents - though statins are the primary treatment option.

What Are the Complications of High Cholesterol?

What Can I Do To Prevent High Cholesterol?

Controlling high cholesterol is a lifelong commitment. Important first steps include:

If these actions fail to lower cholesterol levels (below 200 mg dL), most health-care professional will recommend a medication to lower cholesterol.


American Heart Association. "What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean." Updated: Apr 21, 2014.

Singh, V.N., MD. "Low HDL Cholesterol (Hypoalphalipoproteinemia): Treatment & Medication." Updated: Nov 03, 2016.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2016

Must Read Articles Related to Cholesterol FAQs

Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic Exercise Aerobic exercise is moderate physical activity that's sustained for a few minutes with the goal of improving health. Walking, biking, swimming, dancing, and jog...learn more >>
Exercise Exercise has been shown to reduce one's risk of...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about How to Lower Cholesterol:

Cholesterol - Prevention

What steps have you taken to control your high cholesterol?

How To Lower Cholesterol - Experience

Please share your experience with lowering your cholesterol.

How To Lower Cholesterol - Causes

If known, what caused your cholesterol levels to rise?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

High HDL Cholesterol (Hyperalphalipoproteinemia) »

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is positively associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary