Symptoms and Signs of How to Lower Cholesterol: LDL/HDL and Levels

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019

Doctor's Notes on How to Lower Cholesterol: LDL/HDL and Levels

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is naturally present in the blood and it is needed to produce certain hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that help digest fat. The most common causes of high cholesterol include a high fat diet, inactivity, and obesity. Some people have a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol. Other risk factors for developing high cholesterol include smoking and age (men older than 45 and women older than 55). The main ways to control cholesterol are lifestyle changes or medications.

High cholesterol does not cause symptoms by itself but high cholesterol levels in the blood (hypercholesterolemia) can cause fatty deposits in blood vessels, which cause narrowing (atherosclerosis) and chest pain (angina) and are a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.