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What is Causing My High Cholesterol?

There Are Many Causes of High Cholesterol, Some Are Preventable


Updated September 15, 2013

So, you went to your healthcare provider for your regular physical, and have found out that your cholesterol levels are too high. While being diagnosed with high cholesterol can be a little overwhelming at first, the good news is that you can do plenty of things to treat it. First, take an inventory of your life. Do you remember whether or not your mother, father, or sibling was diagnosed with high cholesterol? Perhaps it may have something to do with your doughnut run on the way to work every morning. Once you have identified any potential problems below, you can begin to change them -- and your cholesterol.

You have several risk factors for high cholesterol.

Several risk factors could place you at risk for having high cholesterol, including your age, your lifestyle, and your genes. Of course, you can't control certain circumstances in your life, such as your age or family history. But you would be surprised how many risk factors you can change in your life. The following articles address things that could place you at risk for having high cholesterol. Do any of those risks look familiar to you?

Your diet is poor.

Did you know that the type of food you consume can also play a large role in raising your cholesterol levels? It's true. We live in a fast-paced world full of fast food and quick meals. Unfortunately, these foods are high in fat and not very nutritious. Your diet should have a mixture of nutritious foods, including vegetables, fruits, and other foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated and trans fats. Knowing the foods to avoid, as well as checking food labels, can help you avoid high-fat foods that are not as heart healthy.

You don't get enough exercise.

Exercise can play an important role in your health. Of course, it can keep your waist trim, and strengthen muscles. But it also has other added benefits including lowering your cholesterol. Research studies have shown that moderate exercise can boost your heart health, and it doesn't take much time out of your day to do it. Additionally, you can do many types of exercise to satisfy this requirement such as yoga, weight-bearing exercises, and aerobic exercise. 

You have certain, uncontrolled medical conditions.

Many conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or thyroid disease could also cause your cholesterol levels to be high. Many of these conditions require lifestyle changes and medication in order to get these conditions under control. The good news is that by controlling these conditions, you may be able to lower your high cholesterol levels, too.

You take certain medications.

Medications are designed to help you treat many conditions. Unfortunately, some side effects are associated with them. Surprisingly enough, some of the medications you take may be causing your cholesterol levels to be high. Knowing which meds can increase you cholesterol levels can help you plan ahead and watch your cholesterol more closely. Your healthcare provider can also change your medication if your cholesterol gets out of hand. Of course, you can take some measures to help lower it, including:

You smoke.

Smoking -- it's certainly a bad habit, but it can also become a deadly one. Smoking affects all aspects of your health including your cholesterol and heart health. Quitting smoking does not happen overnight and can be difficult. But there are many healthy advantages to doing so. By quitting smoking now, you can offset some of the damage that smoking can do to your heart -- and the rest of your body.

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