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What is High Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that’s made by your liver and found in some foods. It’s carried through your bloodstream by lipoproteins.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) takes cholesterol back to the liver, where it can be passed out of the body as a waste product. This is known as ‘good cholesterol’.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) carries cholesterol to your cells. Your body needs cholesterol to help with important tasks such as digestion and Vitamin D production. However, when your body has more cholesterol than it needs, the excess clings to your artery walls. This is why LDL is known as ‘bad cholesterol’, as it can put you at risk of serious health conditions, such as:

High cholesterol doesn’t really cause symptoms, so it’s important to deal with it straight away. Our doctors can offer advice that will help you get your cholesterol down.

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High Cholesterol Symptoms

The reason high cholesterol is so dangerous is that it doesn’t really have any symptoms. Often, the first sign that it’s a problem is a serious medical crisis, such as a heart attack or stroke.

How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed?

A blood test will highlight any issues with your cholesterol levels. 

Your sample will be tested for LDL and HDL cholesterol, to check that you have the correct balance. You may need to avoid food and drink for a few hours before the test in order to ensure accurate results.

Any amount above 240 milligrams per decilitre is considered too high. Even if your results come back fine, it’s important that you’re retested every 4-6 years to check that your cholesterol is still at a safe level.

High Cholesterol Symptoms

High Cholesterol Treatment

For many people diagnosed with high cholesterol, a few lifestyle changes will help reduce their cholesterol to a safe level. Our doctors can create a unique plan to fit your needs, which may include:

  • A healthy diet plan - Eating no more than 30g of saturated fat per day
  • An exercise regime - Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day
  • Advice on how to stop smoking

If these changes don’t lower your cholesterol, our doctors may suggest medication. Options include:

  • Statins - These suppress the enzyme in your liver responsible for high cholesterol. Our doctors can prescribe statins for same-day collection from a pharmacy in your local area.
  • Aspirin - Low doses of aspirin may be recommended for patients over 40, as it can reduce the risk of blood clots forming.
High Cholesterol Treatment

High Cholesterol Treatment Online

High cholesterol can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. If you’re worried about your cholesterol levels, our GPs are here from 8am - 8pm, 7 days a week to offer advice and treatment.

You can have an appointment on your smartphone, tablet or computer at a time to suit you.


What Causes High Cholesterol?

One of the biggest causes of high cholesterol is a poor diet. Foods that are high in saturated fat, such as cheese, red meat and pastries, all contain LDL cholesterol that will clog your arteries. This is especially dangerous when combined with not getting at least 30 minutes of physical exercise a day.

Smoking doesn’t help either. Cigarettes contain chemicals that stop HDL from getting cholesterol back to the liver. This means is stays in your body, where it can’t be used and will further narrow your arteries.

You’re also more at risk of high cholesterol if you have family history of stroke or heart issues, particular if the relative in question experienced these problems before the age of 50.

What Causes High Cholesterol