Learn about the healthy changes you can make to lower your cholesterol naturally.
Cholesterol is a type of blood fat (lipid). We all need some cholesterol in our blood to stay healthy, but too much 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 because it doesn't usually have any symptoms. That's why everyone should have a cholesterol check.
High cholesterol means there is too much cholesterol in your blood. This can clog up your arteries – the large blood vessels that carry blood around your body. Over time, this can lead to serious problems.
Excess cholesterol 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.
If your arteries become clogged up with blood fats, your blood can't flow around your body easily. This can lead to a number of diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
These diseases are known together as cardiovascular disease – cardio refers to the heart, and vascular refers to the blood vessels.
Lots of different things play a part in your cholesterol levels, including your lifestyle, other health problems, and your genes. And these can all add up to raise your cholesterol and your risk of illness.
High cholesterol can be genetic, meaning you inherit it from your parents:
Your overall health
Your overall health and other health problems can have an effect, for example:
Your age, gender and family background
There are other things you can't change that can mean you’re more likely to develop high cholesterol or heart disease:
The good news is that when you take steps to lower your cholesterol, these changes all add up. You'll lower your risk of other illnesses too or help stop them from getting worse.
If you have any questions or concerns about your cholesterol level and how to lower it, feel free to contact our helpline.
There's only one way to know your cholesterol level and that's by getting a cholesterol test.