Yakima Heart Center

What is your Diagnosis?

High Cholesterol

The following information contains excerpts from the website cardiosmart.org which we recommend as a resource for more information regarding heart disease.


WHAT IS IT?

High blood cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), is when too much cholesterol is in your blood.

Also Known As: Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperlipidemia

BASIC FACTS

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is made in your body. Cholesterol is also in some foods that you eat. Your body needs some cholesterol to work the right way. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs.
Too much cholesterol in the blood is called high blood cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia.


CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS

Eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol raises the level of cholesterol in your blood.  Too much cholesterol in your blood can build up in the walls of arteries. This is called plaque. 

Triglycerides are a type of fat in the bloodstream and fat tissue. Triglycerides can also raise your risk for heart disease. If you have levels that are borderline high (150–199 mg/dL) or high (200 mg/dL or more), you may need treatment. Things that can increase triglyceride levels include:

  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Very high carbohydrate diet
  • Certain diseases and drugs
  • Genetic disorders

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

There are no signs or symptoms of high cholesterol.  High cholesterol is diagnosed by checking the cholesterol levels in your blood. 

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