Tips to lower high cholesterol

Leeza Perry October 01, 2019

Tips to Lower High Cholesterol 

High cholesterol affects nearly 33.5% of the American population. Elevated cholesterol levels can increase your chances of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. 

By taking steps to lower your cholesterol, you can reduce your risk of many costly medical procedures and better your health for the future. 

High cholesterol has no symptoms. In fact, many adults living with high cholesterol never know until it is too late. 
The National Cholesterol Education program recommends that adults should visit their medical provider every five years to have a simple blood test performed to check their levels and establish a prevention program with their patients. 


Blood Donors Can Monitor Their Overall Cholesterol Level 
Here at OneBlood, we provide donors with a complimentary health and wellness check before each blood donation. If you have made a donation and wish to see your total cholesterol from your last donation, please check out your personalized donor portal. 

If you suffer from high cholesterol, you can start on your journey to lower your cholesterol and protect your health with minimum lifestyle changes. 

The Center for Disease Control recommends adjusting your lifestyle to increase your daily exercise, eat well, and not smoke. You can also start by knowing your risk factors for heart disease. Many of these risk factors you can change; however, there are some that you cannot. 
Risk factors you cannot change:
-    Age
-    Family history
Risk factors you can change:
-    Smoking
-    High blood pressure
-    Obesity
-    Physical inactivity
-    Diabetes

Small Goals Can Make a Big Impact 
You can start by setting small goals at first, such as increasing your daily intake of vegetables or by going on a walk. You can also start by reading the labels on food products and limiting your saturated fat intake. 

Making healthy choices can also be a family affair, try planning heart-healthy meals for the whole family. By including your family on this lifestyle change, you can establish a great support system, which will make your journey of lowering your cholesterol more successful. Learn more about heart-healthy foods you can add to your diet. 

Communicate With Your Doctor 
Another important goal is to set good communication with your doctor and other health care professionals. Seek out medical advice if you feel that managing your cholesterol with therapeutic lifestyle changes are not working for you. 

High cholesterol can not only be caused by lifestyle choices but can be caused by genetics. Certain genes that you inherit from your parents may require more than just diet and exercise to lowering high cholesterol. Many adults may require drug therapy to help them manage their cholesterol. It is important to talk with your medical provider to determine your risks and setting the best treatment approach for you. 

Sources

Cdc.gov. (2019). Cholesterol Fact Sheet|Data & Statistics|DHDSP|CDC. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_cholesterol.htm [Accessed 23 Sep. 2019].
Nhlbi.nih.gov. (2019). High Blood Cholesterol. [online] Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-cholesterol [Accessed 23 Sep. 2019].
Nhlbi.nih.gov. (2019). YOUR GUIDE TO Lowering Your Cholesterol With TLC. [online] Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/chol_tlc.pdf [Accessed 23 Sep. 2019].
 

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Leeza Perry

Leeza Perry is a Digital Relationship Specialist at OneBlood. She is dedicated to assisting donors and answering any questions they may have throughout their blood donation journey.

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