Risk Factors For High Cholesterol

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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You might say that you're familiar with the risks of heart disease. But risk factors for high cholesterol, you might ask, what are they? What do they have to do with me? The first thing is to identify what they are.

Some are part of your diet. Fast foods, chips, soft drinks, candy bars, refined sugars, butter cream, fried cheese, fried dough, cotton candy. These are the ones you can control with considerably less effort than you think. You probably grew up with them. They are familiar, almost comfortable. They will kill you if you let them. Some risk factors for high cholesterol are part of your lifestyle.

Weight problems, smoking, alcohol abuse, inactivity. Some are health conditions you did not choose. Diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, hyperthyroidism. Some are pharmaceuticals you take for another condition. Blood pressure medicine (such as clonidine and methyldopa), diuretics (water pills), anabolic steroids, beta blockers, progestins. All these risk factors for high cholesterol affect you in different ways, but affect it they can and do.

Counteracting Risk Factors for High Cholesterol

To do something about the risks you face you must first be honest with yourself that you face them. That may sound obvious, but self-denial is a powerful force. If your diet is too heavy in saturated fats and transfatty acids, reduce them dramatically. If you do not exercise regularly, start (it doesn't have to be two hours at the gym every day, a 30-minute walk is better). If you take prescribed medications for other conditions, consult your doctor. The most important thing is to face the risks.

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