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Also called: HDL, Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperlipidemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia, LDL

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much in your blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood and stick to the walls of your arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can narrow your arteries or even block them.

High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Your cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older. There are usually no signs or symptoms that you have high blood cholesterol, but it can be detected with a blood test. You are likely to have high cholesterol if members of your family have it, if you are overweight or if you eat a lot of fatty foods.

You can lower your cholesterol by exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables. You also may need to take medicine to lower your cholesterol.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Too much of this type of fat may raise the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.

A blood test measures your triglycerides along with your cholesterol. Normal triglyceride levels are below 150. Levels above 200 are high.

Factors that can raise your triglyceride level include

  • Being overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • A very high carbohydrate diet
  • Certain diseases and medicines
  • Some genetic disorders

You may be able to lower your triglycerides with a combination of losing weight, diet, and exercise. You also may need to take medicine to lower your triglycerides.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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