Cholesterol is one of the fats present in the body. It is
essential for life, and is found in all human and animal tissue.
It is carried around the body by the blood.
Some cholesterol comes directly from food, and the liver makes
some. High blood cholesterol is usually due eating too much
fat. It can also be caused by not getting enough exercise.
Sometimes high cholesterol runs in the family.
High blood cholesterol can cause health problems. The main
one is heart disease, such as heart attacks. High blood cholesterol
levels cause fatty streaks to build up inside blood vessels,
resulting in blockage and blood cannot flow through them.
If this happens in the coronary arteries of the heart, the
result is damage to the heart
muscle and can cause a heart attack.
High blood cholesterol is only one of several things, which
can lead to heart disease. Other things include smoking, high
blood pressure, stress and lack of physical exercise.
There are three main ways to reduce cholesterol levels. The
first is to make changes to what you eat. The second is to
increase your physical activity.
The third is to take medication.
Changing your eating habits is the best way to lower your
cholesterol. Saturated fats (such as butter) tend to raise
cholesterol. Reducing the saturated fat intake can lower down
cholesterol level in the blood by 20 per cent.
Regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease. Try
to take regular, moderate exercise. If possible, make it part
of your daily routine.
Medication can be an effective way of lowering high cholesterol
levels. It is usually taken over a long term period.
At the surgery, we identify all patients with heart disease
and place them on a ‘register’ or list within
the practice. This register is then used to ensure that all
patients with heart disease are offered a clinic appointment
at least once a year. This appointment is designed to ensure
patients are receiving the correct treatment for their condition
and aims to promote their health for the future and prevent
them suffering further heart damage.
The clinic health check would usually include a blood test,
pulse and blood pressure monitoring, and weight and height
measurement. A full review of medication, symptoms and the
patient’s heart condition should be performed, along
with health advice around diet, exercise and smoking. The
Practice Nurse carries out this assessment, supported by the
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