Overview

What is High Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of lipid (fat). It’s a waxy, fat-like substance that your liver produces naturally. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D.

Only a small amount of cholesterol comes from your diet, most is made in your liver. If you have an inherited predisposition for high cholesterol levels or if you eat too much of the foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats, then levels of cholesterol in your blood may increase and have a negative impact on your health. The two major forms of cholesterol are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). If your blood contains too much LDL cholesterol, it’s known as high cholesterol. When left untreated, high cholesterol can lead to many health problems, including heart attack or stroke.

Symptoms

What are the signs of High Cholesterol?

In most cases, high cholesterol is a “silent” problem. It typically doesn’t cause any symptoms. Many people don’t even realise they have high cholesterol until they develop serious complications, such as a heart attack or stroke. That's why regular cholesterol testing is best for prevention.

Causes

What are the causes of High Cholesterol?

Common causes high cholesterol include:

Family history

Family history

Overweight or obesity

Overweight or obesity

Poor diet

Poor diet

Ageing

Ageing

Lack of physical activity

Lack of physical activity

Smoking

Smoking

High intake of alcohol

High intake of alcohol

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have High Cholesterol?

To diagnose high cholesterol, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history and/ or request the following tests:

Lipid profile (blood)

Lipid profile (blood)

Cardiovascular profile

Cardiovascular profile

Calcium score test

Calcium score test

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who specialise in treating High Cholesterol: