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Preventing or Managing High Cholesterol: Other Medical Conditions

Pharmacist talking to a patient about their medication.

Work with your health care team to manage your cholesterol levels and any other medical conditions.

Reasons some people have high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels include: genetic factors, having high levels of triglycerides, having type 2 diabetes, taking certain medications, smoking, being overweight, eating unhealthy, and not being physically active.

If you are concerned about your cholesterol, talk to your healthcare provider about checking your lipid profile and finding out your risk for heart disease and then create a heart-healthy plan together that works best for you.

Check Cholesterol

Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 4 to 6 years if you have not been diagnosed with heart disease. Some people need to get their cholesterol checked more or less often. Talk with your health care team about this simple blood test and about what is best for you. If you have high LDL cholesterol, medications and lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk for heart disease.

Manage Diabetes

If your health care provider thinks you have symptoms of diabetes, he or she may recommend that you get tested. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels carefully. Talk with your health care team about treatment options. Your doctor may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help keep your blood sugar under good control—those actions will help reduce your risk for high LDL cholesterol.

Take Your Medicine

If you take medication to treat high LDL cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. Never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

Talk With Your Health Care Team

You and your health care team can work together to prevent or treat diabetes and ensure it doesn’t lead to high LDL cholesterol. Discuss your treatment plan regularly, and bring a list of questions to your appointments.