Hyperlipidemia is the medical term for high lipids, which are fats found in the blood including cholesterol and triglycerides. Hyperlipidemia is diagnosed with a simple blood panel.
Hyperlipidemia can lead to serious heart problems. When cholesterol, triglycerides and other fats build up in your arteries, the arteries become narrower, making it difficult for blood to circulate. This buildup can lead to high blood pressure, and can cause a blood clot to develop. When a blood clot breaks off and moves through your arteries to your brain it can lead to a stroke; when it travels to your heart, you can suffer a heart attack.
Generally, there are no symptoms of hyperlipidemia in the early, most easily reversible stages. For that reason, it is important to have your cholesterol checked on a regular basis. The American Heart Association recommends, adults over the age of 20 have their cholesterol levels checked every four to six years. However, those with certain risk factors may be advised to have more frequent screenings.
The key risk factors are:
Hyperlipidemia can be improved in many cases through lifestyle changes, including a heart healthy diet, increased exercise (30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity is recommended daily) and losing weight. Those with high triglycerides should limit or avoid alcohol, which can be particularly problematic. If these changes don’t sufficiently improve hyperlipidemia, medication will be required, as well.