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Control your cholesterol
Control your cholesterol and help yourself to avoid heart and circulation problems
Two thirds of us in the UK have high cholesterol, which is a fatty substance found in the blood. It’s usually made in the body and plays an essential role in how every cell in the body works. But too much cholesterol in the blood can start to affect how well your heart and circulation works, as it can cause the blood vessels to become blocked increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. This is why it’s so important to keep control of your cholesterol levels.
The main types of cholesterol and other terms we tend to use are:
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) – often known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. Too much can fur up your arteries, making them narrower - a major risk factor of heart disease.
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) – often known as ‘good’ cholesterol. It’s a protective type of cholesterol which helps to keep your arteries clean by taking excess levels of cholesterol back to your liver where it’s re-processed and passed out of your body.
- Triglycerides – fats carried in our blood which come from the food we eat. High levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and strokes.
- Total cholesterol - an overall measure of both the LDL and HDL types of cholesterol found in your blood.
- TC:HDL –the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein. A high value means there’s too much of the other types of cholesterol compared to the ‘good’ cholesterol.
The most common cause of high cholesterol is a diet high in saturated fat. But a family history of high cholesterol might make you more susceptible too.
If you’re worried take control and monitor your cholesterol
The Lloydspharmacy Cholesterol and Heart Check Service measures your blood pressure and cholesterol level, and estimates your risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the next ten years. It’s a great way to get peace of mind and know you’re doing the right thing, as well as getting all the advice you need on how to lower your risk. Available at selected stores. Charges apply.
What your cholesterol level reading means
Less than 5mmol/L
Re-test in 3 months
5 to 8 mmol/L
Contact your local pharmacist for further advice, including whether you’d benefit from a cholesterol and heart check
More than 8mmol/L
Contact your doctor or healthcare professional
If you have any concerns at all, please speak to your LloydsPharmacy pharmacist. If your GP is maintaining or treating you for high cholesterol you may have different targets.