A common misconception is that people under the age of 30 do not deal with issues like high cholesterol. In fact, the things you do before you turn 30 are incredibly important for your overall health.
If you think you might be at risk for high cholesterol, there are a few things you should know. These are the risk factors for high cholesterol even among young people.
Unhealthy Eating & Drinking Habits
Eating and drinking an unhealthy diet can increase your cholesterol levels. Avoid foods high in saturated fat, trans fats, and added sugars. Additionally, try to limit or avoid alcohol consumption as it can raise your triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood) which can also contribute to higher cholesterol levels.
Smoking cigarettes can cause your cholesterol levels to increase. The toxic chemicals in the smoke will have a negative effect on your health. Cholesterol levels tend to increase when smokers have poor diets, and this can compound the issue.
Lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain and an increase in cholesterol levels. Make sure to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine, such as walking, running, or swimming. Physical activity helps reduce cholesterol by improving the efficiency of your metabolism and reducing stress. When you exercise, your body produces hormones that help lower cholesterol levels.
If your family has a history of high cholesterol, then you could be at risk too. Talk to your doctor about the best way to monitor and manage your cholesterol levels if there is a genetic component involved. If you aren't sure if members of your family have high cholesterol, you can ask your doctor to run a cholesterol test. Knowing your family's risk factors is the first step in managing your own cholesterol levels.
Heart Attack & Stroke History
If you have a history of heart attack or stroke, your doctor will likely recommend medications to lower your cholesterol levels. These medications can help reduce the risk of further health complications.
Additionally, you should tell your doctor if your parents or siblings have also had heart attacks. Even if you're in your 20s, this family history of heart disease can reveal a lot.
Talk to Your Doctor About Cholesterol Health
By understanding the potential risks of high cholesterol, young adults can make informed decisions about their health and how to prevent and manage issues like high cholesterol.
Contact a local doctor's office to learn more.