What is Dyslipidemia?

Dyslipidemia is an imbalance of cholesterol and/or fat levels in your blood, which can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s a common condition that often goes unnoticed until there is a complication to your health. With dyslipidemia, the levels of cholesterol and/or fat are outside of the normal range.

What are the symptoms of Dyslipidemia?

There are typically no signs or symptoms that a person will experience if they have dyslipidemia. However, some people may experience chest discomfort or pain and shortness of breath. It’s important to know that having dyslipidemia usually does not cause any symptoms.

What are the types of Dyslipidemia?

The primary types of dyslipidemia are categorized based on the imbalance of cholesterol and/or fat present in the blood:

  • Hyperlipidemia: High levels of cholesterol and/or fat in the blood
  • Hypolipidemia: Low levels of cholesterol and/or fat in the blood
  • Mixed hyperlipidemia: High levels of both cholesterol and/or fat in the blood

How is Dyslipidemia Diagnosed?

Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and take your medical history. They will also review your lifestyle, diet, and other risk factors. Your doctor will then be able to determine if you have dyslipidemia. Your doctor will likely recommend a lipid panel to measure the levels of cholesterol and/or fats in your blood.

What are the Risk Factors for Dyslipidemia?

Your risk of developing dyslipidemia is increased if you have any of the following factors:

  • A family history of dyslipidemia
  • High-fat diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Certain medical conditions (i.e. diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disorders)
  • Smoking

How is Dyslipidemia Managed?

Dyslipidemia is usually managed with lifestyle changes. Some of the lifestyle modifications that may be recommended include:

  • Limiting trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol in your diet
  • Eating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Weight loss (if necessary)
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Stopping smoking

Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help manage your condition.