Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Am I too young to start taking cholesterol medication?"
I'm 30 years old and my doc said that my cholesterol is too high. He said I should take a few months to try and lower it on my own, but what if that doesn't work? Is it bad to take cholesterol medication at my age? If I start taking it now will I have to take it for the rest of my days?
First of all, congratulations on going to see your doctor regularly! Many people are reluctant to go see their doctors at such a young age for regular physical examinations, but your case demonstrates why this is so helpful and important. Identification early in life of problems like high cholesterol means that they can be fixed before they have time to cause problems like heart disease or other chronic medical conditions. High cholesterol is a very common problem. In part, high cholesterol is determined by genetics, but it is also very strongly influenced by diet, exercise, and being overweight. Therefore, it is pretty common therefore for primary care doctors to begin by recommending that patients start by dieting and trying to lose weight and exercise. Many times, this is all that is needed to bring the cholesterol back in line. However, in some cases, medications are needed. Your doctor will help you determine you personal level of risk for heart disease and other complications of high cholesterol. Based on your risk, they can recommend whether or not you need to start medications. Fortunately, medications for cholesterol are generally quite safe, and they can be taken for many years, if needed, without causing any problems.
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