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I am a 31 year old woman in good health. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I exercise regularly using a program that combines weights and aerobics. I am within my "ideal weight range." I have a busy, stressful job, so my eating habits are not perfect, but they are pretty decent. I have spent a lot of time researching diet and nutrition so I know what I am supposed to eat and what I'm not, and I think I am good most of the time.

However, I just had my yearly physical, and I was advised that my cholesterol is a problem. My overall cholesterol is 188, but my LDL is 122. From what I read this is higher than "optimal." My doctor is sending me information about a low cholesterol diet.

From what I read, women who are not menopausal are less likely than men to have problems with cholesterol. I just don't get it. Is this really a lifestyle issue (I think my habits are better than most!), or could there be something else wrong with me that is causing this?

I do have a history of hypothyroidism, but for the past 6 years my thyroid levels have been normal (including on my most recent blood test taken at the same time as the cholesterol test.)

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Hi, sometimes high cholestoral is just heridatory, just in the family.

I am in Australia, we can buy marjarine (spreads) that lower the cholestoral, as they have plant extracts in them, seems to work quite well.

read up about macadamia nuts also, despite having a high fat content (the good fat tho) seem to lower cholestoral, so does lecithen products
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Hi,
I'm also 31 and female and have recently been told I have high cholesterol. Very high cholesterol, 292!!! I'm 5'2, about 125lbs, eat a normal somewhat healthy diet. I don't eat alot of meat or fat food, I eat veggies and fruit everyday,don't smoke, drink very little, and have no family history of it. I was compleatly shocked! All my doctor said was diet and exercise would probley make no difference and I need to be on statin drugs asap. I have also been doing a lot of research on the subject and it is rare for women our age and lifestyle to have such high cholesterol. I asked if there might me something wrong with me, and all he said was go vegetarian, exercise more, and take the meds. Thanks! I feel hopeless about it. Even if I can reduce it by 50% on my own with diet & exercise, it will still be high. Women and cholesterol is an almost unexplored subject in the medical world as I'm comeing to find out. Almost all of the studies done are only done with men, and almost all of the statin drug trials are done with men! Some reports I've read even say that women with high cholesterol vs. men with high cholesterol are too totally different subjects, and it's much worse for a man than it is a women. Most doctors treat women the same way they would treat men and it's not the same. I wish i had more advise to give and I wish i had answers for you and for me. I'm afraid to go on statins with all the dangerous side effects and because of how long I'll be on them considering I'm only 31! I'm almost wondering if I'm Premenopausal, since thats when cholesterol spikes in women. I'm young, but my Mom went through it in her 30's and I have alot of other strange health issues going on that the doctors can't figure out either. Just saying....
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Hi JeanniferB,
I suspect that if your total cholesterol is 292 mg/dl (7.56 mmol/L), and at your young age, and your mother had it at about the same age, it could probably point to a hereditary or familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Since the level is actually not so high as seen in homozygous FH, I think yours maybe a case of heterozygous FH. Prof Faridah Abdul Rashid (Universiti Sains Malaysia).
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