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High Cholesterol and FH

Why You Should Be Tested for HIGH CHOLESTEROL and FH Diagnosing and Treating FH Healthcare providers diagnose FH by taking a complete family medical history and doing a physical examination. They will often order a fasting lipoprotein profile, as well. If the LDL cholesterol level is severely high, FH is sometimes the culprit. Other tests measuring heart function and genetic profile may also be ordered. Diagnosing FH as soon as possible is absolutely critical because the condition can lead to serious heart events. Treating FH typically takes a more aggressive approach, involving medication, low-fat diet, exercise, weight control and not smoking. Changes to diet and exercise are nearly always part of the treatment plan, with total fat intake limited to less than 30 percent of total daily calories. For people with FH who are overweight or obese, weight loss is usually part of the plan. But these changes are rarely sufficient for helping people with FH get their cholesterol numbers into healthy ranges. Often, medication therapy is started for people with FH at an early age when it is detected in a young person. Sometimes a doctor will treat FH with some combination of the following medications, each of which have a different mechanism of action and can complement each other: statins, bile acid-sequestering resins, fibrates, PCSK9 inhibitors (more info about this class of medication is on page 13) and nicotinic acid. Consult a FH specialist about the right medications for you. For some people with FH, even adding medications to the treatment plan doesn’t lower cholesterol levels enough. In these cases, a procedure called apheresis may be the next step. This is a process in which blood is extracted through a machine, cleansed of excess LDL cholesterol by filters and returned to the patient. 18


High Cholesterol and FH
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