What Is the Treatment for Hypercholesterolemia in Children?

Brandon May

Hypercholesterolemia in children is a rising problem and is often attributed to an inactive lifestyle and a poor diet. The most important treatment option for children suffering from high cholesterol levels is integrating plenty of physical activity throughout the day, as this has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. This may also help reduce weight, as being overweight is often a risk factor for hypercholesterolemia in children, and ensuring a diet that promotes a healthy body is also ideal. Some cholesterol-lowering drugs may be helpful in some children suffering from familial hypercholesterolemia or an inherited case of high cholesterol.

Reducing television usage and other sedentary activities may help treat hypercholesterolemia.
Reducing television usage and other sedentary activities may help treat hypercholesterolemia.

When the body produces more cholesterol than needed, it is often a sign that lifestyle or genetic factors are contributing to the development of poor health. With hypercholesterolemia in children, cholesterol levels may skyrocket to unhealthy levels, often leading to heart disease and diabetes. This is often a problem with children who are overweight, making lifestyle changes an important aspect of an overall treatment plan for those suffering from high cholesterol levels. The best lifestyle approaches to tackling hypercholesterolemia in children is diet and exercise, as both are needed to create a positive change in health.

Inactive lifestyles often lead to high cholesterol levels, and inactivity is an increasing problem in children. Implementing plenty of physical activity during the day and reducing television and computer activities may be helpful in treating hypercholesterolemia in children. Studies often show that exercise, no matter what form, can increase the good cholesterol in the body, often called the high density lipoproteins (HDL), and decrease the bad cholesterol, called the low density lipoproteins (LDL). Walking, running, swimming and cycling are all activities that can be included in a treatment plan for battling high cholesterol levels.

Changing the diet is another important aspect in decreasing cholesterol levels in children, as certain nutrients can raise cholesterol levels in most people. It is believed that reducing fat and cholesterol intake may be helpful, as well as reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates. A dietary change combined with exercise can work to reduce weight, as being overweight is another risk factor for hypercholesterolemia in children. With children suffering from a genetic form of hypercholesterolemia, or familial hypercholesterolemia, it may be important for the child to take medications, combined with lifestyle changes, to control cholesterol levels.

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