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How do I lower my cholesterol levels?

Q: I am a 31 years old female, weighing 58 kg. Lately, I had a medical check up and it shows I have high cholesterol, which is 242 mg/dl. I have changed my diet under a dietitian’s instruction. However, even after a change in diet, I have gained two more kg. I get breathless and have chest pain while walking vigorously. Why have I gained weight and how can I manage my high cholesterol levels?

A:Your cholesterol is high and your weight too. Your two kg weight gain, as in most cases, has been due to your earlier diet pattern and not due to the new one as weight takes some time to add on- at least a week. I would advise you to continue with the dietary programme. It is important that you do mild-moderate exercises while you are on a diet and continue even afterwards. Please have your heart assessed through an ECG/ Echocardiography and also get a lung function/Pulmonary Function test (PFT) done for your lung capacity before you start vigorous walking. At your age these should be fine and the breathlessness and pain may largely be due to your weight and lack of earlier exercise.

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