Hyperlipidemia itself presents no visible symptoms, but lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise adjustments are generally the first step in treating the condition, according to VascularWeb. Medications are only used if patients are at risk of heart disease or require a stronger treatment.
Lifestyle changes can lower cholesterol by as much as 20 percent. Dietary adjustments that physicians normally recommend as therapeutic lifestyle changes include reducing fat intake to 25 to 35 percent of the patient's daily calories, reducing saturated fat intake to around 7 percent and limiting cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams per day, as stated by VascularWeb. Patients can also consume soy products and other meat substitutes, which contain an antioxidant that lowers LDL, or bad, cholesterol.
Patients may need to lose weight to balance cholesterol levels, and an exercise program may be prescribed to raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels, according to VascularWeb. Patients should also quit smoking, as this activity is associated with decreased HDL levels as well as narrowed and injured blood vessels, which may lead to hardening of the arteries. Lipid-lowering medications, such as bile acid sequestrants, statin drugs, fibrates and niacin, are generally prescribed to women after menopause and men over the age of 35.