Making dietary changes, getting regular physical activity and taking medications used to control high cholesterol are three ways to treat hyperlipidemia, according to the American Heart Association. Hyperlipidemia occurs when an excessive amount of lipids, or fats, are in the blood.
Many people improve their lipid levels by exercising and making healthful food choices. To manage hyperlipidemia, patients should increase fiber intake, reduce the consumption of red meat, lose excess weight and avoid full-fat dairy products, advises the American Heart Association.
Exercise affects lipid levels in two ways, explains WebMD. It stimulates the activity of enzymes that move low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, from the bloodstream to the liver and increases the size of the particles responsible for carrying cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Several types of medications are used to control hyperlipidemia that does not improve with lifestyle changes, including statins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, bile acid binding resins, fibrates and combination drugs, as reported by Mayo Clinic. These medicines reduce HDL levels, lower triglycerides or increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol, in the blood. Cholesterol-lowering drugs have a range of side effects, from nausea and vomiting to muscle soreness, so it is important to see a doctor regularly while taking one of these medications.