Cholesterol is a fat-like product that is made in your body. Cholesterol is essential for your body to function normally, however, too much bad cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia) can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can be ‘silent’ – there are often no signs or symptoms to warn you. This is why it is important to get your cholesterol levels checked regularly. Most people can lower their cholesterol levels by eating a low fat and low cholesterol diet, exercising and losing weight if needed. Some people may be required to take medications to lower their cholesterol levels in addition to eating well and exercising regularly.