It's estimated that about two million women have something in common every year: Menopause. Most know when that "change of life" is coming, but few know that it can also trigger a change in your cholesterol.
That was a real blow to Glenn Loeb, who exercised regularly and felt lucky that her cholesterol levels were always low until the onset of menopause. She says her doctor explained it like this.
"He told me that it's not uncommon when a woman's estrogen level goes down her cholesterol, particularly the bad cholesterol, IDL, goes up," Glynn Loeb said.
"There is a slight increase, maybe 10 to 15 percent increase in the IDL cholesterol, that's the bad cholesterol, and there's a slight decrease in the HDL or the good cholesterol," said Dr. William James Howard, an Endocrinologist.
Dr. Howard says menopause triggers a number of changes that aren't completely understood. But we do know the best treatment for high cholesterol even if it is triggered by hormonal changes includes exercise, a healthier diet and, in some cases, medication. But women need to keep up with cholesterol levels, because high cholesterol may be a reason not to take hormone replacement therapy.