What if my child has very high cholesterol levels?


If your child’s cholesterol seems very elevated, it is very important that you speak with a healthcare provider who has advanced training in cholesterol management.  There are many reasons for high cholesterol and some of the most severe problems are inherited and extremely important to identify and properly treat while still in childhood.  A cholesterol specialist will help you identify if your child’s problem is related to very high LDL cholesterol, very high triglycerides, very low HDL cholesterol, or perhaps even a combination of issues.  High cholesterol can be inherited or it can be due to medications your child is taking, or it can be a result of other health problems your child is experiencing.

Here are some resources to get you started finding the answers you need:

How do I find the right specialist?

Some cholesterol specialists are lipidologists, which means they carry a specific certification in addition to their traditional primary care or specialty training.  You can find these specialists in your area at the National Lipid Association Website.  Be sure to set the “specialty” search filter to “Pediatrics” so that you find providers who have expertise in children.

You may also search the web for “Lipid Clinics” in your area.  They are often located in tertiary care centers such as Children’s Hospitals.

What type of problem might my child have?

There are some wonderful foundations that help support families facing severe cholesterol problems.  After you speak to your own healthcare provider and a specialist in cholesterol management, you will likely be given a diagnosis for your child’s cholesterol problem.  Depending on the diagnosis you are given, you can often find quality information that best fits the diagnosis.

Websites addressing some of the inherited cholesterol problems include:

The FH (Familial Hypercholesterolemia) Foundation – Children with FH page

The Lp(a) Foundation

Web MD also addresses some of the more severe cholesterol problems:

Very high triglycerides – Lipoprotein Lipase Deficiency 

Very high LDL cholesterol – Familial Hypercholesterolemia – FH

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER DIAGNOSE YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILD ONLINE!  

Seek medical advice first, and then use trusted sources on the internet to supplement that information.