Your doc should order a coronary artery calcium (CAC) test. The results will show whether you have any atherosclerosis (plaques in arteries) and the amount, represented as a score, will provide you and your doc much more info about whether you are a candidate for statin therapy. Regular exercise is an excellent way to help lower cholesterol. But nothing will control your cholesterol (and other dangerous lipids) like statin therapy. For the drug treatment-averse, why not start low and slow (most statins can be broken in half and/or taken on alternate days); this approach not only settled my own worries about side effects, but worked so effectively that I continue to take just 10mg atorvastatin (a very low dose). Good luck!
Depends on the cause. My cholesterol has risen twice. Once due to untreated Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and again from toxic mould exposure. Otherwise I have optimal cholesterol levels. If it is diet related then consider intermittent fasting. I love intermittent fasting 16:8 method.