My cholesterol was 7.2 and I finally lowered it to 4.5 after it kept going up and down. I had to keep explaining to the gp that I was already restricting my diet to control my IBS (the gp referred me to a dietitian to be put on the low fodmap diet for IBS) when I had blood tests done. My cholesterol level depended on how much cholesterol lowering foods I could manage to eat ie. porridge, oatcakes pearl barley, soya products, benecol I ate, when they really aggravated my gut and caused my IBS to flare up. I stopped eating porridge and certain other foodstuffs that aggravated my gut and in 3 months my cholesterol had gone up from 4.5 to 5.2 and I know it will just keep getting higher if I don't eat the foodstuffs that my gut cannot absorb. My mother had a stroke when she was about my age, and although my diet and lifestyle are far more healthy than my mother's I do worry that if I can't lower my cholesterol I could have a stroke. I have told my gp that heart disease runs in my family but it didn't seem to count.