Treatment for High Cholesterol


Cholesterol is a kind of lipid found in the bloodstream. Your body indeed produces some cholesterol. The remainder is acquired from the diet. Some cholesterol is required for proper cell development and hormone production. Yet, when cholesterol levels get too high, the fat deposits within the blood vessels narrow, and blood flow slows or stops. Increased danger of cardiovascular illness, heart attack, and stroke are associated with untreated high cholesterol. High LDL or total cholesterol levels may be treated with dietary modifications and medicines prescribed by your doctor. Several suggestions are provided below for lowering cholesterol levels to acceptable levels.

Cholesterol comes in two forms −

  • LDL cholesterol, the sort that builds up in your arteries, is the wrong kind.

  • HDL cholesterol is good because it removes the bad cholesterol (LDL) from the blood (and vice versa).

Assess the Potential Hazards

There are likely more risks to your heart than high cholesterol. The likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke increases if you have any of the following risk factors: cardiovascular disease, a history of cardiovascular disease in the family;

  • Hypertension

  • Smoking

  • Inactivity

  • Overweight

  • Diabetes

See your physician if you experience these risk factors to discuss treatment options

Develop your ability to find your way around. Talk to your primary care provider about the most effective strategy for lowering your LDL cholesterol and raising your HDL values. The following price ranges are ones that we recommend: Below 200 mg/dL for both total and LDL cholesterol; below 100 mg/dL for both, if possible.

The recommended minimum for HDL cholesterol is 60 mg/dl. Your ideal cholesterol level might be a little lower or a little higher, depending on your age, gender, and likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

Attempt a Dietary Shift

Adjusting your diet slightly helps your statistics go back to a healthy range. Try to restrict or avoid eating meals high in these fats: saturated fats. Consuming foods that come from animals is associated with a rise in bad cholesterol (LDL). Saturated fats are prevalent in animal products, dairy, eggs, and certain vegetable oils like palm and coconut. Trans fats. These synthetic fats are made using a chemical process that transforms liquid vegetable oil into a solid and is sold to consumers.

Fried foods, fast food, and baked goods all tend to have a high concentration of trans fats. Maybe these meals would be better for your health if they had less nutrients but still raised LDL cholesterol levels in the same way. Examples of foods in this category that are both high in cholesterol and saturated fat include red meat and full-fat dairy products. These two things are both included in the list's requirements. Yet, there are foods that may either reduce LDL cholesterol directly or block its absorption in the body. Two approaches exist for achieving this goal.

Orange juice and margarine are products fortified with sterols and stanols. Also included in this category of foods are fortified whole grains (like barley and oats), avocados, nuts, seeds, beans, healthy oils (like safflower, olive oil, sunflower and avocado), fatty fish (like mackerel, salmon, and herring), apples, soy, pears, and various berries.

Be More Active

There is a correlation between having extra fat in the stomach and having high LDL and lower HDL levels. Even only a ten percent decrease in performance would be catastrophic. Keeping your weight at a healthy level might help you keep control of the cholesterol that builds up in your body.

Your overweight may be reduced if you improve your diet and increase your physical activity. Regular exercise, such as a brisk walk or ride on a bike, may help boost HDL cholesterol, which in turn helps cleanse the blood of bad LDL cholesterol. This is because HDL cholesterol is a "scavenger" for LDL cholesterol. Make it a goal to participate in moderately strenuous aerobic exercise for at least half an hour five days a week.

Succeed in Breaking the Habit

The use of tobacco products is linked to an increase in cholesterol levels and an increased risk of developing cancer and COPD. Those who smoke cigarettes often have raised total cholesterol levels, elevated LDL cholesterol, and reduced HDL cholesterol levels.

Despite how hard it may be for you to give up smoking, many tools may assist you in doing so. If you've previously tried numerous techniques to stop smoking without success, consult your doctor for guidance on what more you may do.

Medications

Consider prescription medication if your cholesterol levels haven't decreased with diet and exercise alone. Consult your medical professional for advice on what action is right for you. When choosing whether to prescribe one of these cholesterol-lowering drugs, they will consider your personal health history, family history, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Muscle aches and stiffness; elevated blood sugar levels; are all potential adverse effects of statins. Symptoms include sickness, headaches, bowel problems, and abdominal pain.

Suppressants of bile acid production

Bile acid sequestrants prevent bile acids from entering the bloodstream by binding to bile acids in the stomach. The liver must remove cholesterol from the blood to increase the production of these digesting chemicals.

It's possible for bile acid sequestrates to cause the following adverse reactions −

  • Heartburn, bloating, and flatulence

  • Constipation

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

Meds prevent cholesterol from being absorbed. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors work by preventing cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines. Two medications can be found in this category. Limiting the body's ability to absorb cholesterol might have certain unwanted side effects −

  • Gas

  • Stomach pain

  • Muscle soreness

  • Constipation

  • Weakness

  • Tiredness

Niacin

Niacin, a kind of vitamin B, may assist in the production of healthy HDL cholesterol. Niacor and Niaspan are two popular brands of prescription niacin. Niacin may have the following potential side effects −

  • Itching

  • Flushing of the neck and face

  • Belly pain

  • Dizziness

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting and nausea

  • Increase in blood sugar levels

Because of the medications' relative novelty, the full range of their possible adverse effects is currently being researched. Several of these have been seen in human clinical trials −

  • Swelling, itching, pain

  • Back pain

  • Flu and colds

Fibrates

Triglycerides are the primary target of fibrates, which may also improve HDL cholesterol levels.

Side effects can include −

  • Liver inflammation

  • Stomach issues, such as diarrhea, discomfort, and nausea

Updated on: 04-Apr-2023

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