An important part of treating your high cholesterol is first understanding what it means. According to the Mayo Clinic, cholesterol is a waxy substance. If someone has high levels of cholesterol they are at risk for the waxy substance to build up over time and cause fat deposits.
These fat deposits then put patients at risk of blockage of blood vessels, heart attacks, and
strokes. The good news is there are many ways to reduce high cholesterol as well as prevent it.
The two main categories of treatment, lifestyle modification and pharmacologic interventions,
are discussed below.
● Recommended lifestyle modifications:
○ Starting a low salt diet
○ Maintaining a diet high in fruits/vegetables and low in saturated fats
○ Exercising consistently (4 or more days a week for 30 minutes a day)
○ Smoking cessation
○ Maintaining a healthy BMI
● Pharmacologic interventions: Medications commonly used to reduce cholesterol include
statins, bile-acid sequestrants, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, and fibrates. Your doctor should discuss the risks and benefits associated with these medications with you before starting any pharmacologic treatment.
Make sure you’re undergoing regular testing to monitor your cholesterol. Discuss any changes or new symptoms with your doctor immediately. The Mayo Clinic reports cholesterol screenings should occur every one to two years for middle aged men and women but recommended people with high cholesterol or risk factors (family history, heart disease,
diabetes, etc.) get checked more frequently.
This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.
There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.
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