Everything You Need to Know About High Cholesterol (Part 2)

Complications of high cholesterol

If left untreated, high cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in your arteries. Over time, this plaque can narrow your arteries. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a serious condition. It can limit the flow of blood through your arteries. It also raises your risk of developing dangerous blood clots.

Atherosclerosis can result in many life-threatening complications, such as:

  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • angina (chest pain)
  • high blood pressure
  • peripheral vascular disease
  • chronic kidney disease

High cholesterol can also create a bile imbalance, raising your risk of gallstones.

How to diagnose high cholesterol

To measure your cholesterol levels, your doctor will use a simple blood test. It’s known as a lipid panel. They can use it to assess your levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

To conduct this test, your doctor or other healthcare professional will take a sample of your blood. They will send this sample to a lab for analysis. When your test results become available, they will let you know if your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are too high.

To prepare for this test, your doctor may ask you to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 12 hours beforehand.

Source: WedMD

How to lower cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help lower it. For instance, they may recommend changes to your diet, exercise habits, or other aspects of your daily routine. If you smoke tobacco products, they will likely advise you to quit.

Your doctor may also prescribe medications or other treatments to help lower your cholesterol levels. In some cases, they may refer you to a specialist for more care.

Lowering cholesterol through diet

To help you achieve and maintain healthy cholesterol levels, your doctor may recommend changes to your diet.

For example, they may advise you to:

  • limit your intake of foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats
  • choose lean sources of protein, such as chicken, fish, and legumes
  • eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • eat foods rich in omega-3. Fish and other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids may also help lower your LDL levels. For example, salmon, mackerel, and herring are rich sources of omega-3s. Walnuts, almonds, ground flax seeds, and avocados also contain omega-3s.
  • opt for baked, broiled, steamed, grilled, and roasted foods instead of fried foods
  • avoid fast food and junk food

Dietary cholesterol is found in animal products, such as meat, eggs, and dairy. To help treat high cholesterol, your doctor may encourage you to limit your intake of high-cholesterol foods. Foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, or trans fats include:

  • red meat, organ meats
  • egg yolks
  • high-fat dairy products, such as full-fat cheese, milk, ice cream, and butter
  • processed foods made with cocoa butter, palm oil, or coconut oil
  • deep fried foods, such as potato chips, onion rings, and fried chicken
  • certain baked goods, such as some cookies and muffins

Cholesterol medications

In some cases, your doctor might prescribe medications to help lower your cholesterol levels.

Statins are the most commonly prescribed medications for high cholesterol. They block your liver from producing more cholesterol.

Examples of statins include:

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • simvastatin (Zocor)

Your doctor may also prescribe other medications for high cholesterol, such as:

  • niacin
  • bile acid resins or sequesterants, such as colesevalam (Welchol), colestipol (Colestid), or cholestyramine (Prevalite)
  • cholesterol absorption inhibitors, such as ezetimibe (Zetia)

Some products contain a combination of drugs to help decrease your body’s absorption of cholesterol from foods and reduce your liver’s production of cholesterol. One example is a combination of ezetimibe and simvastatin (Vytorin).

How to lower cholesterol naturally

In some cases, you may be able to lower your cholesterol levels without taking medications. For example, it may be enough to eat a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking tobacco products.

Some people also claim that certain herbal and nutritional supplements may help lower cholesterol levels. For instance, such claims have been made about:

  • garlic
  • hawthorn
  • astragalus
  • red yeast rice
  • plant sterol and stanol supplements
  • oat bran, found in oatmeal and whole oats
  • blond psyllium, found in psyllium seed husk
  • ground flax seed

However, the level of evidence supporting these claims varies. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved any of these products for treating high cholesterol. More research is needed to learn if they can help treat this condition.

Always talk to your doctor before taking any herbal or nutritional supplements. In some cases, they might interact with other medications you’re taking.

How to prevent high cholesterol

Genetic risk factors for high cholesterol can’t be controlled. However, lifestyle factors can be managed.

To lower your risk of developing high cholesterol:

  • eat a nutritious diet that’s low in cholesterol and animal fats, and high in fiber
  • avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • exercise regularly
  • don’t smoke
Source: O.K Pharmacy

You should also follow your doctor’s recommendations for routine cholesterol screening. If you’re at risk of high cholesterol or coronary heart disease, they will likely encourage you to get your cholesterol levels tested on a regular basis.

Outlook for high cholesterol

If left untreated, high cholesterol can cause serious health problems and even death. However, treatment can help you manage this condition, and in many cases, it can help you avoid complications.

To learn if you have high cholesterol, ask your doctor to test your cholesterol levels. If they diagnose you with high cholesterol, ask them about your treatment options.

To lower your risk of complications from high cholesterol, practice healthy lifestyle habits and follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco products may help you achieve and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It could also help lower your risk of complications from high cholesterol.

Source: HEALTHLINE

About STELLA

Stellapharm is one of leading generics pharmaceutical companies and strong producer of anti-viral drugs in Vietnam. The company established in Vietnam in 2000; and focuses on both prescription drugs and non-prescription especially in cardiovascular diseases, antiviral drugs, anti-diabetics drugs, etc. and our products are now used by millions of patients in more than 50 countries worldwide.

The company is globally recognized for its quality through our facilities have been audited and approved by stringent authority like EMA, PMDA, Taiwan GMP, local WHO and others.

Additional information for this article: Stellapharm J.V. Co., Ltd. – Branch 1
A: 40 Tu Do Avenue, Vietnam – Singapore Industrial Park, An Phu Ward, Thuan An Town, Binh Duong Province, Vietnam
T: +84 274 376 7470 | F: +84 274 376 7469 | E: info@stellapharm.com | W: www.stellapharm.com

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