High Cholesterol Treatment – What Are Your Options For Treating High Cholesterol?
There are several modalities for high cholesterol treatment. Cholesterol is a fat that’s made in the liver. LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol transport fats from the liver into the cells of the body. If its levels are elevated it increases the risk for atherosclerosis, which can lead to stroke or heart attack. HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol returns fat to the liver, and elevated HDL helps prevent heart attacks. The right levels of cholesterol are important for the prevention of heart attacks and stroke. The patient and their doctor can try and treat cholesterol naturally or with drugs, as well as diet and lifestyle changes.
High Cholesterol Treatment – Natural Treatments
Niacin, or Vitamin B3, has been shown to reduce cholesterol, though it should be used carefully because it can be toxic to the liver. It can also cause skin flushing and other skin conditions, though these can be controlled by taking inositol hexaniacinate.
Pantethine, a form of Vitamin B5, can also lower lipid and LDL levels while raising HDL levels. Pantethine is an effective high cholesterol treatment that helps the body use fat more efficiently and quickly and has no toxic side effects. Studies of Vitamin C show that it’s useful in lowering “bad” cholesterol levels and raising HDL levels. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, is also good for lowering cholesterol levels. Flaxseed oil is also recommended.
Gugulipid, an extract of commiphora mukul, a tree native to India, is also beneficial as a high cholesterol treatment. It’s been shown to lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. It acts by helping the liver to better metabolize LDL, and in several studies lowered LDL cholesterol levels from 25 to 35 percent over a one to three month period. During the same period of time, gugulipid raised HDL cholesterol 16 to 20 percent. Like pantethine, it has no side effects and is considered safe to use even during pregnancy. It also might help prevent atherosclerosis.
Lifestyle changes can include more exercise and a diet high in fiber, such as that found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. The patient should lower their intake of salt, caffeine, fatty foods, red meat, full fat dairy products, refined cereal and breads, and soft drinks.
High Cholesterol Treatment – Conventional Drugs
Statins are drugs used for high cholesterol treatment. Some of them are atorvastatin, pravastatin and rosuvastatin, and they have many brand names. While they don’t work as well as niacin, they are fairly effective in lowering LDL and lower death rates for people with heart disease. Some statins are more effective than others, and the dose should be calibrated to the needs of the patient. The side effects of statins can be muscle pain, muscle cramps and abnormalities in the liver enzymes. Formerly, some physicians feared that statins increased the risk for cancer, but studies show there’s no significant increase in risk. Indeed, some statins appear to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Fibrates are also used as a high cholesterol treatment, especially when they’re used with statins. They are mainly noted for reducing triglycerides, but they are also able to influence all facets of one’s lipid profile. They can reduce LDL cholesterol by 5% to 20%, raise HDL cholesterol by 10% to 35%, and lower triglycerides by 20% to 50%. Fibrates may cause the same side effects as statins, and they’re also suspected of an increased cancer risk.
High Cholesterol Treatment Conclusions
The proper levels of cholesterol are important for the prevention of heart attacks and stroke. The patient and their healthcare provider should discuss the available alternatives that best fit the patient’s lifestyle. They can try and treat cholesterol naturally or with conventional drugs in order to find the best solution for high cholesterol treatment.
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