If you have recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol, chances are that you're quite worried about your condition. Along with genes, age, and various other factors, high cholesterol can be a significant contributor to health issues such as heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease. Although it's impossible to remove any unhealthy genes from your DNA, it is possible to have an impact on your cholesterol levels by using effective cholesterol treatments. For many people, something as simple as making a change to their lifestyle, such as losing weight, exercising, and eating better, can be enough to lower cholesterol significantly.
Finding the Best Cholesterol Treatments:
There is quite a bit of room for flexibility in the way that cholesterol treatments work within any given individual. Treatments that were ideal for your husband may do nothing for you, and the other way around. Sometimes, it depends entirely on your genes, and your doctor should be able to help you come up with a tailor-made approach. For most people, the first step in reducing cholesterol is eating better, exercising more, and losing weight.
Exercise and Weight Loss:
Of the many high cholesterol treatments that exist today, many people actually forget about the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle. Being overweight increases your odds of suffering from lower levels of good cholesterol and having higher levels of bad cholesterol. Furthermore, other issues can become prominent, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and so on.
Of course, as with most things in life, there is a limit on what exercise and healthy living will be able to do for you. For most people, the act of exercising more will not be an effective therapy by itself for lowering cholesterol substantially. However, it can be fantastic for keeping your weight down towards a more manageable, and healthier level, reducing your chance of suffering from other cardiovascular-related risks.
Using Medications as Cholesterol Treatments:
If simply changing your lifestyle isn't enough to have a significant impact on your cholesterol levels, or if you are suffering from excessively high risks of problems with your heart, then your doctor is more likely to turn to medication. Most of the time, the drug that you try will be called a statin such as Lescol, Crestor, or Lipitor. These drugs work by blocking the enzyme within your body that helps to produce more cholesterol. They also lower your levels of bad cholesterol by anywhere from 20 to 55 percent.
Of course, statins cannot perform miracles and they do not make you invulnerable to further problems, so it's important to remember that simply taking medication does not give you the option to eat a cholesterol-packed diet. Similarly, like any other drug, statins come with side effects, including increased liver enzymes and muscle aches. Then again, it is important for people to remember that the side effects of these drugs are often quite minimal, especially in comparison to the good that they can do. Statins pose a 1 to 2% risk of mild side effects.