High Cholesterol Treatments
Upon diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia, your doctor will likely recommend one or more medicinal remedies to lower your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Your doctor will then make a decision as to which medication is right for your personal case based on the effectiveness of the drug, its intensity, way in which it works, and taking into account any other medical conditions you may have.
The following is a list of drugs available to treat high blood cholesterol:
-Bile acid sequestrants
Before beginning any medicinal regimen to treat high cholesterol, begin with the following requisite steps in tackling hypercholesterolemia:
-Eat healthily, avoiding high cholesterol foods, sodium and fats
-Maintain a healthy lifestyle
-Lose weight if necessary
-Take fish oil (omega 3 fatty acid)
-Drink alcohol in moderation
-Eat soy protein
-Take plant stanols and sterols
-Eat artichokes, garlic, grapefruit, fish, fruits and vegetables
The most famously prescribed drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) are statins. The way in which these drugs work is by decreasing the liver’s natural production of cholesterol in order to lower blood LDL levels up to 60%. Statins may also reabsorb cholesterol lining arterial walls and lower the risk of coronary artery disease. Statins also raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides and the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The following is a list of statins:
Ezetimibe is a drug that works to block the body from absorbing cholesterol into the bloodstream. With this drug, the body can refrain from taking in cholesterol from consumed food as well as cholesterol that the body itself produces. In this way, ezetimibe lowers LDL cholesterol but does not impact HDL cholesterol.
Bile acid sequestrants bind to bile acid molecules in the intestine in order to diminish the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into the bloodstream from foods being metabolized. The small intestine uses cholesterol to help in digestion. Bile acid sequestrants bind to the bile acids in the small intestine and disable their function, thereby forcing the liver to send its produced cholesterol straight to the small intestine. This lowers the amount of cholesterol that is floating around the bloodstream and adhering to arteries.
The following is a list of bile acid sequestrants:
Taking a fiber supplement in addition to this drug may reduce abdominal side effects as well as the requisite dosage. These drugs do interact with some other drugs, so be sure to inform your healthcare provider of the medications you are currently taking.
People with specific types of familial hyperlipidemia and high cholesterol may be prescribed nicotinic acid, also known as niacin. There are different types of nicotinic acid available, but this vitamin can cause liver damage. So, patients using nicotinic acid need to visit their doctors regularly in order to monitor their liver function and any possible damage. Taking an aspirin half an hour before taking niacin and taking the vitamin with food helps reduce side effects. If you have chest pains, take bronchodilator drugs, have gout or diabetes, you should consult your doctor before taking niacin.
When a doctor wants to use the method of lowering triglyceride levels and raising those of HDL cholesterol, he or she may very well prescribe fibrate medications for hyperlipidemic and hypercholesterolemic patients.
The following is a list of fibrate medications:
(If you have renal disease or are already taking a statin drug, speak with your doctor about these matters before taking a fibrate.)
Cholesterol treatment is a lifelong process that requires commitment and dedication. It is important to take your prescribed medications and eat healthily. Gaining weight, smoking and overindulging on alcoholic beverages can be dangerous and cause lipid and LDL cholesterol levels to rise. It may take months before results are noticeable, so don’t get discouraged if you feel that your positive lifestyle changes are not affecting your treatment. Talk with your doctor to plan the best course of action to treat your case of hypercholesterolemia.