What Are The Precautions For Taking Cholesterol Medication
Looking for the best cholesterol medication means you need to know what precautions to take. Each drug has side effects like diarrhea, constipation, nausea, muscle soreness/pain/weakness, stomach pain, bloating, gas, fatigue, cramps, abdominal pain, flushing , peptic ulcers, vomiting, gout, high blood sugar, dizziness, heart palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, chills, indigestion, belching, swelling, itching, rashes, hives, flu, and swelling of nasal passages.
Additionally, statins can negatively react when taken in combination with grapefruit juice. Injectable medications may also cause some bruising or pain on the area that was injected.
These side effects do not show up together or all at once. Most of them are also mild. To properly manage these, you need to consult with your doctor before taking any medication. Even the best cholesterol medication can only efficiently work if taken correctly, in correct dosages and amounts.
Side effects like these are the primary reason why some people including doctors prefer to go more natural on their cholesterol medication choices.
Factors That Contribute To High Triglycerides
To assess what kind of treatment might be best for you or if youll need treatment at all your doctor will first look at your blood lipid levels, paying attention to the ratio of triglycerides to total cholesterol, as well as your personal and family history and existing risk factors, says Jacoby.
The 2018 joint guidelines from the AHA and the American College of Cardiology recommend that anyone age 20 or older who has triglyceride levels of 175 to 499 mg/dL first be treated for the underlying medical causes that can contribute to poor blood lipid levels. These include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
If youve been diagnosed with one of these conditions, your doctor may recommend specific management techniques, which could include many of the lifestyle changes mentioned below, as well as medications.
Some medications, such as oral estrogen medications, beta-blockers, and certain corticosteroids and osteoporosis drugs, may also raise triglyceride levels. If one or more of your medications contributes to your high triglyceride levels, its important to talk to your doctor about how your medications may be affecting you and what that means for your health. According to Dr. Freeman, your doctor might add a medication, switch medications, or recommend changes to your diet to lower your levels. Those changes often include reducing your intake of added sugar, simple carbs, and high-fat foods and moving to a low-fat, whole-foodsbased diet.
Effect Of Niacin On Cardiovascular Outcomes
COMBINATION WITH FIBRATES
In the Stockholm Ischemic Heart Disease Secondary Prevention Study survivors of a myocardial infarction below 70 years of age were randomized to a control group and a group treated with clofibrate and immediate release nicotinic acid . Serum cholesterol and TG was lowered by 13% and 19%, respectively, in the treatment group compared to the control group. Recurrent myocardial infarction was reduced by 50% within one year . Total mortality was decreased by 26% in the group treated with clofibrate + niacin while ischemic heart disease mortality was decreased by 36% . Notably, the benefit of clofibrate + niacin was only observed in patients with a baseline TG level > 143mg/dl. In the age of statins, the clinical implications of this early study are unclear.
COMBINATION WITH STATINS
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Treatment If The Condition Gets Worse
If you have not previously been taking medicines for high triglycerides, you probably will start. If you have been taking medicines but they have not been effective, your doctor may change your dosage or add new medicines. The medicines that you might take are:
If you are taking a statin, you need to be extra careful if you are also taking fibrate medicines. There is a greater risk for a life-threatening muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to kidney failure. Before you can take this combination of medicines, your kidneys and liver must be healthy and functioning normally. If you have any muscle problems or pain, report it immediately to your doctor.
Microscopic Testing Of Feces
Microscopic testing for fats is performed to identify the amount of fat present in feces. Using a microscopic exam, the laboratory professional is able to determine the number and size of fat droplets present in feces, as well as the type of fats present. The types of fats in feces include triglycerides, fatty acids, and fatty acid salts. The presence of fat in the stool is called steatorrhea, a possible sign or symptom of serious malabsorption syndromes and diseases such as celiac sprue and cystic fibrosis. Triglycerides 1-5 Fatty acids 5-15
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My Cholesterol Is Normal But My Triglycerides Are High: Why Is That
So both your HDL and LDL levels are where they should be, but your triglycerides are still high why is that?
Triglycerides become elevated due to excess calories that do not get burned off, and in turned get stored in fat cells. Statins are medications that primarily lower LDL cholesterol, but depending on the medication dose, can lower Triglycerides from 20 to 40 percent, Sai Hanumanthu MD, with the TriHealth Heart Institute explains.
There are steps you can take to lower your triglyceride levels while promoting good cardiovascular health, including:
- Losing 5 to 10 pounds if overweight
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding foods high in saturated fats
- Limiting simple carbs that have high processed sugars .
- Participating in 30 minutes of exercise per day
All these suggestions and routine follow up with a medical professional will lower you triglyceride level, even despite a low total cholesterol, Dr. Hanumanthu says.
Effect Of Fibrates In Combination With Other Lipid Lowering Drugs On Lipid And Lipoprotein Levels
Statins are the primary drugs used to treat most patients with dyslipidemia. Statins are very effective in lowering LDL-C levels but have only modest effects on TG and HDL-C levels. Therefore, it is appealing to add a fibrate to patients who on statin therapy have LDL-C levels at goal but still have elevated non-HDL-C and TG levels and decreased HDL-C levels. Therefore, there have been numerous studies examining the effect of the combination of statins and fibrates on lipid and lipoprotein levels. An example is the Safari Trial which compared the effect of simvastatin only vs. simvastatin + fenofibrate in patients with combined hyperlipidemia . The results of this trial are shown in . As anticipated, adding a fibrate results in a further lowering of LDL-C, non-HDL-C, and TG levels with a further increase in HDL-C.
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Replace Saturated Fats With Healthier Fats
Replacing foods that contain mainly saturated fats with foods that contain unsaturated fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will help reduce your cholesterol level.
For example, instead of butter and cream in cooking, use olive oil, nut butters or avocado.
Healthy unsaturated fats are found in:
- oily fish
- fruits and vegetables
Mechanisms Accounting For The Niacin Induced Lipid Effects
Early studies demonstrated that niacin inhibited the release of free fatty acids from cultured adipocytes and decreased circulating free fatty acid levels . The ability of niacin to inhibit adipose tissue lipolysis is mediated by the activation of GPR109A , a G protein-coupled receptor that is highly expressed in adipose tissue . It was initially thought that the decrease in plasma TGs induced by niacin therapy was due to niacin inhibiting lipolysis in adipose tissue resulting in a decrease in the transport of fatty acids to the liver leading to the decreased availability of fatty acids for hepatic TG synthesis. However, studies have shown that while niacin acutely decreases plasma free fatty acid levels this inhibition is not sustained . Additionally, studies in mice lacking GPR109A have shown that niacin does not inhibit lipolysis but still decreases plasma TG and LDL-C levels . Moreover, studies in humans using GPR109A agonists lowered plasma free fatty acid levels but did not cause the expected effects on plasma TGs and LDL-C . Thus, the effects of niacin on adipose tissue lipolysis are no longer thought to mediate the niacin induced decrease in plasma TG levels.
LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN
The decrease in plasma LDL-C with niacin therapy is thought to be secondary to a reduction in VLDL and LDL formation and secretion by the liver .
HIGH DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN
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When And Why Triglyceride Levels Should Be Treated
Triglyceride levels are only part of the picture of cardiovascular disease risk, and whats normal can depend on your individual health factors. That said, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, triglyceride guidelines are defined as:
- Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 150 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL
- High: 200 to 499 mg/dL
- Very high: 500 mg/dL and above
If you are in a category above normal, your doctor will likely recommend lifestyle changes and possibly discuss medications to normalize your levels and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. High triglycerides seem to create some increased levels of cardiovascular risk similar to LDL cholesterol, says Andrew Freeman, MD, a cardiologist at National Jewish Health in Denver. Triglycerides can play a role in the development of atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in arteries that restricts blood flow and is associated with coronary heart disease, angina, and peripheral artery disease, says the AHA.
According to Mayo Clinic, high triglycerides can often be a sign of other conditions that raise your cardiovascular disease risk, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome, which is defined as having at least three out of a group of conditions: excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, reduced HDL cholesterol, and, of course, high triglycerides. Extremely high triglycerides can lead to pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas.
Lifestyle Management For High Triglycerides
If your triglyceride levels fall into the borderline high category, says Jacoby, Its extremely likely that making lifestyle improvements alone will control your levels. Most often, people with moderate levels have metabolic problems, including prediabetes and diabetes, which also respond well to healthy lifestyle changes.
The AHA/ACC guidelines recommend the following lifestyle changes to lower levels:
- Reduce your body weight
- Reduce your carbohydrate consumption
- Eat omega-3 fatty acids
Combining a low-carb diet with exercise and fish oil is often enough to get control of your triglycerides, says Jacoby, and can have the additional benefit of addressing metabolic problems and reducing body weight. For the majority of people with moderate to severe elevations, triglyceride levels are very responsive to a heart-healthy lifestyle. Its worth trying to normalize through those changes and then move on to medications if lifestyle isnt sufficient, he says.
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What Are The Best Medications For Lowering Cholesterol
Here are five of the best medication options for lowering cholesterol. Some of the items in this list are herbal/natural supplements.
- Concerning Life Cholestro Destroyer
- Dr. Tobias Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
- Our rating
This is a 100% natural cholesterol management supplement. Its primary function is to lower harmful cholesterol levels. An add-on function is helping improve the patients immune system while keeping the heart healthy and protected.
UltaLife Premium Cholesterol Support is made of the most exquisite heart-healthy ingredients like niacin, plant sterols, cayenne herb powder, guggulipids, policosanol, and garlic herb powder. Cayenne helps eliminate or lessen the build of plaque on the arterial walls.
How Can Triglyceride Levels Be Lowered
If your triglyceride levels are high, the next step is for your doctor to check for potential causes. Certain medications, thyroid function issues, poorly controlled diabetes, liver or kidney disease can all cause triglyceride levels to be higher than normal.
The first steps in treatment to lower triglyceride levels include eating a healthy diet, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and aerobic exercise on a regular basis.
To lower your triglyceride levels, your diet should be:
- low in fats
- low in simple carbohydrates
- low in alcohol
If you have high triglycerides and low HDL or high LDL levels, you may need to take medication along with making lifestyle changes. If your triglyceride levels are in the very high range you are at risk to develop other medical problems, so you will most likely need to take medication.
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How Often Should I Have My Cholesterol Tested
Adults should have their blood lipids measured every 5 years, starting at 45 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should start lipid blood tests at 35, because on average heart and blood vessel disease such as heart attacks and stroke happen 10 to 20 years earlier in Indigenous people.
All Australians in these age groups are eligible for a regular 20-minute heart health check with their doctor. This checks your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Your doctor can then assess your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years.
What Are The Components Of Cholesterol Medication
Not all cholesterol medications are created the same way. Some are more effective than the others, and there are those that have more severe side effects compared to other medicines. This is because each one is made to attack bad cholesterol differently, although the general goals are to reduce the LDL levels and increase HDL.
Statins. One of the best cholesterol medication options, statins removes excess cholesterol in a patients blood vessels by reducing the livers cholesterol production capabilities. They are also suitable for increasing the levels of good cholesterol or HDL. There are seven basic types of statins available in the market. Also, there are also statins in some combination medications like lovastatin + niacin, simvastatin + ezetimibe, and atorvastatin + amlodipine.
Statin formulation varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, that is why it is essential to consult with your doctor before taking one. It has both active and inactive ingredients and may contain preservatives.
Bile Acid Binding Resins. Bile Acid Binding Resins gets rid of the bad cholesterol in the body by preventing bile absorption during the digestion process. Bile is created with the aid of cholesterol, and it is essential for digestive purposes. This cholesterol-lowering medication binds to bile. Therefore, the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream is significantly reduced.
Prescription-strength niacin options are Niaspan, Slo-Niacin, and Niacor.
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Choose Fish In Water Not Oil
Fish is a heart healthy food, but read the label carefully when you buy canned fish. Doctors recommend that you watch your intake of fat when you have high triglycerides, especially saturated and trans fats. It is a better idea to buy canned fish that is packed in water. You will get all the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in fish without the downside of additional fats that may contribute to high triglyceride levels. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week. Fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna.
Drug Administration And Pharmacokinetics
The recommended starting dose is 285 mg injected subcutaneously once weekly for 3 months after which the dose should be reduced to 285 mg every 2 weeks. If serum TGs decrease by less than 25% or are not below 2000 mg/dl after 3 months on volanesorsen 285 mg weekly, treatment should be discontinued .
After 6 months of treatment one can consider increasing the dose frequency back to 285 mg weekly if the serum TG response has been inadequate and the platelet counts are in the normal range. Patients should return to 285 mg every 2 weeks if the higher 285 mg once weekly dose does not provide a significant additional TG reduction after 9 months .
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Increase Your Physical Activity
Physical activity increases levels of HDL cholesterol the good cholesterol that removes LDL cholesterol from the blood. Vigorous aerobic exercise is best.
If you havent been exercising much lately, gradually build up to the recommended amount of physical activity:
- People aged 18-64 years should do 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
- People aged 65 years and over should aim for a total of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days .
Moderate-intensity exercise is a level that increases your heart rate and breathing but allows you to keep talking. Vigorous intensity exercise makes your heart rate higher and makes you breathe more heavily.
Resistance training and muscle-toning exercises can increase HDL cholesterol. Aim to do this twice a week.
Fuel Up On Whole Foods
Eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean sources of protein rather than fatty, sugary, and processed foods helps with weight and overall health, along with improving cholesterol levels.
Making all of these dietary changes may seem like a tall order, but adopting even one small change at a time can make a big difference. Once youve mastered one healthy diet tweak, move on to the next. If you need help putting all this advice into action, ask your healthcare provider to recommend a registered dietitian that you can work with to reduce cholesterol levels even more.
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How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally In 28 Simple Steps
There are tons of natural remedies out there for how to lower cholesterol levels, often promising quick results with next to no effort required on your part. But while its true that there are tons of options to keep cholesterol levels in check, it can actually be as simple as swapping out a few foods in your diet for healthier options, switching up your workout routine or adding a supplement or two into the mix.
Ready to get started? Lets take a look at 28 simple methods for how to lower cholesterol and how it can impact your health.
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