What Are The Symptoms Of Cholesterol Problems
A high level of cholesterol in the blood doesn’t have obvious symptoms, but it can increase your risk for conditions that do have symptoms, including angina , high blood pressure, stroke, and other circulatory ailments. Also:
- Soft, yellowish growths or lesions on the skin called xanthomas may suggest elevated levels of cholesterol.
- Many people who are obese or have diabetes also have high cholesterol.
- In men, impotence may be caused by arteries affected by too much blood cholesterol.
Youre About To Get A Migraine
Why occur is not fully understood. But they are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. There are multiple theories on how migraines cause nausea, however.
Experts believe the brain chemical serotonin plays a role. The theory? Serotonin sends signals to the blood vessels in your brain, telling them to grow bigger, which can sometimes activate the part of your brain responsible for nausea and vomiting, explains Christine Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Another theory is that migraines influence the part of the brain that is linked to inner ear disturbance, hence the strong correlation with vertigo and dizziness with the symptom of nausea, Dr. Lee explains.
??Nix the nausea: To prevent migraines, you should avoid common triggers that cause your migraines, including emotional stress, bright lights, strong odors, lack of sleep and not eating, Dr. Hoch says.
What Other Medications Treat High Cholesterol
Bile acid sequestrants: These drugs bind with cholesterol-containing bile acids in the intestines and allow them to be eliminated in the stool. Bile acid sequestrants may lower LDL cholesterol by a significant amount. Bile acid sequestrants are sometimes prescribed with a statin to enhance cholesterol reduction.
- Cholestyramine , colestipol , and colesevelam are the three bile acid sequestrants currently available. These three drugs are available as powders or tablets and are not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
- Bile acid sequestrant powders must be mixed with water or fruit juice and are taken once or twice daily with meals. Tablets must be taken with large amounts of fluids to avoid stomach and intestinal complaints including constipation, bloating, nausea, and gas.
Cholesterol absorption inhibitors: These drugs inhibit cholesterol absorption in the gut and has few, if any, side effects. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors may be rarely associated with tongue swelling . Ezetimibe reduces LDL cholesterol by a significant amount. It is probably most useful in people who cannot tolerate taking statins. When used in addition to a statin, ezetimibe is equivalent to doubling or tripling the statin dose.
Nicotinic acid or niacin: Nicotinic acid lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels while raising HDL cholesterol levels.
Fibrates: These cholesterol-lowering drugs are effective in lowering triglycerides.
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Bile Acid Binding Resins
For example, the FDA has approved a class of drugs known as bile acid binding resins, which were the first cholesterol drugs before statins. Studies in the 1980s showed that these medications lower heart disease risk. One reason they arent often prescribed is that patients have to take a lot of them compared to statins. Bile acid binding resins come in powder form or require taking up to six pills a day. Also, they can cause gastrointestinal side effects.Weve known since the 1990s that statins benefit patients at high risk for stroke and heart disease. Today, several investigators are researching which complementary medications can be prescribed on top of statins to make them even more beneficial and protective.One of these is a drug called Ezetimibe, which on its own provides a modest reduction in cholesterol. Its also been shown recently to lower heart attack and stroke risk when taken in addition to a statin.
Cholesterol Myths And Facts
Cholesterol can be confusing! Learn answers to common questions about blood cholesterol.
What do your cholesterol numbers mean? Can the foods you eat change your cholesterol levels?
Learn the difference between cholesterol myth and fact. Then commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
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What You Can Do
Learn the basics: âYour cholesterolâ isnât just one number, but several that together give your doctor a âlipid profile.â Unhealthy levels are linked to hardening of the arteries, which can cause heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Your numbers include âbadâ and âgoodâ cholesterol, and triglycerides. Armed with this knowledge, and with the help and guidance of your doctor, you can start to understand and manage your own levels.
Get tested: Because unhealthy cholesterol numbers often donât cause symptoms, especially at first, itâs important to get tested. You can be slim and feel healthy and still have a cholesterol problem. Once you know thereâs a problem, you can try to change it through diet, lifestyle, and, if necessary, medication. But youâre unlikely to do that if you donât know about it. If youâre 20 or older, you should get your levels checked every 4 to 6 years. Your doctor should test you more often if youâre overweight or diabetic or you have heart disease.
Exercise: Regular exercise is one of the best ways to control your cholesterol. You donât have to run a marathon. A half-hour or so of brisk walking, swimming, or dancing three or four times a week should do the trick. If youâre short on time, you can break it into 10-minute increments throughout the day. Resistance training — pushups, pullups, weights — may help too.
What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
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Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Stomach Upset
My wife often starts a few young seedlings of spinach, lettuce, and tomatoes in a sunny window before they go outside for the spring.
Recently, when we had a few baby plants in the house, I started having headaches and stomach upset and couldnt find a cause until I spotted a few little sprouts of pollen that had shot up from the baby spinach.
Once the offending plant was moved outside, my symptoms went away.
As a functional medicine doctor, I am used to seeing new patients who have been misdiagnosed for years due to symptoms that dont quite fit the mold of a standard diagnosis.
There are, no doubt, many people unnecessarily suffering because of a misunderstanding of how we think of certain conditions.
Muscle Pain And Weakness
The most common side effect is muscle pain and weakness, a condition called rhabdomyolysis, most likely due to the depletion of Co-Q10, a nutrient that supports muscle function. Dr. Beatrice Golomb of San Diego, California is currently conducting a series of studies on statin side effects. The industry insists that only 2-3 percent of patients get muscle aches and cramps but in one study, Golomb found that 98 percent of patients taking Lipitor and one-third of the patients taking Mevachor suffered from muscle problems.4 A message board devoted to Lipitor at forum.ditonline.com contained more than 800 posts, many detailing severe side effects. The Lipitor board at www.rxlist.com contains more than 2,600 posts .
The test for muscle wasting or rhabdomyolysis is elevated levels of a chemical called creatine kinase . But many people experience pain and fatigue even though they have normal CK levels.5
John Altrocchi took Mevacor for three years without side effects then he developed calf pain so severe he could hardly walk. He also experienced episodes of temporary memory loss.
Active people are much more likely to develop problems from statin use than those who are sedentary. In a study carried out in Austria, only six out of 22 athletes with familial hypercholesterolemia were able to endure statin treatment.9 The others discontinued treatment because of muscle pain.
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What Is Oral Allergy Syndrome
Unlike a peanut, wheat, or shellfish allergy, some allergies are caused by an allergic reaction to pollen. This reaction can cause some people to develop an itchy throat and mouth after eating certain foods, including apples that contain proteins that are very similar to pollen.
Oral allergy syndrome is sometimes referred to as pollen fruit syndrome.
Doctors generally consider oral allergy syndrome to be a mild form of food allergy that is caused by a contact allergic reaction in the mouth and throat. This means that a person with the condition reacts after their mouth touches a particular fruit, such as an apple.
People with oral allergy syndrome react to foods based on what type of seasonal allergies they have. For example, a person with an apple allergy will likely be allergic to birch pollen, which is very prevalent in the springtime.
If a person finds their seasonal allergy symptoms are worse in spring, they may be more likely to have cross-reactive oral allergy syndrome from eating apples.
Symptoms of oral allergy syndrome vary from person to person. Symptoms are usually mild but occasionally may be severe.
Most often, oral allergy syndrome symptoms only occur in or around the mouth. Symptoms may include any combination of the following:
- itchy mouth or throat
- swollen lips, mouth, or tongue
- itchy, swollen throat
People with an apple allergy may want to avoid these foods if they also cause a reaction.
- difficulty breathing
Common Causes Of Anaphylaxis
Many things can cause severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis. You might be highly allergic to certain foods, drugs, insect bites, or latex in gloves. While there is emergency treatment for a severe allergic reaction, see an allergist to figure out what causes it. You may be able to avoid the trigger in the future and prevent these serious attacks.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Naturally
For many people, revamping everyday habits can go a long way toward lowering cholesterol without medication. There are a number of lifestyle changes that can be made, and they fall under the categories of diet and exercise, says Dr. Khandwalla.
Eating heart-healthy foods is a great place to start. This means reducing your intake of red meat and full-fat dairy products, both of which contain saturated fats that raise cholesterol. Instead, focus on eating lean proteins chicken, turkey, seafood and adding more soluble fiber to your diet from fruits, vegetables, and oatmeal, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute . Getting aerobic exercise most days of the week can also help lower cholesterol.
Bloating And Digestive Issues
The main reason for increased cholesterol levels is overeating fatty and fried food affects our liver and produces bad cholesterol in the body. If you are facing high cholesterol, then you may feel bloated even after eating significantly less.
Your stomach makes you feel heaviness and disinterest in appetite. The excess flow of lipid substance directly affects the metabolism and triggers the digestive system in your body, and you feel bloating and heaviness.
If you are constantly feeling these issues, then you must go for a lipid profile test.
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Effects Of High Cholesterol
There are several ways high cholesterol can affect your body. About 75% of the cholesterol you need is made by the liver and the other 25% is from the food you eat. Too much in your systemparticularly LDLcan form fatty deposits, or plaques, in your blood vessels, explains Dr. Adeyemi. This is known as atherosclerosis. Complications of high cholesterol include:
Can High Cholesterol Cause A Stroke
Yes, if you have high cholesterol, youre at risk of stroke due to the excess cholesterol circulating in your blood, according to the AHA.
LDL builds up in your arteries, where it slows or blocks the flow of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your body, including your brain. As arteries narrow and stiffen, blood clots may form a blockage, which can cause a stroke if it travels to the brain.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and one of the main causes of disability, according to the American Stroke Association. But it can be mostly preventable keeping your cholesterol levels down is one way to cut your risk.
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Other Natural Health Products
There are some natural health products that you may hear about to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Talk with your doctor about the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Tell your doctor if you plan to use natural health products. Your doctor can make sure they are safe for you.
When Should High Cholesterol Be Treated With Medication
If youve had a heart attack, stroke, or have diabetes or been diagnosed with inherited high cholesterol, youll need to take one or more cholesterol-lowering medications, in addition to being careful with your diet and staying active. Statins can have a tremendous impact for lowering LDL cholesterol, says Khandwalla. Statins decrease your risk of illness and dying if youre in one of these high-risk groups.
In addition to statins, which should always be used first, other cholesterol-lowering drugs include fibrates, niacin, PCSK9 inhibitors, bile-acid sequestrants, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors, according to the CDC.
If you found out your cholesterol was high after a routine checkup, discuss your test results with your doctor. Your doctor will calculate your individual risk of heart attack or stroke to decide if you should be on a statin.
In some cases, the doctor may recommend giving a healthy diet and active lifestyle a try first. However, if your cholesterol levels remain high, you may need a heart scan to look for plaque buildup in your arteries, and your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to lower your heart-disease and stroke risk.
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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Medications For High Cholesterol
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have high cholesterol, but I can’t take statin drugs. Are there any new medications that I should consider?
ANSWER: Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s found in the fats in your blood. When you have too much cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits, or lipids, in your blood vessels that can make it difficult for blood to flow through your arteries. An estimated 29 million adults in the U.S. have high cholesterol.
While medications known as statins are common for people with high cholesterol, many people find they cannot tolerate statins, so don’t feel like you are alone. The good news is that there are several alternatives to statins that may lower your blood lipids.
Ezetimibe is an oral agent that has been approved in the U.S. for many years. It can lower low-density lipoprotein, which is known as LDL or “bad” cholesterol. It is taken once daily with or without food. Although not relevant in your case, Ezetimibe also has been shown to reduce the risk of recurrent heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease when added to a statin drug in patients who have suffered a recent acute coronary syndrome.
There are also therapies that can be administered as injections instead of requiring daily oral administration as pills. These agents alter a protein PCSK 9 that interacts with the LDL receptor on the surface of the liver.
Can Pollen Allergies Make You Nauseous
All allergies work according to the same principles: Your immune system misidentifies a substance and believes it to be dangerous, even though its harmless. As a result, the antibody immunoglobulin E is released. It triggers your mast and basophils, which then send out an army of chemicals including histamine to fight off the invading allergen. You suffer the consequences of the battle in the form of allergic symptoms. When you have a food allergy, your body responds to certain proteins when you have a pollen allergy, your body responds to the little cells that plants release in order to fertilize other plants.
While the symptoms of food allergies can include nausea, its not a common reaction to a pollen allergy. Otherwise known as hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis, pollen allergies are typically characterized by cold-like symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing, congestion and itchy or watery eyes.
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High Blood Calcium Risks
High blood calcium levels are almost never normal and increases the chances of developing a number of other health problems and even early death if ignored. For adults over 35 years of age, this means we should not have blood calcium higher than 10.0 mg/dl . High blood calcium due to hyperparathyroidism occurs in 1% of women over 50, and one in 200 men, yet a lot of doctors aren’t paying attention to this problem. High blood cholesterol, on the other hand, is much more common . We have all known for many years that we need to keep our cholesterol into the normal range, and for many of us that means taking a “statin” type of drug. Why does everybody know about the risks of high cholesterol while the risks of high calcium are often ignored even though high calcium is considerably more dangerous? Could it be that the big drug companies have educated us about high cholesterol, but since there is no drug for high calcium nobody has bothered to teach us? Well, let’s learn this today, and then let’s print the references at the bottom of this parathyroid blog and teach our doctors!