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How Long Does Cholesterol Stay In The Body

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The first few days went well enough with just minor aches and pains. On the 7th day the right side of my tongue felt like needles were stuck in it. By the 9th day the right side of my tongue, mouth, lips and cheek had the same sensation, and when I touched my cheek the skin also felt similar to the almost numb feeling of novacaine as it begins to wear off. I also began to feel very weak and fatigued. My joints ached and I had a constant headache that just continued to intensify. My doctor told me to discontinue the Creastor. So now what?

Eat A Plant Based Diet

The first step may surprise you because its not demanding at all. Its a step, however, that many never take or fail to sustain. Build a relationship with your physician. Let him/her know that you want to know how to get off statin drugs and where you stand in regard to heart-healthy targets. Then, in consultation with your doctor, put together a game plan for doing so. As Ive said, this will demand lifestyle modification. Without changing the way you live, theres no solid reason to get off your statin medication

Part of this game plan must be eating a plant-based diet. Depending on a patients particular profile, I recommend either the Dean Ornish Heart Disease Reversal Diet or the South Beach Diet. If you have known heart disease, the Ornish diet is better because it most effectively cleanses the system of excess fat. The South Beach Diet is usually for those with risk factors but no known heart disease. This diet allows more latitude and can still get a person to the recommended targets. Although the Ornish Diet puts no restrictions on calorie intake mainly because its hard to consume too many calories eating fruits and vegetables, youll need to limit your calories on the South Beach Diet or a Mediterranean diet . A typical unrestricted diet for the average adult contains about 2,400 calories per day. Aim to keep your calorie intake between 1,500 and 1,800 calories. The lower end is for women; the higher end is for men.

Dietary Tips To Avoid Cholesterol

The most important thing you can do to reduce your cholesterol level is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should try to:

  • Increase the amount and variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods you have each day.
  • Choose low or reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products or have added calcium soy drinks.
  • Choose lean meat .
  • Limit fatty meats, including sausages and salami, and choose leaner sandwich meats like turkey breast or cooked lean chicken.
  • Have fish at least twice a week.
  • Replace butter and dairy blends with polyunsaturated margarines.
  • Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fibre and healthy fats, such as nuts, legumes and seeds.
  • Limit cheese and ice cream to twice a week.

Other storage fats that are transported in blood lipoproteins include triglycerides. When present in high concentrations in the blood, this fat is also a risk for heart attack. Some foods will affect the cholesterol level or the triglyceride level and some will affect both.

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If Its Not Low Enough

If you arent able to lower your cholesterol enough through lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend you begin drug treatment. There are several types of drugs available for cholesterol lowering including statins, bile acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, fibric acids and cholesterol absorption inhibitors. Your doctor can help decide which type of drug is best for you.

To make an appointment with any of our Preventive Cardiology specialists, please call 216.444.9353. For more information on implementing a low cholesterol diet, contact Preventive Cardiology by phone at 216.444.9353 or toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 49353.

Muscle Pain And Weakness

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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 contained more than 800 posts, many detailing severe side effects. The Lipitor board at 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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How Cholesterol Moves Around The Body

Cholesterol is a white, insoluble and waxy substance. It is carried around the body by two key transport systems in the blood, which include:

  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is called the bad cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called the good cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.

Get To A Healthy Weight

Weight loss from a healthy diet and exercise can potentially help lower high cholesterol. If you have overweight or obesity, losing just 3 to 5 percent of your body weight can help lower LDL and raise HDL cholesterol, according to the NHLBI.

For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, then a 5 percent weight loss is 10 pounds. Derocha says aiming to lose that amount over six months is a very realistic goal.

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What If I Forget To Take It

If you occasionally forget to take a dose, take your next dose the next day at the usual time. Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take extra doses.

If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

Does One Meal Matter

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A single fatty meal won’t put you at risk for heart disease. Nor is it likely to change your cholesterol levels or test results. But over time, a diet high in saturated fats and carbohydrates can greatly increase your risk.

Other risk factors include obesity, smoking and a lack of exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic. Genetics, older age and conditions like diabetes can also be risk factors.

The best way to manage your risk for high cholesterol and triglycerides â and reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke â is to follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and to quit smoking.

Discuss your cholesterol with your doctor. In some cases, you may also be prescribed medication to help manage your risk.

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How Is High Cholesterol Treated

If your child has an LDL cholesterol level of 130 mg/dL or higher, your doctor will talk to you about lifestyle changes or refer you to a dietitian. The goals are to:

  • reduce fat and cholesterol in the diet
  • increase exercise
  • lose weight, if needed

Your doctor will probably do a cholesterol check again after 36 months of lifestyle changes.

Medicine might be considered for kids 10 and older whose LDL cholesterol is 190 mg/dL or higher if changes in diet and exercise haven’t worked. Kids with risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure or a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, may need treatment at lower LDL levels.

Will This Recommendation Catch On In The United States

Health care providers often do what they are used to doing, so it may take a while for some to change to nonfasting cholesterol tests. But we also need to realize that there are advantages to this evidence-based change. Switching to nonfasting cholesterol testing is actually the path of least resistance for patients and clinicians. It also provides a more accurate lipid profile for individual patients.

I believe that getting the word out to clinicians, lab directors, and patients will be enough to make the switch to nonfasting cholesterol tests in a fairly short time.

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How Long Does It Take Cholesterol To Go Down

People who need to use medications such as statins to lower their cholesterol should see their cholesterol levels fall quickly.

These medications may work in a matter of weeks, and they generally work to a larger degree than lifestyle changes.

However, because diet affects the levels of cholesterol in the body, doctors commonly recommend that people make changes to their diet and lifestyle in addition to taking medications.

Making simple changes to the diet and lifestyle can help reduce cholesterol.

These changes vary depending on how strictly a person adheres to their diet, as well as other factors, such as exercise and weight loss.

Some dietary changes may cause minor reductions in cholesterol in as little as

Dietary and lifestyle changes and medications can all help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Maintain Ideal Body Weight


Get to and maintain your ideal body weight. One way to judge your ideal body weight is via body mass index . Your BMI represents the percentage of your total body weight thats due to fat. It should be under 25. Many health clubs have simple handheld devices that provide a BMI reading. These also can be purchased at any major drug store.

Another way to think about ideal body weight is to remember what you weighed as a senior in high school. How far away are you? At that time your total cholesterol count- unless you had a weight problem then, was probably in the 120s. Thats the range thats typical in populations without heart disease. So think high school skinny. For many of us, thats a long way to go. Youll need to approach this target weight, though, to sufficiently change your biochemistry.

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Why Do People Take Statin Medication

Despite what the fear-mongers say, your doctor is not in cahoots with the pharmaceutical companies to drain your wallet. The bottom line is that statins work. In the past 10 years there has been a 27% reduction in fatal heart attacks and much of this improvement is due to statins. But, remember statins can often times be used as a short term fix and is not always meant as a permanent regimen.

Misconception: If The Nutrition Facts Label Shows No Cholesterol The Food Is Heart Healthy

A foods Nutrition Facts label can be helpful for choosing heart-healthy foods, if you know what to look for.

Many foods marketed as low-cholesterol have high levels of saturated or trans fats, both of which raise blood cholesterol.

Look for how much saturated fat, trans fat and total calories are in a serving. Ingredients are listed in descending order of use, so choose products where fats and oils are near the end of the ingredients list.

Learn more about fats.

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How To Lower Cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications or both.

Here are some ways to manage your cholesterol.

Eat heart-healthy food

What you eat can make a big difference to your cholesterol levels.

Cut back on foods high in saturated fats like:;

  • pies
  • oily fish.

Drink less alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. So drinking less is a good way to lower your cholesterol.;

The Ministry of Health recommends no more than 10 standard drinks per week for women and no more than 15 for men. One standard drink is equal to: ;

  • a standard can of 4% beer
  • a small glass of wine
  • a small single shot of spirits

If you have high cholesterol or you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, you may need to drink less than this.

Quit smoking

Smoking makes your LDL cholesterol stickier and reduces the amount of HDL cholesterol in your blood. It also damages the artery walls. This increases the build-up of plaque in your arteries and can cause risk of heart attack and stroke.

Quitting smoking is a great way to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Move more

Sitting less and being more active are great ways to reduce high cholesterol.

This doesnt mean you have to join a gym or take up running it just means you need to move your body more throughout the day. Ideally you should do 30 minutes of activity a day.;

You could try:;

Read more about the benefits of exercise.

Cholesterol medication;

What Is A Healthy Blood Cholesterol Level

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For people who have plaque in their arteries or who have other factors that put them at risk for cardiovascular disease, doctors recommend an ideal LDL level well below 70 mg/dl. For those without risk factors who have an LDL level at or above 190 mg/dl, the recommendation is to get this level down to below 100 mg/dl. People age 40 to 75 who are living with diabetes and whose LDL is at 70 or above may need medication.

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Can You Just Stop Taking Statin Drugs

There are 2 points that every person taking statin medication must know and realize:

  • The reasons why you are currently taking a statin medication
  • What you need to do before you can stop taking a statin medication.

In general;if you have no known underlying heart disease and have total cholesterol count under 200 or have been;previously diagnosed with heart disease and have total cholesterol count under 150, you are probably a good candidate to stop taking statin or cholesterol lowering drugs.

Best advice is to always consult with your physician before stopping.

Does Food Cause High Cholesterol

Cholesterol and triglycerides are both fatty substances called lipids, according to the Cleveland Clinic. While both these lipids may have a bad reputation, the body actually needs them to function.

Cholesterol is used to build cell membranes, produce hormones and create bile acids for digestion, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Because cholesterol is so important, the liver actually makes all the cholesterol the body needs.

The body can also get cholesterol from food, known as dietary cholesterol. Until recently, it was believed that dietary cholesterol played a significant role in causing high blood cholesterol. But in a major 2015 report, the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee said that saturated fats and carbohydrates actually have a much greater impact.

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Though dietary cholesterol may not significantly affect blood cholesterol on its own, many cholesterol-rich foods also have lots of saturated fats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So it’s still best to limit or avoid these foods, both for your cholesterol levels and your overall health.

The only exception is eggs. Eggs, specifically the yolks, have a lot of dietary cholesterol but are low in saturated fats.

So, will eating a fatty meal cause high cholesterol? No, not in the moment. But over time, eating a lot of saturated fats and carbohydrates can contribute to high cholesterol.

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What Can Cause Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels

LDL cholesterol levels tend to increase as people get older. Other causes of high LDL cholesterol levels include:

  • Family history of high LDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure or type 2 diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • Eating too much saturated fat and;trans;fat; and not enough fruits and vegetables
  • Taking certain medicines, like medicines to lower blood pressure

Causes of low HDL cholesterol levels include:

  • Smoking
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • Not eating enough fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fat

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High level of LDL cholesterol, also referred to as bad cholesterol is a common health concern. It is linked with serious health ailments like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes, which at times can turn fatal. This makes it vital to keep a track of the cholesterol level to evade life-threatening health issues.

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Myth: I Dont Need Statins Or Other Medicines For My Cholesterol I Can Manage My Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise

Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Guidelinesexternal icon;also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.2

People who may need statins or other medicines to manage cholesterol levels include the following:

  • People with familial hypercholesterolemia or people with very high levels of bad cholesterol.;FH is a genetic condition that causes very high LDL cholesterol levels beginning at a young age. If left untreated, cholesterol levels will continue to get worse. This greatly raises the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke at a young age.
  • People with cardiovascular disease .;People with CVD may already have narrowed arteries because of too much plaque. Medicines that lower cholesterol may help reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
  • People with diabetes.Type 2 diabetes;lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. This combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Other groups of people may also need medicines to manage their cholesterol, including people who have a high risk for CVD. Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.


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