Effects Of High Cholesterol Levels
The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol and dietary fat. When we eat animal fats, the liver transports the fat, together with cholesterol in the form of lipoproteins, into our bloodstream.
Too much cholesterol circulating within LDL in our bloodstream leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
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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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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol With Medicines
As well as making lifestyle changes, some people will need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to reduce their risk of heart and blood vessel disease, known as cardiovascular disease. The medicines most commonly used are called statins.
Your doctor will consider all your risk factors for cardiovascular disease before suggesting medication not just your cholesterol and lipid results. If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, taking statins can substantially lower your risk of having another one.
Statins work by slowing the amount of cholesterol made in your liver. In response, your liver uses the cholesterol already in your blood to make up for the deficit. This lowers the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
If statins alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may need additional medicines.
Contact your doctor if your medicines are causing any side effects.
What Diet Is Best For Lowering Cholesterol
Studies have found that plant-based diets lower cholesterol levels more effectively than other diets. In 2017, researchers reviewed 49 studies that compared plant-based diets with omnivorous diets to test their effects on cholesterol. Plant-based diets lowered total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels when compared to omnivorous diets. Low-fat, plant-based regimens typically reduce LDL levels by about 15 to 30 percent.
Some recommendations for lowering cholesterol still include consuming chicken and fish. However, a number of studies have shown that heart disease patients who continue to eat these foods still tend to get worse over time. Those who adopt a low-fat, plant-based diet, get daily exercise, avoid tobacco, and manage stress have the best chance of reversing heart disease.
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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.
Adopting Healthier Lifestyle Choices
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How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
All kids should have their cholesterol checked when theyre between 9 and 11 years old and again when theyre between 17 and 21.
Kids over 2 years old should be tested if they:
- have a parent or other close relative with a total cholesterol higher than 240 mg/dL
- have a family history of cardiovascular disease before age 55 in men and age 65 in women
- have some kinds of medical conditions
- are overweight or obese
- have diabetes, high blood pressure, or smoke cigarettes
Your doctor can order a blood test to check your childs cholesterol. Your child may have to fast before the test.
According to the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, the ranges of total and LDL cholesterol for kids and teens 218 years old are:
Exercise On Most Days
Engaging in moderate exercise can help raise your HDL cholesterol while boosting your overall cardiovascular health. If youre fairly sedentary now, start with small amounts, working your way up to 30 minutes of exercise five times each week. If you prefer more vigorous aerobic exercise, 20 minutes three times a week will suffice.
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/8here Is How To Lower Bad Cholesterol Level
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.
Stress Sleep And Cholesterol
Research shows that too much or too little sleep has a negative effect on your cholesterol levels. One study found that sleeping less than five hours or more than eight hours per night raised triglyceride levels and lowered good HDL levels in women. Another study, published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, found that people who sleep fewer than six hours each night have a greatly increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The researchers also found that snoring is linked to lower levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol.
Stress is a well known risk factor for insomnia and other sleep problemsand poor sleep contributes to stress by leaving you feeling fatigued, irritable, unmotivated, and unable to concentrate. Reducing your stress can improve your sleep, and improving your sleep can help reduce your stress.
For many people with high cholesterol, stress leads to unhealthy habits that can be very difficult to breakeven when youre facing health problems because of them. Our guide to managing stress and quitting vices has practical and actionable tips to help you lower both acute and chronic stress, quit smoking, cut down on alcohol, and sleep better.
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How Long Does It Take To Lower Cholesterol
Your cholesterol levels are directly tied to your heart health, which is why its so important to make sure theyre in a healthy range. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , reports that 78 million adults in the United States had high levels of low-density lipoprotein , or bad cholesterol, in 2012. The organization also states that people with high LDL cholesterol are at a much higher risk of heart disease.
Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health at the NYU Langone Medical Center, says it can take between three to six months to see lower LDL numbers through just diet and exercise, noting that it takes longer to see changes in women than men.
Read on for more information on how to lower your LDL levels.
Lower Your Cholesterol Without Meds
I had heard from various friends and family members that I should just go on medication for my cholesterol since Im not overweight, go to the gym regularly, and my diet doesnt seem to be a factor . I was told that my cholesterol was high because of my age and my family history. Still, I was determined to give it my best shot.
As you read, keep in mind that Im not a doctor, just a person who did her research and had success. Nothing written here should be construed as medical advice. When in doubt, consult your physician.
Here was my strategy. First, I added:
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How To Lower Cholesterol Quickly And Naturally
If youve been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels, your doctor may have given you a deadline for lowering it before opening up the conversation to medications to control your cholesterol.
This sudden change in your health statusand the pressure to make potentially huge lifestyle changes in a short amount of timemay feel overwhelming, especially if youre unfamiliar with the causes of high cholesterol, confused about what your cholesterol numbers mean, or at a loss about where and how to start making necessary changes to improve your cholesterol.
Welcome to the Forward guide to helping you get those numbers down naturally. Here, we take a look at the three overarching lifestyle factors that have the biggest impact on cholesteroldiet, exercise, and stress. Understanding how these affect your cholesterol is the first step to lowering it. After each section, youll find a link to a related guide offering practical and actionable tips for changing your eating and exercise habits and reducing stress.
/8the Normal Level Of Ldl In The Body
The total amount of cholesterol in both men and women should not be more than 199 milligrams per deciliter . This includes the amount of LDL and HDL. 100 mg/dL or lower LDL is considered good or healthy, while between 130 to 159 mg/dL is considered borderline. Above 160 mg/dL is termed as high cholesterol.
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How Low Will Your Cholesterol Go On A Vegetarian Diet
In my clinical cardiology practice, approximately 30 percent of people I see have coronary artery disease, a condition where diet and exercise could make a big difference for prevention.
Coronary artery disease symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, activity intolerance, nausea, dizziness, and loss of energy. But over time, you may have a heart attack due to blockage of blood flow in a coronary artery. Your heart tissue can become damaged, weaken, and stiffen. This process can result in heart failure. It also leads to an increased risk for developing abnormally fast electrical rhythms from the upper and lower heart chambers. In some cases, coronary artery disease treatment includes cardiac stents, or, when the disease is very severe, coronary artery bypass surgery.
What if this could be prevented?
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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How Can I Accelerate My Results
Sometimes diet, exercise, weight management, and smoking cessation are simply not enough or can not produce the quick results needed by these people in the high-risk category of heart attack or stroke. In these cases, your doctor will prescribe you probably one of the several types of cholesterol-lowering medications. The most likely candidate will be one of the statins which significantly reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Statins can reduce LDL by 30 to 60 percent in a matter of weeks. Although they can produce impressive results, they come with a long list of side effects that need to be discussed with your doctor before making a decision.
What Else Can You Do
Start reading labels. Try to choose foods with zero cholesterol. For instance, 1 cup of lobster bisque soup has 100 mg of cholesterol whereas creamy butternut squash soup made without butter has 0 mg cholesterol.
Eat at home to control your ingredients. But if you plan on eating out, ask for a nutrition guide! This is a must because you cant just guess that an El Torito Grilled Chicken Quesadilla has 481 mgs of cholesterol. If the restaurants nutrition guide doesnt include cholesterol, go somewhere else!
Exercise is helpful. But you already knew this.
Weight loss helps. Easier said than done.
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Best Ways To Lower Cholesterol
Once you are diagnosed of high cholesterol level, you should ensure to act immediately on how to reduce it. Your doctor may prescribe medication, but there are simple and natural ways to lower the cholesterol level.
Practicing a healthy lifestyle is the key to prevent the risk of developing health conditions. Lifestyle changes can help to lower the cholesterol level. Dr. Eugenia Gianos said that lifestyle and dietary changes can lower the cholesterol level by 20 percent, but may also vary on how the person practices it.
Usually, it takes about 3 to 6 months to lower the cholesterol level by doing regular exercise and healthy diet. But, the changes are noticeable shortly in men than women.
Included in the lifestyle changes is improving your diet as it plays significant role to lower the cholesterol level. This is possible by reducing intake of saturated fat and increasing the dietary fiber.
You should avoid consuming hyper processed foods that are harmful to your heart. Likewise, fatty foods can clog your artery that may lead to stroke and other heart problems.
With this you should avoid if not reduce intake of saturated fats and trans fats that that easily raise bad cholesterol and heart-damaging. Instead, you should increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids that can protect you from heart disease.