What Treatments Are Available For High Cholesterol
If Dr. Singh confirms you have high cholesterol, she may first try to manage your condition through lifestyle changes. She can recommend nutritional counseling to improve your diet and naturally lower your cholesterol levels. Dr. Singh also may suggest daily exercises to keep you active and improve your cholesterol.
If these therapies dont work effectively, Dr. Singh may recommend medications, including statins. Statins block the substance your liver needs to make cholesterol and forces your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood. Statins can also be effective at helping your body reabsorb cholesterol deposits from the walls of your arteries.
To learn more about managing high cholesterol, schedule a consultation online or by phone.
Is 228 Cholesterol Too High
Yes, at that level, they are going to be checking your bloodwith a dipstick. Get it down to about half that and you’ll lastlonger.
Registered users can ask questions, leave comments, and earn points for submitting new answers.
Already have an account? Log in
Ask questions, submit answers, leave comments
Earn points for using the site
Already have an account? Log in
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.
Also Check: What Blood Test Checks Cholesterol
Why Should I Be Concerned About Cholesterol
Too much cholesterol in your body means that you have an increased risk of getting cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease. If you have too much cholesterol in your body, the cholesterol can build up on the walls of the arteries that carry blood to your heart. This buildup, which occurs over time, causes less blood and oxygen to get to your heart. This can cause chest pain and heart attacks.
Ldl Cholesterol: ‘bad’ Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is the type that tends to deposit on the walls of the arteries. White blood cells combine with the LDL cholesterol, forming artery-narrowing plaque, which restricts blood flow. The optimal level of LDL cholesterol for most people is 100 mg/dL or lower. If you have heart disease, you may need to strive for LDL levels of 70 mg/dL or lower.
You May Like: Should You Fast Before A Cholesterol Test
Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol doesnât have symptoms. So you can be unaware that your levels are getting too high. Thatâs why itâs important to find out what your cholesterol numbers are. If they’re too high, lowering them will lessen your risk for getting heart disease. And if you already have heart disease, lowering cholesterol can reduce your odds of a heart attack or of dying from heart disease.
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
If you have a family history of high cholesterol, Dr. Singh may recommend routine blood testing to monitor your cholesterol levels.
Dr. Singh confirms a high cholesterol diagnosis through blood work. She orders a lipid panel that requires fasting for 12 hours before she conducts the test. This means you may have to come back for a follow-up testing appointment and cant eat or drink anything besides water before your test.
Don’t Miss: Is Bone Marrow High In Cholesterol
Why Cholesterol Levels Differ In Men And Women
Healthy cholesterol levels are the same for boys and girls through childhood. But this changes when puberty hits. “Women have higher HDL cholesterol from puberty on. Boys have more testosterone, which lowers HDL,”Robert Eckel, MD, professor of medicine, emeritus, at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, former president of the American Heart Association and president of the American Diabetes Association, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
Essentially, after puberty, women tend to have higher levels of “good” cholesterol than men. “Theoretically, this is why women live longer and tend to have heart attacks later in life ,” Dr. Eckel says.
Pregnant women or older women taking hormone-replacement therapy to manage menopausal symptoms tend to have higher average cholesterol, Dr. Eckel says. But this increase is actually caused by HDL, which can be quite high for these groups.
“It’s important to understand that, if HDL is high, it’s distributed in a form of cholesterol that we’re not concerned about,” he says. “In fact, it may be protecting women from the risk of heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular disease.”
This is why understanding the difference between HDL and LDL is so important simply having high total cholesterol may not be an issue if it’s caused by elevated levels of good cholesterol.
What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol does not travel freely through the bloodstream. Instead, it is attached or carried by lipoproteins in the blood. There are three types of lipoproteins that are categorized based upon how much protein there is in relation to the amount of cholesterol.
Low-density lipoproteins contain a higher ratio of cholesterol to protein and are thought of as the bad cholesterol. Elevated levels of LDL lipoprotein increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, by helping form cholesterol plaque along the inside of artery walls. Over time, as plaque buildup increases, the artery narrows , and blood flow decreases. If the plaque ruptures, it can cause a blood clot to form that prevents any blood flow. This clot is the cause of a heart attack or myocardial infarction if the clot occurs in one of the coronary arteries in the heart.
High-density lipoproteins are made up of a higher level of protein and a lower level of cholesterol. These tend to be thought of as good cholesterol. The higher the HDL to LDL ratio, the better it is for the individual because such ratios can potentially be protective against heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.
Very low-density lipoproteins contain even less protein than LDL. VLDL like LDL has been associated with plaque deposits.
Triglycerides may increase cholesterol-containing plaques if levels of LDL are high and HDL is low.
Recommended Reading: Which Of The Following Statements About Cholesterol Is True
What’s The Difference Between Good And Bad Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol is known as good cholesterol. HDL takes the bad cholesterol out of your blood and keeps it from building up in your arteries. LDL cholesterol is known as bad cholesterol because it can build up on the walls of your arteries and increase your chances of getting cardiovascular disease. When being tested for high cholesterol, you want a high HDL number and a low LDL number.
How Can Foods Help Lower Cholesterol
People can often reduce their cholesterol levels dramatically by changing the foods they eat. Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterolfound in meat, dairy products, and eggsraise cholesterol levels, which increases heart attack risk. Foods high in saturated fat are especially dangerous;because they can trigger the body to produce extra cholesterol.
Plants do the opposite. They are very low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. Plants are also rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of cholesterol and reduces the amount of cholesterol the liver produces.;Oatmeal, barley, beans, and some fruits and vegetables are all good sources of soluble fiber.
It is important to continue to work closely with your health care provider to monitor your health and manage medications, even as you make dietary changes.
Recommended Reading: Does Cholesterol Increase After Eating
What Causes High Cholesterol In Children And Teens
Three main factors contribute to high cholesterol in children and teens:
- An unhealthy diet, especially one that is high in fats
- A family history of high cholesterol, especially when one or both parents have high cholesterol
Some diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and certain thyroid diseases, can also cause high cholesterol in children and teens.
Bottom Line On Cholesterol Risks
According to the AHA, no cholesterol numbers mean much without including all factors that affect your risk for a future heart attack or stroke. Medical experts now know that it’s not as simple as a total cholesterol score.
So, get tested, talk to your doctor and come up with an individualized plan to lower your cardiovascular risk.
Also Check: What Causes High Cholesterol In Vegetarians
Where Does Cholesterol Come From
The liver is responsible for managing the levels of LDL in the body. It manufactures and secretes LDL into the bloodstream. There are receptors on liver cells that can “monitor” and try to adjust the LDL levels. However, if there are fewer liver cells or if they do not function effectively, the LDL level may rise.
Diet and genetics both play a factor in a person’s cholesterol levels. There may be a genetic predisposition for familial hypercholesterolemia where the number of liver receptor cells is low and LDL levels rise causing the potential for atherosclerotic heart disease at a younger age.
In the diet, cholesterol comes from saturated fats that are found in meats, eggs, and dairy products. Excess intake can cause LDL levels in the blood to rise. Some vegetable oils made from coconut, palm, and cocoa are also high in saturated fats.
The goal is to have patients modify lifestyle and diet to maintain cholesterol levels within the normal range. It is important to remember that HDL may protect a patient from heart disease and it may be a treatment goal to raise a too low level of HDL.
Ldl Cholesterol Can Be Too Low
A study of more than 100,000 healthy Chinese citizens followed for nine years showed that having very low levels of LDL cholesterol is associated with increased risk for bleeding into the brain, and the lower the LDL, the greater the risk . Normal blood levels of LDL cholesterol are 70 to 99 mg/dl. . The risk for strokes was the same for people taking no medication and those taking cholesterol-lowering and/or anti-clotting drugs.
The authors of this study feel that it may be safer to keep blood levels of LDL cholesterol between 70 and 99 mg/dl, but caution that lower levels might be more protective for some people to balance the risks of bleeding and clotting. Another study done nine years ago found the same results :1922). LDL cholesterol helps to form all cell membranes and clotting, so very low levels of LDL can weaken membranes on red blood cells and platelets to increase bleeding.
Most doctors in North America do not have any patients who are not on cholesterol-lowering drugs and have blood levels of LDL below 50, probably because almost all of us eat too much of the wrong foods. The new studies show that plaques can form in arteries even in people who have low LDL cholesterol levels, and that very low cholesterol levels increase risk for strokes. This suggests that we should be looking instead at other heart attack risk factors and encouraging all patients to make heart-heathly lifestyle changes, no matter what cholesterol numbers they may have.
Read Also: What’s Good For Cholesterol
What Are Risk Factors For High Triglycerides
Factors that may raise triglyceride levels include:
- Excessive alcohol use.
- American Academy of Family Physicians. Accessed 5/6/2021.High Cholesterol.
- American Heart Association. . Accessed 5/6/2021.Cholesterol
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 5/6/2021.Getting Your Cholesterol Checked.
- Hormone Health Network. . Accessed 5/6/2021.Triglycerides
- MedlinePlus. Accessed 5/6/2021.Triglycerides Test.
- Merck Manual Consumer Version. Accessed 5/6/2021. Overview of Cholesterol and Lipid Fats.
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Accessed 5/6/2021.High Blood Triglycerides.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
How To Naturally Lower Or Raise Cholesterol To A Healthy Level For You
Are you, unable to control your cholesterol with diet and exercise? ;What does that even mean? Most doctors dont exercise or eat well and they sure dont how to prescribe it. So they fall back on the diet and exercise alone arent enough motto and recommend a statin. Proper exercise and a healthy diet can do wonders for your health and your cholesterol. That doesnt mean you cut out all the fat from your diet and get up from your desk a few times a day to walk to the water cooler. Here are some recommendations with the concept that maintaining heart health is about keeping inflammation at bay.
Still want to pop that statin pill? Remember that the CoQ10 youll deplete prevents atherosclerosis by reducing the accumulation of oxidized fats in blood vessels. It also can lower high blood pressure, regulate the rhythm of your heart, and improve chest pain and exercise toleration if you have angina. You can get CoQ10 naturally from red meat , but its tough to eat enough. Youll lose more CoQ10 over the age of 40 and with exercise too so if you take a statin then youll quickly become depleted. A general recommendation is 200mg a day. But hey remember Im not your doctor. If your current doctor wont work with you in your quest to become healthy then go find one who will. Its your heart and your health.
You May Like: How Many Mg Of Cholesterol A Day
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.
What Is The Difference Between Hdl And Ldl Cholesterol
Cholesterol doesnt dissolve in blood. To be transported in the bloodstream, cholesterol is packed into two types of carriers: low-density lipoproteins or high-density lipoproteins . LDL cholesterol, which is sometimes known as bad cholesterol, is necessary in limited quantities , but high LDL cholesterol levels can dramatically increase your;risk of a heart attack. Thats because LDL particles can contribute to atherosclerosisor clogged arteries. HDL cholesterolsometimes called good cholesterolhelps clear LDL cholesterol from the arteries.;
When doctors measure cholesterol levels, they first look at total cholesterol as a quick way to assess a persons risk. For a more exact guide, they divide the total level by the HDL level. Heart attack risk is minimized by having a lower total cholesterol and a higher proportion of HDL cholesterol. The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL should be less than 4 to 1.
Unfortunately, the average American man has a ratio of 5 to 1. Vegetarians, on the other hand, average about 3 to 1. Smoking and obesity lower HDL; vigorous exercise and foods rich in vitamin C may increase it.
Read Also: How To Cure Bad Cholesterol Naturally
How Often Should You Get Your Cholesterol Checked
The AHA recommends that everyone age 20 or older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. After age 40, your doctor should assess your risk and determine how often you need to be tested. The U.S. National Library of Medicine says men over 45 and women over 55 should be tested every one to two years.
Be sure to speak with your doctor about testing your cholesterol. High cholesterol is often caused by poor lifestyle choices, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your doctor will look at all your risk factors and determine how closely your cholesterol needs to be monitored.
What Is Cholesterol
In order to understand healthy cholesterol levels, it can be helpful to know a bit more about the different types of cholesterol and what they do in the body.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance critical for building healthy cells, according to Harvard Health Publishing. It’s also used to make hormones , vitamin D and certain digestive substances. But pure cholesterol can’t travel through the body on its own. So, the liver creates protein-covered cholesterol particles called lipoproteins to get the cholesterol where it needs to go.
Low-density lipoproteins are the so-called “bad” kind of cholesterol. At normal levels, this kind of cholesterol isn’t actually bad, according to the American Heart Association . But if there is too much LDL cholesterol, it can join with other substances and create fatty deposits in the arteries. These buildups called plaque cause the arteries to become narrow and rigid, a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can lead to heart attack or stroke.
High-density lipoproteins are the “good” kind of cholesterol. They help prevent plaque buildup by traveling through the bloodstream, picking up excess LDL particles and returning them to the liver for disposal, per Harvard Health Publishing.
There are other types of cholesterol as well, but HDL and LDL are the most important two to know about.
Don’t Miss: What Happens When Your Cholesterol Is Low