How Can I Lower My Cholesterol
If the lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available, including statins. If you take medicines to lower your cholesterol, you still should continue with the lifestyle changes.
Some people with familial hypercholesterolemia may receive a treatment called lipoprotein apheresis. This treatment uses a filtering machine to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood. Then the machine returns the rest of the blood back to the person.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
What Are Normal And High Triglyceride Levels
The National Cholesterol Education Program sets guidelines for triglyceride levels:
- Normal levels: Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter
- Borderline high:150 to 199
- High: 200 to 499
- Very high: 500 or more
Elevated levels may lead to heart disease, especially in people with low levels of “good” cholesterol and high levels of “bad” cholesterol. The same is true if you have type 2 diabetes.
Experts once debated how important triglycerides are, but it now seems clear that higher levels are linked to problems such as heart disease.
One thing is clear, though: A good diet and exercise plan can lower triglyceride levels, improve cholesterol, and decrease the chance of heart disease.
How Are Cholesterol Levels And Glucose Metabolism
Cholesterol levels and glucose metabolism are closely related. Having elevated blood glucose levels poses a risk of higher cholesterol, manifesting as diabetic dyslipidemia.
Diabetic dyslipidemia occurs when someone has diabetes along with elevated triglycerides, low HDL levels, and high LDL levels. Up to 70% of people with type 2 diabetes have diabetic dyslipidemia.
Alternatively, high cholesterol levels put you at increased risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. High triglycerides and low HDL levels are not only a consequence of high blood sugars but are also a cause.
Also, when people already have diabetes and start taking statins for high cholesterol, they often have difficulty with blood sugar management.
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Garlic And Lemon Juice
The study looked at people with moderately high cholesterol levels. It found that people who consumed 20 grams of garlic with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per day experienced a significant decrease in their LDL and total cholesterol levels compared with those who did not have garlic and lemon juice.
Pathologies Linked To High Triglycerides
When it comes to the consequences of high triglycerides, special attention should be paid. This condition can be followed by various cardiovascular diseases, even potentially fatal: the reference is in particular toheart attack and tostroke, which can be favored by the deterioration of the health of the arteries and other blood vessels.
The effects on blood pressure should also not be underestimated , to the development of the condition known as fat liver, to the manifestation of high levels of glycemia even on an empty stomach and also with the increase in the values of bad LDL cholesterol.
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Health Conditions Related To Triglycerides And Cholesterol
High blood lipid levels may increase your risk for plaques to develop in your arteries or thicken the walls of your arteries .
Other health conditions related to high triglycerides or cholesterol include:
- High blood sugar levels or diabetes
- Metabolic syndromea cluster of conditions that increase your risk for heart disease
- Genetic conditions
What Causes High Triglycerides
Aside from consuming a high-fat and/or high-carb diet, other lifestyle factors can contribute to high triglycerides, specifically excess weight, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol and smoking. Dr. Malaney adds that it can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as some birth control pills, beta blockers, antipsychotics medications, and corticosteroids.
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Symptoms Of High Blood Cholesterol And Triglycerides
High cholesterol typically doesnt cause any symptoms. Symptoms may only appear after the increased cholesterol has caused significant damage.
For instance, symptoms may come in the form of heart disease symptoms, such as chest pain or nausea and fatigue. A heart attack or stroke may result from uncontrolled cholesterol, among other things.
When Should You Take Them
Statins are usually the first type of medicine that doctors prescribe to treat high LDL-cholesterol. Your doctor will advise you how to take your statin medicine. Some statins should be taken in the evening, at bedtime, for best effect.
Statins should not be used in pregnancy because of potential risk to the unborn baby if you are a woman of childbearing age it is recommended that you use effective contraception while taking statins.
People with liver disease, muscle disease and breast feeding women should also avoid statins.
Some Less Common Conditions
We have two kidneys, and they’re responsible for cleaning our blood by filtering out waste products which are then removed from the body as urine.
Chronic Kidney Disease . This is the name for a gradual decline in kidney function. People with CKD often have abnormal blood fats raised LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and lower HDL cholesterol. Heart and blood vessel diseases are common in people with CKD so statins and other cholesterol-lowering treatments are recommended if you have CKD.
Nephrotic syndrome. This happens when our kidneys become leaky. It results in protein leaking into the urine. People with nephrotic syndrome often have raised levels of cholesterol and triglycerides too.
The liver is a very important organ. It is where cholesterol and triglycerides are processed, made or broken down. Bile, a breakdown product of cholesterol, is made in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and released into the gut when we eat a meal. Its role is to help break down fat from food into small drops which can then be easily digested.
Sometimes the production of bile or its release into the gut can become blocked, for example, if gall stones develop from crystallised cholesterol. Symptoms include pain, especially after a fatty meal. The medical name for this is cholestasis, where bile is unable to flow from the liver, and it can cause blood cholesterol levels in the blood to rise.
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.
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What Can You Do At Home To Treat High Triglycerides
The main way to deal with high triglycerides is to eat better and get more exercise. Here are some guidelines to help you manage your level:
Moderate exercise: Try to exercise 5 or more days each week. Lack of movement makes it hard for your body to process blood sugar and triglycerides as it normally does. So itâs important for you to get up and get moving more each day. Skip the escalator or elevator and climb stairs. Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk. Find activities you enjoy: Walk, swim, or ride a bike. Join a gym. Talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise plan.
Watch your weight: If youâre carrying extra pounds, losing 5% to 10% of your weight can lower triglycerides. People with a healthy weight are more likely to have normal levels. Belly fat is associated with higher numbers.
Eat less bad fat and carbs: Try to lower the saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol in your diet. Cutting back on carbohydrates will help, too. Foods high in saturated fat, such as red meat, boost levels. Butter and cheese contain these same triglyceride-boosting fats. Choose lean meats or protein alternatives, such as chicken and unprocessed turkey, that are lower in saturated fat.
Another healthy option: Make meatless meals. Vegetarian pastas, chilis, and stir-fries are a delicious alternative to meat dishes. Avoid dishes loaded with cream or cheese in favor of recipes that use vegetable or olive oil and feature plenty of vegetables.
Triglycerides In Your Blood
In addition to cholesterol, your blood also contains a type of fat called triglycerides, which are stored in your bodys fat deposits. Hormones release triglycerides to make energy between meals.
When you eat, your body converts any extra energy it doesnt need right away into triglycerides.Like cholesterol, your body needs triglycerides to work properly. However, there is evidence to suggest that some people with high triglycerides are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you regularly eat more energy than you need, you may have high triglycerides.
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Changing Your Eating Habits
Several suggestions can help you lower cholesterol levels.
- Try avoiding foods with lots of saturated fats. These may include cheese, fatty meats, egg yolks, and full-fat dairy products. For example, try lowering the percentage of milk you drink. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your consumption of saturated fats to less than 5% or 6% of your daily calorie intake.
- Be sure to include lots of healthy fats into your meal planning, such as those found in nuts, fish, and extra virgin olive oil. Also include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and beans into your meal plans.
- Edamame is a popular soybean with vegetarians. The immature soybean contains isoflavones, which can lower cholesterol levels.
- Another cholesterol inhibiting nutrient is lycopene, found in tomatoes. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will also make diabetes management much easier and will lower blood sugars.
Exercising and changing eating habits can lead to weight loss. Reducing or preventing obesity lessens your risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.
How Are Fats And Cholesterol Connected In Cats
Fats, including cholesterol, are carried in the blood in complex compounds that also contain protein: so-called lipoproteins.
These include triglycerides, cholesterol and phospholipid linked to apopproteins, which are manufactured in cells of the liver and intestines. Apolipoproteins are synthesized in the liver or in intestinal cells.
There are four major lipoprotein classes in cats, as follows:
Chylomicrons and Very low density lipoproteins carry triglycerides in the blood
Low density lipoproteins and High density lipoproteins carry cholesterol in the blood. In cats, HDL outnumbers LDL by 5:1, while in humans, LDL is the main carrier of cholesterol.
Many humans are aware of these abbreviations from their own blood test results, but its important to remember that the significance of abnormal levels is very different in humans compared to cats.
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What Are Risk Factors For High Triglycerides
Factors that may raise triglyceride levels include:
- Excessive alcohol use.
- American Academy of Family Physicians. High Cholesterol. Accessed 11/182/2021.
- American Heart Association. Cholesterol. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Getting Your Cholesterol Checked. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Hormone Health Network. Triglycerides. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- MedlinePlus. Triglycerides Test. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Merck Manual Consumer Version. Overview of Cholesterol and Lipid Fats. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. High Blood Triglycerides. Accessed 11/18/2021.
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Egg White Scramble With Spinach
Eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol, but all of it is contained in the yolk. The whites are cholesterol-free and packed with protein.
Scramble up a couple of egg whites and toss in a handful of spinach for fiber. Cook your eggs in olive or canola oil. These healthy oils could help improve your cholesterol numbers even more.
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Other Causes Of High Cholesterol
People are often surprised to find out they have high cholesterol or triglycerides in their blood, but there are many possible explanations. High levels of blood fats can have many different causes which can all add up, including your lifestyle, genes, age, gender and ethnic background.
Here you can take a look at some of the lesser-known causes. Doctors sometimes call these ‘secondary causes’ of high cholesterol.
Will A Keto Diet Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol
No, keto diets have been shown to increase cholesterol levels. The Mediterranean diet, however, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiac events.
The Mediterranean diet promotes eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats daily eating fish, poultry, beans, and eggs weekly reducing portions of dairy and limiting red meat.
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How Is A Lipid Disorder Diagnosed
To check your cholesterol levels, your doctor will order a blood test called a lipid profile, or lipid panel. This test measures your total cholesterol and triglycerides. Before this test, your doctor will likely ask you to avoid eating and drinking liquids other than water for at least 8 to 12 hours.
The lipid profile measures cholesterol in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter . Your total cholesterol level should be no higher than 200 mg/dL. Learn how to understand your cholesterol results.
A combination of medications and lifestyle changes is a common treatment plan to correct high cholesterol and triglycerides. Your doctor may also suggest certain supplements.
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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Treatment For High Cholesterol
Canva Everyday Health
High or abnormal cholesterol numbers can be treated by both lifestyle changes and medication.
Without treatment, high cholesterol increases your risk of severe cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
Since high cholesterol has no symptoms, people typically find out they have high cholesterol after receiving a blood test at the doctors office known as a lipid panel.
If your lipid panel results show you have high total cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, or low HDL cholesterol, your doctor may initially recommend that you make some lifestyle changes to get your cholesterol numbers back on track.
- LDL cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol: greater than or equal to 60 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
- Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dL
If these changes dont result in more desirable cholesterol numbers within a few months, you may need to take medication to lower your cholesterol. For people who have already developed heart disease or who have diabetes or familial hypercholesterolemia , your doctor may initially prescribe cholesterol management drugs.
About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm
Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at www.petethevet.com. His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.
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Reduce Your Intake Of Saturated And Trans Fats
Adopt and follow a healthy diet thats low in saturated and trans fats. A diet high in these fats can raise levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Saturated fat is usually solid at room temperature. Its found in animal products such as meat and dairy, but also in palm oil, coconut oil and full-cream milk. Read more about saturated fat-rich foods here.
Trans fats are found in store-bought baked goods, snack foods and deep-fried foods. There is strong evidence that trans fats increase levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, while decreasing levels of HDL cholesterol.
Some foods contain cholesterol . Foods that contain cholesterol include liver, pate, kidneys, prawns and egg yolks. These types of food are not usually eaten in large quantities, so its OK to include them in your diet in small amounts.
Foods that contain saturated fats have a greater effect on blood cholesterol levels than foods that contain dietary cholesterol.