High Cholesterol Treatment

Summary:

  1. Cholesterol is not bad. The body needs cholesterol to produce hormones, cell membranes, and brain cells.
  2. High cholesterol doesn’t need to be treated with statin drugs always.Statin drugs have many side effects. Statin treatment can be used for coronary heart disease patients and those with high risk factors.
  3. Most cases of high cholesterol can be treated with lifestyle changes and proper diet.
  4. Diet and must be customised depending on the individual.
  5. Low fat diet doesn’t work for high cholesterol.

CHOLESTEROL CRISIS

  • Cholesterol is not an enemy
  • All cholesterol is not bad for the body. The body needs cholesterol to produce hormones, cell membranes, and brain cells.
  • High cholesterol is not a disease and doesn’t manifest as any symptoms
  • High cholesterol levels indicate the risk factor for heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and obesity. There is no necessity to be afraid of high cholesterol levels as they can be reversed with minor lifestyle changes and diet.

UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF CHOLESTEROL TEST

Lipid profile test or cholesterol test can be done before starting high cholesterol treatment to check the levels of the different types of cholesterols in the blood.

Lipid profile test consists of 4 important parameters, which are:

1) Total cholesterol

It refers to the sum of cholesterol in the body. High total cholesterol levels don’t indicate anything. We need to check for the HDL and LDL values

Borderline high: 200-239 mg/dL

High risk: Over 240 mg/dL.

 2)  LDL

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the bad cholesterol. High levels of LDL in the blood stream lead to the deposition of plaques in the arteries. This condition known as atherosclerosis could lead to heart attacks as the fatty deposits reduce blood flow.

Near optimal: 100-129 mg/dL

Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

High risk ;160-189 mg/dL.

3) HDL

High-density Lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol that removes LDL cholesterol from blood vessels.

HDL levels of 60 mg/dL or higher – Good

below 40 mg/dL – Risk of heart disease

4) Triglycerides

Eating too much sweets and white rice, high consumption of alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, high diabetic conditions are associated with high triglyceride levels.

High: 200-499 mg/dL

Very High risk: 500 mg/dL

LDL (BAD ) Vs. HDL (GOOD) Cholesterol

  •    Statin drugs are formulated to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood
  •    Only high LDL levels may not indicate a risk of heart disease
  •    Studies show that there is no direct relationship between high LDL and heart disease
  •    Studies have shown that small density LDL(Type of LDL) could be the indicator of high risk factor for plaque formation.
  •    Unfortunately, small density LDL levels cannot be measured by the routine lipid profile tests.
  •    High HDL levels could provide protection against heart disease
  •    HDL levels can be increased by Niacin, reducing refined carbohydrate consumption and exercising
  •    Statin drugs are formulated to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood
  •    Only high LDL levels may not indicate a risk of heart disease
  •    Studies show that there is no direct relationship between high LDL and heart disease
  •    Studies have shown that small density LDL(Type of LDL) could be the indicator of high risk factor for plaque formation.
  •   Unfortunately, small density LDL levels cannot be measured by the routine lipid profile tests.
  •    High HDL levels could provide protection against heart disease
  •    HDL levels can be increased by Niacin, reducing refined carbohydrate consumption and exercising

On the whole, having low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) is of more concern than having high levels of LDL(bad cholesterol).

SIDE EFFECTS OF STATINS – CHOLESTEROL LOWERING DRUGS.

Many doctors suggest statin drugs to control cholesterol levels, especially for patients in the age group of 55 to 60. Statins reduce blood cholesterol levels by preventing the production of cholesterol in the liver. They also reduce inflammation. However, it is not necessary to take these medications for mild to moderate high cholesterol levels. Moreover, these cholesterol lowering medications have many side effects.

The common side effects of long-term usage of statin drugs are:

  •    Pain and muscle aches
  •    Long-term consumption could lead to myosotis
  •    Deplete vitamin K2 and Coenzyme Q10, which is essential for the         production of energy in the body
  •    Poison mitochondria that act as the cells’ energy-producing factories
  •    Increase risk of cataract
  •    Increase risk of type 2 diabetes by 40%
  •    Sometimes, long-term statin consumption could lead to liver damage by increasing liver enzyme levels
  •   Statins increases the risk of type 2 diabetes !

Research studies have shown that Statins could increase resistance to insulin and also impair the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin. Both these conditions lead to the on start of type 2 diabetes.

“LOW FAT DIET” IS NOT NECESSARY TO FIX HIGH CHOLESTEROL

There are some doctors who recommend LOW FAT DIET to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. However, it is not a good idea because not all fats increase blood cholesterol levels. There are healthy natural fats that are good cholesterol. In fact, the biggest source of abnormal cholesterol is not fat, but sugar. When more amount of sugar or refined carbohydrates is consumed, it increases cholesterol levels in the blood as the excess sugar gets converted to fat in the liver. So, during high cholesterol treatment, we need first to reduce the intake of refined carbohydrates and sugar. If you have low HDL, high total cholesterol or high triglyceride levels, then reducing consumption of white flour and sugar is the best way to control the levels of “bad” cholesterol levels in the body. Consuming a low carbohydrate diet is the best treatment for low HDL and high triglycerides condition.

Instead of completely cutting down on all fats, it is essential to eat the right fats found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, almonds, flaxseeds, olive oil, fat oil. Fat found in these foods improves cholesterol profile.

LIST OF FOODS THAT HELPS IN LOWERING HIGH CHOLESTEROL

1) Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds have omega fatty acids that are healthy fats and help reducing triglycerides levels in the body. Some of the nuts and seeds that you can add to your diet during obesity treatment are:

Walnuts, Almonds, Flax seeds, Chia seeds

2) Garlic and turmeric

3) Soy products

4) Vegetables like broccoli ,Tomatoes and Okra (Bendi) also help reduce cholesterol levels in the body.

5) Fruits

Fruits like avocado,  citrus fruits, apple, strawberry, papaya and pomegranate are helpful in dyslipidemia.

6) Green tea and lemon

7) Fish

8) Cooking oils

Avocado oil, walnut oil olive oil, flaxseed oil, and cold pressed peanut oils help in reducing LDL and increasing HDL. Coconuts oil increases overall cholesterol, but it is also known to rise good cholesterol HDL.

Foods mentioned above are part of the high cholesterol treatment program. Apart from adding these foods to the diet, it is also suggested to follow a low carbohydrate diet and other lifestyle changes.

Learn more about 12 weeks Obesity Weight Loss Program by Dr. Vishwanath.