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Prevention and Treatment of High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia)?

Everyone’s blood naturally contains cholesterol, which promotes the proper functioning of cell membranes, hormone levels, and other processes. A serious risk factor for heart attack, heart disease, and stroke is high blood cholesterol. It is also known as hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol. High cholesterol affects 71 million Americans on average.


The waxy cholesterol accumulates in the arterial walls and helps form plaque, a hard deposit that causes artery narrowing and obstruction. This condition is sometimes referred to as atherosclerosis. When plaque accumulates, the heart has a harder time pumping blood and oxygen, which can result in chest discomfort (angina) or shortness of breath when exercising excessively. A blood clot at the site of a ruptured plaque in a constricted artery might impede blood flow to the brain or the heart, resulting in a stroke or a heart attack.


High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is one of a number of distinct forms of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and other types of high levels of cholesterol can be detrimental to your heart and blood vessels. 


Prevention of high cholesterol: 


It is beneficial to adhere to the following behaviors to maintain blood cholesterol levels in an acceptable range:


  • Monitoring cholesterol numbers: At least every five years, anyone over 20 should have their cholesterol levels checked. This provides you and your doctor with the opportunity to act quickly if your levels start to increase.
  • Exercise and maintain your weight: Maintaining a healthy weight for your height and remaining active helps minimize your cardiovascular risks by reducing your likelihood of developing additional risk factors like obesity and diabetes. If you are overweight, even a little weight loss of 5 to 10 percent can greatly reduce your chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
  • Balanced diet: Dietary cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats can all cause cholesterol levels to rise. Monounsaturated fats, found in foods like almonds and olive oil, polyunsaturated fats, found in foods like fish and canola oil, and water-soluble fiber is known to help lower cholesterol such as oats, beans, and lentils.


Some of the other measures can be helpful in the prevention of high cholesterol:


  • Stop smoking: Smoking compromises your blood vessels, accelerates artery hardening, and significantly raises your risk for heart disease. Stop smoking if you don’t already. If you already smoke, stopping will reduce your chance of developing heart disease. Ask your doctor for advice on how to help you quit.
  • Stop Alcohol consumption: Alcoholism can increase blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels, both of which are types of fat. Aim to limit your alcohol consumption.


Treatment of high cholesterol:


Only one in three individuals with high LDL cholesterol have control over their condition. Based on your cholesterol levels and other risk factors, such as a family history of cardiovascular disease, the main objective of treatment is to lower, or regulate, your LDL level to reduce your individual danger of a heart attack or cardiovascular disease. The first line of defense against high cholesterol is changing one’s lifestyle via activities like exercise and good eating. However, your doctor could suggest medication if you’ve made these significant lifestyle changes but your cholesterol levels are still high. 


The selection of a drug or combination of drugs is influenced by a number of variables, including your individual risk factors, age, state of health, and potential drug side effects. 


Medications used for the treatment of high cholesterol: 


  • Resins: In order to use up more cholesterol, resins also known as bile acid sequestrants attach to the digestive acid bile. This induces the liver to create more bile.
  • Fibrates: Triglycerides are reduced by fibrates.
  • Niacin: A vitamin B called niacin has an impact on how the liver produces lipids.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Medications containing fish oil-derived omega-3 fatty acids also reduce excessive triglyceride levels.
  • Statin drugs: These can help lower blood cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of cholesterol the liver produces.
  • Ezetimibe: Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors, such as ezetimibe, assist the liver in removing cholesterol by preventing it from being absorbed from the gut.
  • PCSK9: In some cases, people with elevated cholesterol may be able to use PCSK9 inhibitors.


Dr Vaibhav Saxena
Cardiac Care
Meet The Doctor
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