There are many types of solutions for just about everything in life – and high cholesterol levels are one of them. You can opt for a medical approach or a natural healing approach and get results.
High cholesterol is a medical puzzle. For the medical profession, it’s very important to treat it since the belief is that cholesterol contributes to plaque in the arteries. The plaque can easily dislodge and then cause a heart attack.
Maintaining normal cholesterol levels is an especially serious concern if you also have diabetes, as it increases your risk of other major health problems. Learn conventional and natural approaches for lowering your cholesterol.
Standard medical solutions for high cholesterol
Medical doctors have two ways to treat high cholesterol – the conservative way and the 'let’s get the level down now' method. The conservative way is to tell you to lose a little weight and start eating a more healthy diet and send you on your way home. Occasionally, a doctor may put you on a low cholesterol diet as well. In a few months, you’ll return to the office and then get re-tested for cholesterol. If it’s still just as high, medications will be prescribed. Some of them include the following:
- Statin drugs – These drugs usually end with the word statin at the end of their name. They lower your LDL cholesterol level but don’t often bring the level into the normal range. However, they may cause side effects. Statins are notorious for causing kidney damage from muscle breakdown years ago that led to death – and although the death part may not occur much anymore, the muscle breakdown can. They also induce a coenzyme Q10 deficiency, which will make you very tired and weak – within about a week.Statins interfere with cholesterol production in the body; this means that some of the other functions of cholesterol in the body won’t get addressed. These medications can lead to bouts of memory loss, a higher rate of breast cancer and lowered brain function.
- Nicotinic acid – This is actually a pharmaceutical preparation of vitamin B3. It lowers your serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol while raising your protective HDL cholesterol. The downside is that it can cause flushing and tingling or itching sensations that come on randomly within a few hours of taking it. You also will have to have regular lab tests for your liver to make sure it isn’t causing any problems.
- Bile Acid Resins – Much of the bile in the body is made from cholesterol. These drugs bind to the bile so that it takes the cholesterol out of circulation. Some side effects include digestive issues, such as gas, constipation (gas can cause constipation), and upset stomach (You needed that bile to help you process your foods.)
Always talk to your doctor about side effects and risk factors involved with any new medication they prescribe for you. If you want to eat healthier and try to lower your cholesterol naturally first, you should consider some natural healing approaches.
Natural healing solutions for high cholesterol
Natural healing practitioners look at the whole situation of what’s occurring and why you have high cholesterol. This does take time, as all your medical lab tests have to be evaluated and sometimes, additional ones have to be ordered.
Is there something that can be done by addressing contributing factors? For example, do you have high cholesterol because you are eating too many fried foods and other unhealthy fats such as hydrogenated fats and trans fats? Is your cholesterol too high because you are overweight? Diet changes and a low calorie diet may be part of the protocol of changes that have to be made on your part.
If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, these will also be addressed in your diet changes. For example, you’ll have to eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of potassium and low amounts of sodium, which helps improve overall health and lowers blood pressure.
Often a natural health practitioner will recommend supplements that specifically address the high cholesterol level. Some of these include green tea, red yeast rice extract, artichoke, alfalfa, cayenne pepper, guggul, and blends of herbs that address the issue while supporting digestive health. Capsules of fruits and vegetables or green drinks may also be recommended.
The downside of the natural therapy is that it can be difficult to change your diet and lifestyle habits. However, once the weight comes off and the diet guidelines are adhered to, often there is no need to use medications to lower your cholesterol levels.
Knowing the options, it’s a good time to research them more and make your decision. What will be best for you? That's your choice.