Health Tips: Want to Lower Your Cholesterol? Take These Steps Before Using Medicines

The term ‘cholesterol’ has become infamous because of its association with heart diseases. Although, it is not bad in itself, but having it in high levels increases the risk of heart diseases. Cholesterol is essential for the formation of healthy cells, hormones, vitamin D and digestive juices, but only high levels of cholesterol are considered unhealthy. Most of the cholesterol in the body is manufactured through the liver, while the rest is made from the food we eat.

Therefore, it is important to remember that there are two types of cholesterol – high-density lipoproteins are called good cholesterol while low-density lipoproteins are called bad cholesterol. High levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol have a bad effect on your body. High levels of bad cholesterol can damage arteries and contribute to heart disease, which increases the risk of stroke.

How to identify high cholesterol level?

There are no obvious symptoms that can indicate whether you have high cholesterol levels in your body. A blood test is the only way to find out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that people 20 years of age or older should be tested for cholesterol every five years. Whereas people with risk factors for heart disease should get themselves tested more often.

Doctors may prescribe special medications and treatments if cholesterol levels are high. The first line of treatment is a change in diet and exercise. If diet and exercise are not improving, doctors prescribe medications based on cholesterol levels and the patient’s medical history and whether there is more than one disease. The need for drugs to lower cholesterol levels depends not only on low-density lipoproteins but also on other factors, including a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs?

Doctors say side effects of the drugs can include body aches, muscle aches and back pain. No serious adverse effects have been reported. Therefore, the drugs are safe and there is no need to worry about the side effects of the medicine as long as the specialist prescribes and the patient follows up regularly. He explained that the incidence of side effects is 1 in about 100,000 cases. Side effects are very rare and depend on the patient. Nausea, headache, muscle pain are few side effects.

Medical help should be sought if side effects persist for 2 to 3 weeks. The doctor may also modify the treatment depending on the cholesterol level and medical history of the patient. Appropriate treatment depends on several factors such as the patient’s family history, high or low cholesterol levels. Sometimes a mixture of drugs is prescribed, not just one drug.

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