Many doctors and their patients are concerned about high cholesterol lately. You may have recently gone to your doctor and have gotten told your cholesterol is too high and you need to take a prescription medicine to lower it.
Well, what’s the big deal with cholesterol anyway? Why are so many prescriptions written for medicines that supposedly work fast to lower it? Let’s take a look at what cholesterol does and how you can take control of your health and decrease your numbers in thirty days.
Your body needs cholesterol to function. Sometimes you can have too much cholesterol in your blood, and it gets stuck to your artery walls. That can become dangerous because it can narrow or block the arteries, and put you at risk for heart disease. (1)
You have two kinds of cholesterol. One type is LDL, which gets referred to as “the bad cholesterol.” You also have HDL, which your doctor may call “the good kind of cholesterol”. A high LDL can build up in your arteries and cause the narrowing we mentioned earlier. HDL takes the cholesterol away from other parts of your body to your liver, where it gets removed.
The first line of treatment that many doctors prefer for high cholesterol is to use a statin drug. Statin drugs slow down your liver’s production of cholesterol. They may also help the liver remove cholesterol that is already in your blood.
It is common for doctors to write prescriptions for statins when the LDL cholesterol is above 190 mg/dL. They may also consider factors like age and medical history.
Statins are supposed to lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke due to high cholesterol. It is so common for doctors to prescribe statins that more than 40 million Americans take them now. (2)
If taking a statin seems like an easy way to get your cholesterol numbers down, you should know these drugs don’t come without risks. Many people experience side effects from them. Some of the milder ones include:
These are considered the milder side effects because statins also carry a host of serious side effects that you may not know. Doctors don’t usually have enough time during an office visit to review all the various things that can happen when taking a statin.You should be aware that these drugs can also cause the following:
If jumping to a prescription drug doesn’t seem like the right choice for you, there are many natural things you can do to lower your cholesterol in thirty days. If you haven’t talked to your doctor about trying these first, you should discuss these options and see if your cholesterol numbers decrease.
One of the best things you can do for your cholesterol and health in general is to exercise. Moderate exercise can help raise your HDL (the good kind) cholesterol. That means if you get moving and exercise for thirty minutes a day, you can quickly improve your health and lower your bad cholesterol. (3)
You can take a brisk walk on your lunch break. If you’re short on time, make it easy for yourself. Grab a quick meal you can take with you, like a healthy shake and walk around the parking lot. You can also play a sport that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be extreme or intense. You can play something like pickle ball that’s low impact and fun. The point is to do something at least three days a week that you enjoy and can make part of your weekly routine.
When you hear about eating healthy, you may get a little down. Until recently, many people thought eating healthy meant nothing but salads with no dressing every day. Admittedly, that would be pretty miserable for most of us.
In recent years, we’ve learned that you can eat a diet high in healthy fats and low in carbs to lower cholesterol. In fact, some studies have shown that diets like the ketogenic diet may lower total cholesterol. (4) This is the exact opposite of what we’ve been told for years by popular health organizations. In previous years we were taught to eat low calorie foods, even if they had tons of unhealthy ingredients. We now know that a healthy diet can consist of whole foods, with healthy fats included. Changing your diet to include delicious, satiating foods could begin to lower your cholesterol sooner than you think.
One of the reasons eating a diet low in carbs may help decrease your cholesterol is because it reduces the inflammation in your body. High levels of inflammation are associated with increased chances of heart attack and stroke. (5) When you can lower the inflammation in your body, you’ll typically lower those blood cholesterol markers, as well. It is crucial to check the inflammation in your body to know your risks of developing diseases associated with high levels of bad cholesterol. Now you can take a quick test to check your inflammation levels in the comfort of your home.
Your BMI (body mass index) has a lot to do with your LDL cholesterol. When you carry extra weight around, it increases your chances of also having too much cholesterol in your blood. To put it another way, every ten pounds you add to your body weight may cause an increase of 10 milligrams of LDL cholesterol. That is a significant jump in cholesterol numbers.
We know that obesity raises your risks of high cholesterol. If you are overweight, it also puts a strain on your liver, which is the organ that removes the bad cholesterol from your body.
Losing excess weight can help lower your cholesterol numbers because it decreases that fat in your body. That will lower your inflammation levels. You can lose as little as ten pounds to see a significant improvement in your cholesterol numbers. (6)
You don’t have to starve yourself to lose fat. Making a few changes like cutting out sugar and processed carbs could dramatically change your body composition. You can swap out bad foods for healthier options that leave you satisfied instead of hungry an hour later.
When you want to lower your cholesterol, one of the ways you can do that is to include quality supplements. Many doctors are now telling their patients to incorporate certain vitamins into their healthy lifestyle. (7)
One of the best supplements for lowering cholesterol is an Omega-3 fatty acid. You can also get omega-3 fatty acids by eating oily fish, but many people don’t like the taste. Quality omega-3 supplements can help bridge the gap and start lowering your cholesterol levels within thirty days.
If you take a statin, you may also want to take CoQ10. Statins decrease your levels of CoQ10, and you want to keep those optimal because CoQ10 helps with overall cardiovascular support. It also helps your immune system function better and promotes healthy blood pressure levels, among other health benefits. CoQ10 is a good supplement to take even if you don’t take a statin, simply for all the health benefits.
There’s a ton of misinformation out there about what you need to do to be healthy. Many people are out to make a fast buck and don’t genuinely care about your health. The science is there and points to natural methods you can use to lower your cholesterol, often without prescription drugs.
When you’re ready to lower your cholesterol in thirty days, start implementing some of these tips and watch how your health can improve when you give your body what it needs. You were designed for health. You don’t have to be stuck in a cycle of illness, and we are here to help. If we can answer any questions or help you achieve your best health, please don’t hesitate to reach outto us!