Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: cholesterol | drug | free

Can I Cut My Cholesterol Without Drugs?

Monday, 29 October 2012 01:55 PM

Question: What are the best lifestyle/natural remedies for lowering high cholesterol that don’t involve medication?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:

I usually prefer to manage cholesterol with proven agents, such as statin drugs, in conjunction with lifestyle modifications and appropriate natural agents that minimize the need for escalated medication use. Once your targets have been met, you and your doctor may consider reducing your prescription doses. I am not a fan of a wait-and-see approach using unproven treatments for patients who may be at risk. But I am a fan of non-prescription approaches whenever prudent.

The following 10 points should be a helpful guide for you:

• A diet high in soluble fiber will help lower your cholesterol and lipid levels by at least 10 percent. Some people prefer to just add soluble fiber as a supplement. For example, 1 tablespoon of Metamucil (active component: psillium) two to three times daily is best. Remember that insoluble fiber such as methylcellulose) helps bowel function but not lipid values.
• Those with low HDL cholesterol may see some improvement with niacin use, but you should be sure your physician is consulted about it because it can cause side effects and sometimes serious interactions with some drugs.
• Be sure you have managed underlying conditions that are known to be associated with high cholesterol (such as diabetes and hypothyroidism).
• Discuss with your doctor whether any of the medications or supplements you use may be contributing to your elevated levels.
• Limit your alcohol intake, as this will elevate triglycerides.
• Avoid smoking, which can compound your risks.
• Consider low-fat foods (preferably fat-free organic milk) and cut down on animal fat, processed and high-calorie foods in your diet.
• Follow a sensible and regular exercise routine.
• Avoid unnecessary over-supplementation with vitamin/mineral combinations unless it’s recommended by your physician.
• Consider fish oil supplementation as recommended by your treating physician. Fish oil provides significant cardiovascular protection, but not all supplements are the same. If you want to be sure you’re taking the right kind, consider asking your doctor for the prescription fish oil capsule called Lovaza. It is used to reduce heart attack recurrence and is a tested and federally supervised fish oil source that is free of mercury and other contaminants.

© HealthDay

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Some foods and alternatives to drugs can help keep cholesterol under control.
Monday, 29 October 2012 01:55 PM
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