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: High Cholesterol | cholesterol | natural | remedies | statin

What Natural Remedies Can I Take for Cholesterol?

By    |   Thursday, 07 November 2013 10:16 AM

Question: My doctor has been suggesting I take a statin for high cholesterol, which runs in my family. But I have stubbornly refused because I’m worried about potential side effects. Can I do something other than take drugs for my high cholesterol?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
We all have the same concerns about potential side effects of any medications or supplements, and no one wants side effects. But, on the other hand, we really do not want health problems to develop while we try out alternatives that may or may not be effective and may even have their own negative side effects.

Understand that negative reactions to statin drugs are far less common than Internet discussions will have you believe. The trick is to have a doctor who selects the right drug or combination that is right for you. This is not just a cholesterol numbers game, it is a risk factor analysis, and there are some who need aggressive management, and others who should never use statins.

Here are some tips:

1) Elevated lipids contribute to blocked arterial vessels over time, and early treatment will actually reverse narrowings, as long as they have not calcified and the plaque will stabilize.

2) You may have age-related plaques without narrowing, and even a small plaque can destabilize and bleed — creating a sudden unexpected blockage. We know that elevated lipids are associated with unstable plaque, and unfortunately there are no lifestyle or natural remedies that will stabilize plaque inflammation.

3) Some people with hereditary lipid disorders can suffer heart attacks as young as 17 to 18 years of age and sometimes even earlier.

4) Plaque regression and stabilization is the key to good lipid management, and you must recognize this to appreciate why we are aggressive with management and doctors recommend statins for many people.

I usually prefer to manage cholesterol with proven agents and use lifestyle modifications and appropriate natural agents to minimize the need for escalated medication use. Once your targets have been met, then you and your doctor may consider tapering your prescription doses

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Statins don't usually cause side effects, but there are other things you can do to keep your cholesterol in check.
Thursday, 07 November 2013 10:16 AM
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