Tags: Heart Disease | High Cholesterol | statins | cholesterol | alternatives

Are Statins Best Way to Lower My Cholesterol?

By    |   Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:16 AM

Question: I'm confused by all the news on cholesterol. Should I be more worried about my HDL, my LDL or my tryclerides? I don't want to take a statin. What else can I do?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
The new guidelines on heart disease prevention factor in other health issues, such as diet and exercise, as well as the aggressive management of elevated LDL, low HDL, or elevated triglycerides. Instead of prescribing a single target number for all patients, some patients will need to be more aggressive and others less aggressive in managing cholesterol, depending upon other vascular disease risk factors, family history, and underlying health issues.
The recommendations are in line with most doctors' views. Basically, if your risk for heart disease is low, no radical approaches are recommended. Also, some have other conditions that may make cholesterol management a waste of time (for example, a cancer patient who is not expected to live more than 10 years).
That said, you still need to be aware of your HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels, but your prescription treatment decisions should be guided by your risk factors, age, and health status. Your doctor can and should be in a good position to help you evaluate your options.
Statins happen to be the least expensive, most side effect-free, convenient, effective, and best-tolerated single agent for most people to manage their cholesterol. They are very safe when properly prescribed.
Remember, not all statins are the same. Before you dismiss them all, be sure you have tried several different types. In my experience, the newer statins such as Crestor are better tolerated and are less likely to cause bad reactions with other drugs or food.
There are also other options available for those who do not wish to take statins, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. See your doctor for advice on whether you need treatment or not.

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The new guidelines on heart disease prevention factor in other health issues, not just cholesterol management.
statins, cholesterol, alternatives
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:16 AM
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