How to keep your Cholestrol in control
After a certain age, reaching for a cheeseburger can do more than potentially add to your waistline. Over time, people who have an unhealthy lifestyle can end up with a build-up of a substance called cholesterol in their arteries. While some cholesterol is beneficial to your health, having too much of it can put you at risk of complications like heart attack and stroke.
Good vs Bad Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood that your body needs to build healthy cells. It is created by your liver but can also be found in the foods you eat. You need some cholesterol for your body to function properly but having too many other types of cholesterol can lead to health problems. That’s why you’ve probably heard the terms “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol” tossed around.
Good cholesterol refers to high-density lipoprotein (HDL). It is responsible for carrying some of the bad cholesterol from your arteries to your liver, where it is then broken down and passed out through the body. Having a healthy level of HDL is believed to help protect you from strokes and heart attacks.
Bad cholesterol is the type of cholesterol that can cause a range of health concerns. Also known as low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol, bad cholesterol causes fat to build up in your arteries. This then narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow. This puts you at risk of heart attack and stroke.
High cholesterol is most often caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a poor diet, not getting enough exercise, and smoking cigarettes. It’s also possible to inherit high cholesterol or to get it as a side effect of some medications and medical conditions.
High Cholesterol Complications
Having a continuously high level of fatty build up in the arteries makes a person susceptible to serious health complications such as:
- Chest pain
- Coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Chronic kidney disease
How to Control Cholesterol?
Because high cholesterol is usually the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, simply making a few changes can make a big difference. An added benefit to these changes is that most of them will also improve your health in many other ways as well as improve your fitness and mental health.
Tips to control cholesterol levels:
- Eating a diet high in whole foods, vegetables, and fruit
- Cut back on high-sodium, fatty, fried, and processed foods
- Exercise more often
- Drink less alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Take high cholesterol medications
High Cholesterol Medications
Sometimes diet and exercise aren’t enough to lower cholesterol. If this is the case, or if you are at an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, your doctor may recommend you take medications to lower your cholesterol.
- Atorvastatin Tablets: A statin medication used to treat high cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Gemfibrozil Tablets: A medication known as a fibrate that is used to reduce the level of fats in the blood, normalize cholesterol levels, and reduce high blood pressure.
- Cholesterol Tablets: A lipid-lowering medication that is used to treat people with high cholesterol and can be used with other cholesterol medicines.