Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. It is needed by your cells to function and your body does make it naturally. But you also get cholesterol from the food you eat. High cholesterol, also known by its medical name of hypercholesterolemia, can be a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. High levels of cholesterol are due to a variety of factors that can include diet, exercise, and even your heredity. Whether you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol or you are concerned about the possibility of being diagnosed, there are some things that can be done to help you maintain a healthy balance and help to deter major complications.
Change of diet: One of the most tried and true methods of battling bad cholesterol is changing your diet. After being diagnosed, your doctor may recommend you speak with a licensed nutritionist or a dietician. Since cholesterol is found in so many foods, eliminating or cutting down on specific ones may help to battle your overabundance. Fried, fatty foods are especially full of cholesterol and should only be enjoyed in moderation. Talk to professionals and do research on what foods are good and not good to eat with cholesterol levels in mind.
Exercise: Lowering your overall body fat can help to reduce cholesterol. Work with a trainer to increase your exercise gradually so that you can lose weight and increase your body’s strength. Ensuring heart health by proper exercise will help to combat the negative potentials from high cholesterol.
Herbs and supplements: Talk with your doctor about natural herbs and other supplements that you can add to your routine to help with your cholesterol. They will be best suited to advise you on what will work best for your specific situation. Many individuals have had luck supplementing their diet with herbs in an effort to keep cholesterol issues at bay.
Prescribed medications: If your cholesterol is at a dangerous level or your doctor is concerned lifestyle changes may not be enough, they may prescribe you a medication to help bring down your high levels. Statins tend to be some of the most prescribed since they help to block the production of “bad” cholesterol in the liver itself. They have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and other complications tied to high cholesterol. Your doctor will most likely take a look at your lifestyle, your levels, and other health concerns to make the determination on what type of medication is best for you.
High cholesterol doesn’t mean that you have to stop enjoying everything in life. By making some healthy lifestyle changes and following the direction of your doctor, you can do your best to make sure it doesn’t turn into a major problem. If high cholesterol runs in your family, it is never too early to make changes and start living as healthy of a lifestyle as possible to try and combat a diagnosis later on. Talk with your doctor or nutritionist to decide what next step is best for you.