Four More Steps to Lowering High Cholesterol

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Here are the final three steps that are taken in determining how to manage high cholesterol. This article brings the introductory part of this series to a close, after which I’ll move on to all the excellent natural ways you could lower cholesterol yourself.

To read the previous parts of this series, visit Half the People You Know Have This Problem and The Next Four Steps to Lowering High Cholesterol.

STEP 7: Consider adding drug therapy if LDL cholesterol levels get too high.

Several forms of drugs affect the body’s metabolism of cholesterol. Here they are:

— Statins
Examples: simvastatin (“Zocor”), rosuvastatin (“Crestor”), pravastatin (“Pravachol”), lovastatin (“Mevacor”), atorvastatin (“Lipitor”). Effectiveness: Lowers LDL-cholesterol 18%-55%; raises HDL-cholesterol 5%-15%; lowers triglyerides 7%-30%.

— Bile acid binding drugs
Examples: cholestryramine ( “Prevalite, ” “Questran”); colestipol (“Colestid” ); colesevelam (“Welchol” ). Effectiveness: Lowers LDL-cholesterol 15%-30%; raises HDL-cholesterol 3%-5%; triglyerides no change or increase.

— Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
Example: ezetimibe (“Zetia”).Effectiveness: lowers LDL-cholesterol 18%; increases HDL cholesterol 3.5%; no change in triglycerides.

— Fibrates
Examples: fnobitrate (“Lofibra, ” “TriCora”); gemfibrozil (“Lopid”) Effectiveness: Lowers LDL-cholesterol 5%-20%.; raises HDL-cholesterol 10%-30%; lowers triglycerides 20%-50%.

— Nicotinic Acid
Example: niacin (“Niaspan”). Effectiveness: Lowers LDL-cholesterol 5%-25%;raises HDL-cholesterol 15%-35%; lowers triglycerides 20%-50%.

STEP 8: Identify metabolic syndrome and treat, if present, after three months of lifestyle changes. To clinically have metabolic syndrome, you must have three of the following:

a) Waist circumference greater than 102 centimetres (men), 88 centimetres (women)
b) Triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dL
c) HDL cholesterol lower than 40 mg/dL (men), 50 mg/dL (women)
d) Blood pressure greater than 130 over 85
e) Fasting blood sugar levels greater than 110 mg/dL

STEP 9: Treat high triglycerides,a cousin of cholesterol, which is a sticky fat in the blood, which are very dangerous if in high amounts. Normal levels fall below 150 mg/dL, while borderline high levels are between 150 and 199. High levels fall between 200 and 499; while very high levels that need immediate treatment are over 500.

Four More Steps to Lowering High Cholesterol
National Cholesterol Education Program: Third Report of
the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)
Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of
High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel
III). Bethesda, MD: US Department of Health and Human
Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of
Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 2002.