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.
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:
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.
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.