May 17, 2022

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Outstanding health & fitness

How Your Doctor Determines That You Need Cholesterol Medicine

If you have recently been put on cholesterol medicine you may now be wondering how high your levels were, and why some people with elevated levels are able to simply control them with diet and exercise. It is good to know why certain people need prescription medications and others are able to use more natural methods to stay healthy.

Testing for cholesterol levels is normally part of a multi-test series known as a lipid profile. There are three things which are tested as part of this lipid profile. They are LDL-C, HDL-C and triglyceride testing. The results can determine whether you are healthy or are at risk of developing clogged arteries and heart disease.

The fact is that there are three different levels into which your serum cholesterol levels can fall. It may be normal (under 200 mg/dL or 5.18 to 6.18 mmol/L), borderline high (between 200 and 239 mg/dL or 6.18 mmol/L) or high risk (anything over 240 mg/dL or 6.22 mmol/L). Depending on where your readings fall you may be sent for further testing or placed directly on cholesterol medicine. Often people who have borderline high readings are able to simply control their levels using diet rather than prescriptions.

Did you know that there are actually two different kinds of cholesterol and that only one of these is considered “bad”? It is true. Cholesterol can be broken down into good cholesterol, also known as HDL or high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and bad cholesterol, also known as LDL or low density lipoprotein cholesterol. When you test in the borderline high range, it may actually be because of your HDL reading, which is why you may be sent for further testing.

As you can see, the decision to put you on cholesterol medicine is not a simple decision. It is also not so easy to choose the kind of medicine which you will be put on. There are several different ways that cholesterol can be elevated. There may be too much saturated fat in the diet. This calls for modified food intake and specific medications that block cholesterol absorption by the body.

Some people also make too much cholesterol. You may not realize that it is actually a natural substance which is created by the liver and which, in moderation, is required for normal body processes. If it turns out that your body is producing too much you may be put on medications which can counter this.

You should always talk to your doctor before quitting or altering the dosage of any cholesterol medication you have been put on. Conversely it is important to find out what you are taking, what the side effects can be and whether there may be alternatives that do not have significant health risks. Only you can advocate for your own health so it is important to know what you are putting into your body.