So you’ve been to the doctor , got your labs drawn, and you go back for a follow up visit to go over the results.” You have hyperlipemia” (or any other form of cholesterol issues) and you need to take a medication to lower it to reduce your chances of heart attack and stroke.” I have been on the giving end of such news and it’s not always easy. Most patients get sad because they look at these things as death sentences, but it doesn’t have to be.
You can lower cholesterol without drugs by following some basic steps that will not only change your cholesterol readings, but also improve your health today and in the future. So often we use a prescription drug and hope it will magically cure whatever ails us. The truth is prescription drugs for lowering cholesterol do work. The problem is they all have both short term and long-term side effects.
Even more dangerous than the side effects of prescription drugs to lower cholesterol is not getting cholesterol under control. Over time, high cholesterol can lead to numerous conditions of the heart and arteries, not the least of which are atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), stroke or heart attack.
Here are 5 steps you can take today to lower your cholesterol without prescription drugs.
-May sound simple, but diet has such a significant impact on lowering cholesterol that it should be the number one factor you look at in determining if your high cholesterol is hereditary or a matter of dietary choices. A low fat and low cholesterol diet is the first step toward lowering cholesterol.
Eat foods that are high in omega 3 that’s good for the heart like (salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, chia etc and you and never eat enough fruits and veggies. These foods can lower bad cholesterol LDL and increase HDL the good cholesterol. Remember that 85% of cholesterol is already produced by the body alone, the other 15 we get from foods sobbing mindful of what we eat is key in this 15%.
Improving cardiovascular health is a step toward reversing the effects of high cholesterol. Exercise itself doesn’t directly lower cholesterol, but will strengthen the heart and entire circulatory system.
If you smoke, the plaque build up in the arteries due to high cholesterol is accelerated. When plaque blocks the flow of blood to the heart, the muscle has to work harder to get oxygen. This can lead to a heart attack. If the arteries get completely blocked with plaque from high cholesterol then a stroke can occur.
Chronic stress can affect cholesterol levels. If you are constantly stressed and eating a low cholesterol diet, you may not see any improvement in cholesterol readings until you learn to relieve stress. There is compelling evidence that stress can increase your levels of bad cholesterol.
Talk to your health care provider. As a Nurse practitioner and certified Health Coach I am not always quick to prescribe medications. In fact, I almost always encourage and educate patients about a diet and exercise plan that is suitable for their current overall health and abilities as a first step toward lowering cholesterol. Now some patients, based on their lab work may require immediate intervention that will involve medication, but this is always in conjunction with lifestyle changes.
It is always important to ask your doctor if your decision to follow a specific diet or exercise plan is right for you. In addition, do not stop taking medications before consulting with your doctor. You can lower your cholesterol with diet and exercise, and under the care of your doctor, can even see about removing drugs from the process.
It does not take long to see significant improvements in your cholesterol. Lower cholesterol can be yours in just a matter of weeks.
If you need a health plan catered to your specific heart health needs and health goals. Then contact me personally. I am putting together a heart healthy program that is catered to those who suffer from cholesterol issue, hypertension and gut health. Stay Tuned.