Cholesterol Treatment New York, NY
People with too much cholesterol in their arteries typically need cholesterol treatment. Cholesterol refers to the fatty substance that circulates through the blood. Healthcare providers can prescribe one of several types of medications to treat high cholesterol. While they have many benefits, patients should be aware of the side effects of cholesterol treatment. Patients taking medication should still eat healthy foods, stay active, and avoid smoking.
Cholesterol treatment is available at Marina Gafanovich, MD in New York and the surrounding area. Our team can assess your condition and help monitor and manage symptoms to reduce symptoms associated with high cholesterol. Call us at (212) 548-3263 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
What is Cholesterol Treatment?
Cholesterol, which comes from food and the body itself, circulates through the blood. There are two kinds of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL can build up in the arteries and disrupt blood flow, while HDL, the healthy type, helps remove LDL cholesterol from the blood.
The body requires some cholesterol to create hormones and replenish cells. However, when a person has LDL levels that are too high, they will likely require cholesterol treatment in addition to some lifestyle changes. Cholesterol treatment most often takes the form of medication, which can benefit patients who cannot lower their LDL with proper diet and exercise alone.
“Cholesterol treatment most often takes the form of medication, which can benefit patients who cannot lower their LDL with proper diet and exercise alone.”
Benefits of Cholesterol Treatment
Not all patients can maintain proper cholesterol levels with nutritious eating, exercise, and other healthy behaviors. These individuals can turn to cholesterol medication to effectively lower LDL levels. Also, cholesterol treatment under a provider's supervision can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Statins are a type of cholesterol treatment that blocks the enzyme necessary for creating cholesterol in the liver. They can improve the health of blood vessel linings, decrease the likelihood of blood clots, and reduce swelling. Statins also lower the risk of stroke.
“Cholesterol treatment under a provider’s supervision can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.””
Signs Someone Needs Cholesterol Treatment
Physicians often prescribe cholesterol treatment for people with LDL levels outside of acceptable ranges. Conditions that raise the risk of high cholesterol include diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Before getting a cholesterol screening, patients should find out if they need to fast for a certain number of hours beforehand.
People might also benefit from therapy if they smoke, have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, are inactive, frequently eat foods high in saturated and trans fats. In addition, some individuals have pre-existing conditions, such as familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a relatively rare genetic disorder that causes high LDL levels in childhood, which worsen over time without treatment. After consulting a licensed medical provider, patients can know whether healthy eating and exercise are enough to control cholesterol without medication.
“Physicians often prescribe cholesterol treatment for people with LDL levels outside of acceptable ranges.”
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The Cholesterol Treatment Process
Patients unable to control or reduce their bad cholesterol with lifestyle changes should inquire about prescription medication. One standard drug is Statin, which blocks the substance that makes cholesterol in the body. However, patients should know about potential side effects of statins, such as nausea, muscle pain, increased blood sugar, stomach cramps, and constipation. Another less common side effect is hair loss.
Some patients take bile acid sequestrants, which prevent bile acid in the stomach from absorbing into the blood. The liver then must replenish the acid by extracting more cholesterol from the blood, thus lowering its presence. Potential side effects include diarrhea, heartburn, gas, bloating, and constipation. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors comprise another treatment type, and they prevent cholesterol absorption into the intestines. The CDC states that Niacin, a B vitamin, raises HDL and lowers LDL levels. Patients with FH can take PCSK9 inhibitors, which are relatively new, to lower their cholesterol.
Providers need to know their patients' complete medical history to know which treatment(s) to prescribe, thus reducing possible side effects. Also, people undergoing cholesterol treatment must follow medical instructions and take their medicines exactly as prescribed. Otherwise, some of these drugs can cause sickness or dizziness.
“Patients should know about potential side effects of statins, such as nausea, muscle pain, increased blood sugar, stomach cramps, and constipation.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
While cholesterol treatment can lower the risk of cholesterol-related conditions, lifestyle changes are still in order. Adopting some healthy habits and eliminating harmful ones can help to reduce LDLs and even increase HDLs. For example, people should limit or avoid foods with saturated fats (which contain animal products), regardless of their cholesterol levels. Trans fats, which are artificial fats that come from turning vegetable oils into solids, are also harmful. In contrast, healthy foods include:
- Fruits like pears, apples, and berries
- Nuts and seeds
- Salmon, herring, mackerel, and other fatty fish
- Sunflower, avocado, safflower, and olive oil
- Whole grains
Getting more exercise to control weight can also keep bad cholesterol at bay. Also, quitting smoking or not starting is a positive step. Smoking damages blood vessels and might even lower HDL levels.
“While cholesterol treatment can lower the risk of cholesterol-related conditions, lifestyle changes are still in order.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the possible side effects of cholesterol treatment?
A. Side effects often depend on the type of treatment a patient receives. Some drugs have common side effects, such as constipation, diarrhea, muscle soreness, and stomach pain. Providing a complete medical history allows a physician to prescribe a medication that is right for the patient.
Q. Will a patient needing cholesterol treatment always have to be on it?
A. People who have suffered a heart attack should continue to follow their cholesterol treatment. Even if LDL levels go down with treatment, stopping cholesterol medication can pose a risk. Many people quit taking their medicine because of the side effects or do not understand the benefits of drugs like statins.
Q. How can patients find out their HDL and LDL cholesterol levels?
A. Providers can do a blood test to check for high LDL cholesterol levels. Children as young as nine years old can get tested, and individuals should check their LDL levels every five years. When men are 45-65 years old, and women reach 55-65 years of age, they should get checked every one to two years, with people over 65 testing for LDLs yearly.
Q. Can a healthy person have high cholesterol?
A. Some people who experience no apparent health problems or do not have a history of heart disease or stroke might not think they would ever need cholesterol treatment. On the contrary, anyone can have high cholesterol, especially if they have a family history. It is also possible for children to have high LDL levels, which requires proper treatment.
Q. What are the symptoms and causes of high cholesterol?
A. Although there are no apparent symptoms of high cholesterol, patients may experience angina (chest pain caused by heart disease), high blood pressure, stroke, and other circulatory ailments. This is usually caused by poor diet, eating too much saturated fat or trans fats, obesity, various medical conditions and medications, lack of exercise, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.
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By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.
Definition of Medical Terminology
- A symptom of coronary heart disease that is caused by a reduced blood flow to the heart. It has many of the same symptoms as a heart attack, although it is less severe and can serve as a warning sign of a future heart attack if not treated.
- Heart disease
- A condition of the heart that results in a diseased vessel, structural problem, or blood clot. A heart attack is one example of heart disease.
- The combination of a lipid and protein whose primary role is transporting blood and other essential fluids throughout the bloodstream.
Learn More about Cholesterol Treatment
Individuals should make sure they watch their HDL and LDL cholesterol levels to avoid heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol treatment can benefit patients who cannot lower their LDL levels through diet and exercise alone. In addition, consulting a physician about the different types of cholesterol treatment can help patients limit their drug side effects.
Contact Marina Gafanovich, MD in New York to learn more information about cholesterol treatment. Call us at 212-548-3263 to schedule an appointment.
Helpful Related Links
- American Clinical Laboratory Association. American Clinical Laboratory Association. 2022
- American Heart Association. American Heart Association. 2022
- American Journal of Medicine. American Journal of Medicine. 2022
- American Medical Association (AMA). American Medical Association (AMA). 2022
- The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. 2022
- CDC Overweight & Obesity. CDC Overweight & Obesity. 2022
- Health and Human Services Prevention & Wellness. Health and Human Services Prevention & Wellness. 2022
- National Wellness Institute. National Wellness Institute. 2022
- World Health Organization Obesity. World Health Organization Obesity. 2022
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