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Hyperlipideamia a.k.a. High Cholesterol

Hyperlipidemia, more commonly known as high cholesterol, is a condition in which there are high levels of fat particles (lipids) in the blood. There are several types of lipids – triglycerides, LDL, and HDL. Triglycerides are a cholesterol that gets stored as fat in the body.  LDL or low-density lipoproteins are known as “bad cholesterol” and can build up along blood vessel walls. HDL or high-density lipoproteins are known as “good cholesterol” because they carry bad cholesterol to the liver where it can be broken down. Triglycerides and LDL cholesterol can obstruct blood flow by building up on blood vessel walls – this creates a risk of heart attack and stroke.

Symptoms: Hyperlipidemia doesn’t cause any symptoms. The condition is diagnosed by routine blood tests, recommended every five years for adults.

Treatments: Hyperlipidemia treatment can include one or a combination of the following: medication, a healthy diet, and exercise.

  1. Medication:
  • Statin: lovastatin, pravastatin, fluvastatin, pitavastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin.
  • Cholesterol medication: ezetimibe, ezetimibe/simvastatin, gemfibrozil and fenofibrate.
  1. Healthy diet:
    • Adding certain foods to your diet can lower your cholesterol:
      • Omega-3 fats in fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines
      • Foods high in soluble fiber like fruits, vegetables, sprouted nuts, and seeds
      • Cooking with olive oil, garlic, or onions
      • Supplements like apple cider vinegar, basil, rosemary, and turmeric, fish oil (1,000 milligrams to 2,000 milligrams daily), red yeast rice (1,200 milligrams twice daily), niacin (1,500 milligrams daily), chromium (200–1,000 µg daily depending on age and health conditions present)
      • Other healthy foods include chicken, liver, turkey, grass-fed beef, peas, brown rice, mushrooms, avocado, sweet potatoes
    • Also, several foods can raise your cholesterol
      • Sugar and refined grain products like white bread, pasta, cake, cookies, and baked goods
      • Packaged/process foods like frozen dinners and condiments
      • Hydrogenated fats like vegetable oils
      • Trans fats like shortening
      • Conventional dairy products
      • Factory-farmed animal products like processed meat like hotdogs, sausage, and bacon
      • Excess caffeine and alcohol
  1. Exercise:

Physical activity is important – it has multiple health benefits in addition to improving cholesterol levels. There are multiple types of exercise that can improve health – aerobic exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, tennis, dancing, biking, etc and muscle strengthening exercises like weight training and resistance training. We recommend 2.5 hours of exercise per week – that’s just 20 minutes per day!

 

Alexa Jones, PA-C

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