Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol to and from cells, these are low-density lipoprotein, or LDL and high-density lipoprotein, or HDL.
The LDL cholesterol is commonly known as the bad cholesterol because it promotes the build-up of plaque in your artery walls causing the blockages of atherosclerosis.
Whilst HDL cholesterol is considered good cholesterol because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries. LDL cholesterol is mostly affected by your dietary habits.
The first steps in lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke are usually centred on lifestyle
- Changes such as diet, weight control, physical activity and stress management.
- While for some people, dietary and lifestyle changes may be enough to lower cholesterol levels, for others medication may also be needed.
If you're truly concerned about a family history of heart disease or about preventing or treating unhealthy cholesterol levels you should visit your doctor. Your doctor can assess your risks for heart attack or stroke based on your cholesterol levels and other familial or lifestyle risk factors.
There are various medications that can help to lower blood cholesterol levels, however,
- Statins are usually recommended for most patients.
- Statins are a cholesterol-lowering drug class that has been directly associated with reduced risk for heart attack and stroke.
- If medication is your best preventive strategy, your doctor will prescribe medications to lower and manage cholesterol levels.
- if you do not have an adequate response to Statin therapy alone or you have serious side effects, other medications might be considered.
It's essential to keep your cholesterol levels within healthy limits especially if you have other risk factors for developing heart disease. You can do much to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Always take your medication as prescribed, become informed about any side effects and astutely follow your prescribed treatment or prevention plan.
Be diligent in attending for regular check-ups or monitoring tests and remember that taking medications do not replace the need to continue with heart-healthy habits. Generally, consults with a Cardiologist may be recommended.