People with high cholesterol are often given drug prescriptions from their doctors. Typically, statins are prescribed to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood by reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver. Basically, statins block an enzyme in the liver that helps make cholesterol.
Keep in mind that cholesterol is a good thing because it helps the body’s cells function normally. However, when a person has high cholesterol they’ve got too much for the body to handle, and like a traffic jam on the highway, having high cholesterol can cause plaque build-ups within arteries. Therefore, blood doesn’t flow like it should, and people can get blood clots, angina, heart attacks, strokes, etc.
Medications given to people with high cholesterol include Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Altoprev, Pravachol, Crestor, Livalo and Zocor. These drugs can bring about side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue and/or problems sleeping. Some of the more severe problems associated with cholesterol drugs include muscle or liver damage.
If you’re the type of person who’d rather avoid taking drugs to lower your cholesterol, there are natural alternatives. For instance, if we look to Asia, we find red yeast rice has been used to lower cholesterol, as well as reduce heartburn and get rid of diarrhea. Then there’s psyllium, the herb often used to treat constipation. Try daily doses of 10 grams to lower your LDL cholesterol. A plant from Europe/Asia known as fenugreek offers small brown seeds that could help lower cholesterol. You’re likely to find these seeds in Indian spice stores. You can also find fenugreek as a pill, liquid supplement, or as a spice in whole or powdered form. And here’s a familiar one to most Americans: fish oil. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can help your overall health improve.
In order to lower your cholesterol, make some healthy lifestyle changes. Eat more whole grain and fiber-rich foods. Exercise more than you currently do! Losing weight will not only help you lower your cholesterol, but it also has many other benefits. Is it easy? No. But it’s doable.