Cholesterol Medications to Decrease the Risk of Heart Disease
Today, the number of American adults who should seek medical advice in order to reduce their high blood cholesterol levels has reached over 100 million. One medication which has limited side effects and is known to lower cholesterol levels and fight heart disease whilst Americans are continually getting larger are statins.
Don''t worry; you are not out of luck. This article focuses on the actions you can take to lower your cholesterol levels and live a healthier life. After we quickly explain to you what cholesterol is we can then provide you with ways your physician can prescribe statin medications to help. Statins are not the only cholesterol reducing drug, but it is the one we will be discussing throughout this article.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance that presents itself naturally in cell walls and membranes everywhere in your body. Your body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones. Where problems arise is when there is an over abundance of cholesterol in your bloodstream.
If you aren''t able to cut down your cholesterol levels using natural remedies, your doctor may decide you need medical assistance in controlling your cholesterol. It is important that you continue with healthy lifestyle treatments also. Although there are numerous types of medications to assist in lowering your cholesterol levels, we will be focusing on statins.
What are statins and how do they work? Statins repress the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme controls the rate that cholesterol produces itself in the body. These drugs can lower cholesterol from 20 to 60%. They slow the production while they increase the liver''s ability to withdraw LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins). Statins lower the LDL levels better than any other type of drug.
Statins not only decrease total cholesterol and triglycerides, but they can also produce a moderate increase of HDL (High Density Lipoproteins). Encouraging results can usually be seen as quickly as 4 to 6 weeks after beginning use of the medication. Statins are also known to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other possible coronary illnesses.
You should not take statins if: you are allergic to statins themselves or their ingredients; you are pregnant or breastfeeding; you have liver disease; you regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol; you have a history of myopathy; or if you have experienced renal failure.
Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Lescol, Altocor and Mevacor are all prescription brand name statins that you might recognize. Please know of certain food and/or drug interactions that may have adverse effects. If you drink more than a quart of grapefruit juice per day it can very well decrease the liver''s ability to process some statin drugs. It is critical to know that there are other medications that you might be taking that can possibly interact with the statins to cause some weighty side effects.
If you are taking prescription drugs or even OTC drugs such as: herbal supplements; medications for infections, immune system, heart failure, HIV or AIDS; birth control pills; Coumadin; or other cholesterol reducing drugs make sure to inform your doctor prior to using statins.
Although very rare, it is possible for side effects to surface from the use of statins. If you happen to experience vomiting, discolored urine, pain, muscle soreness,stomach pain, or weakness immediately discontinue the use of the medication and contact your physician.
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