High Cholesterol Management
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: If you or someone has been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it's important to keep it under control. This video demonstrates a few ways to help you manage your cholesterol, such as diet, exercise, and medication. If your cholesterol levels are too high, it's important to eat a heart healthy diet. To eat a heart healthy diet, you need to understand how the types of fats you eat can affect your cholesterol level. For example, saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, and trans fats tend to raise the bad cholesterol, also called low density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol in your blood. These fats are found in meat and dairy products, tropical oils, and many processed foods, such as cakes and cookies. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats may help lower the bad cholesterol in your blood when eaten as part of a heart healthy diet. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and are found in foods, such as salmon, avocados, nuts, and olive oils. Other heart healthy lifestyle decisions you can make are to stop smoking and get adequate. Moderate intensity, aerobic exercise, walking biking, or swimming 30 minutes a day, five days a week may be a good exercise goal. Talk to your doctor about the type of diet and exercise plans most appropriate for your health and cholesterol levels. If lifestyle changes can't reduce your cholesterol levels enough, your doctor may prescribe certain medications to reduce it. Statins are the most common medication for lowering LDL or bad cholesterol by reducing the amount made in your liver. However, they have modest effects on lowering another type of fat in your blood called triglycerides and raising good cholesterol, also, called high density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol. Your liver uses cholesterol to make a substance called bile, which helps digest your food. Bile acid binding drugs bind to bile and prevent it from being used in digestion. This causes the liver to use more cholesterol to make more bile, thereby decreasing the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors block some of the cholesterol taken up by your intestines from the food you eat. Fibrates are mainly used to reduce triglyceride levels in your blood, but they can also raise HDL levels. Niacin reduces LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increases HDL cholesterol made in your liver. Healthy lifestyle habits are important in controlling your cholesterol levels. If your health care provider prescribed medication to treat your high cholesterol, it is important to take it as directed and contact him or her if you have any questions.