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High Cholesterol Related Questions

Have you been diagnosed with high cholesterol and are looking for more information? High cholesterol can be alarming to many individuals. Not knowing what causes high cholesterol or how to treat it may lead to many questions much like those Experts have answered below.

What is high cholesterol?

Cholesterol resides in lipids (fats) in the blood and is a waxy substance. The body needs cholesterol to maintain the building of healthy cells; however, having too much or high cholesterol can increase risk of heart disease. This can occur as fatty deposits develop in the blood vessels making it harder for blood to travel within the arteries. The heart then doesn’t get as much of the oxygen-rich blood that is needed thus increasing risk of heart attack. Additionally, when blood flow is decreased to the brain it can cause a stroke.

Is high cholesterol inherited?

Heredity can play a major role in a person’s cholesterol levels. An individual’s genes are what determine how the body’s cholesterol is made, used, and disposed of. Heredity induced high cholesterol can account for some individuals having high cholesterol even with taking precautions while others have normal levels without taking precautions or having dietary restrictions.

If cholesterol is 260, HDL 52, LDL 181, can plant sterols be used to get it under control instead of statins such as Zocor? 

Plant sterols can be used in aiding the reduction of bad cholesterol - Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) as studies have shown them to be effective in some individuals. If plant sterols are used it is recommended to also include lifestyle modification such as diet and exercise. Lipid panel tests will generally take three months to show a difference. LDL should be <100 and HDL >70. If plant sterols are working the LDL should typically go down to 130. If plant sterols are not effective in high cholesterol being reduced then statin medications such as Zocor may be needed. The most effective drug to prevent coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke are statins. They are shown to reduce LDL levels 20%-60% and can raise slightly the good cholesterol - High-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. They also have fewer side effects than other high cholesterol medications.

Should a young adult try dieting and exercise before medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol?

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are not solely managed by medications and there are other routes to try to reduce these levels. Lifestyle modifications are typically tried first. This would include changing to proper diet and exercise. At a young age, a complete evaluation should be performed to find the cause of this diagnosis. If the blood pressure and cholesterol levels are extremely high then it may be warranted to begin these medications and not wait to see if lifestyle modifications are effective.

Is ezetimibe recommended for a patient that already has cancer?

A risk to certain cancers increasing from ezetimibe is not proven yet. However, the risk of cardiovascular morbidity from stopping this medication while having high levels of cholesterol is real and proven. This is when individuals need to make a decision based on risk versus benefit. The benefit should outweigh the risk involved. So the benefit of not having cardiovascular morbidity may outweigh the unproven risk of cancer increases with ezetimibe. Only the individual with counsel from their doctor can make the decision.

Is it possible to have high cholesterol but low blood pressure?

Cholesterol is not only produced by the body but also introduced into the body by foods. If there is family history of high cholesterol then there is a better chance of the body producing more cholesterol. This can account for high cholesterol levels even in those who are properly dieting and exercising which may help in giving low/normal blood pressure levels.

When individuals are armed with accurate information about high cholesterol it can help them with questions they may run into when faced with this circumstance. Experts can help answer questions about high cholesterol tests, signs, treatment, and more. Get the answers you need by asking verified Experts from the comfort of your home.

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