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LDL Cholesterol Questions

Have you found yourself wondering what is LDL cholesterol or if there is medication to control LDL levels? These types of questions may arise when faced with circumstances involving cholesterol. Uncertainties about bad cholesterol and how to treat it can often lead to similar questions much like those answered below by Experts.

What is LDL cholesterol?

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) belongs to a group of lipoproteins which includes chylomicrons, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). It is lipoprotein molecules that make it possible for fats such as cholesterol to be transported. LDL molecules carry the content of fat molecules into artery walls and attract macrophages.

Why is LDL cholesterol called bad cholesterol?

Low-density lipoprotein is called bad cholesterol because it is the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in arteries. The lower the number value of LDL levels the lower the risk for stroke and heart attack. High levels of bad cholesterol are recommended to be managed by a doctor whereas mild levels may be maintained first by lifestyle modifications.

What are the best LDL cholesterol lowering medications with minimum side effects such as liver issues?

The best medications to manage high cholesterol levels will vary depending on each individual person’s circumstances and choices. Statin medications have the greatest impact as a cholesterol lowering drug but can cause liver disease. Cholesterol medications that do not carry this concern include bile acid sequestrants and niacin; however, they are not as effective in reducing LDL cholesterol. Doctors may considered the class of statin drugs better because the risk of getting a heart attack being reduced has shown greater results than the risk of developing liver damage.  However, if it is more important to a patient to avoid the risk of liver disease they may find the other medications to be better.

If an individual has high LDL cholesterol do they have to take medication?

Individuals may only need medication to lower their cholesterol levels if they fit into one of these groups:

  • Have clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
  • Have LDL cholesterol levels greater than 190.
  • Have diabetes and are between 40-75 years old and LDL levels between 70-189 but do not have evidence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
  • Have no evidence of cardiovascular disease or diabetes but have LDL cholesterol levels between 70-189 and 10 year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease greater than 7.5%.

If the individual does not fit into one of these groups then lifestyle changes with diet, exercising, and weight management may be enough to maintain acceptable levels.

What do these findings mean total cholesterol 232<200 LDL cholesterol 150<130?

LDL cholesterol levels 150<130 indicates that they are in the mild range. There is a concern for risk of cardiovascular disease that could be higher if the individual smokes or has high blood pressure. When LDL cholesterol levels are mild then a healthy diet, exercise, and maintaining ideal body weight may be sufficient.

Can LDL cholesterol levels go up when on Paxil?

Raised LDL cholesterol levels are not a side effect of Paxil medication. There have been reports of decreased appetite associated with depression and likely the reason Paxil is prescribed. With these circumstances the start of this medication may improve the depression or other underlying condition thus improving the appetite and could account for increase in cholesterol (fat) or LDL cholesterol. This could likely occur with other types of medications not just Paxil.

Individuals may need additional clarity before or after learning about LDL cholesterol. Experts can help clarify what types of treatment are available for lowering LDL or what indicates high LDL cholesterol levels. If you have lingering questions bothering you about cholesterol ask a verified Expert to give you the answers.

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