The term ‘cholesterol’ has become infamous due to its association with heart diseases. However, it is not bad in itself but it being on the higher level increases the risk of heart diseases. Cholesterol is essential in building healthy cells, hormones, vitamin D, and digestive juices, but only high levels of cholesterol are considered unhealthy. Most of the cholesterol in the body is produced through the liver, while the rest is formed from the food we eat.
Therefore, it is important to remember that there are two types of cholesterol – high-density lipoprotein is called good cholesterol while low-density lipoprotein is called as bad cholesterol. A higher level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol has a bad effect on your body. A higher level of bad cholesterol can damage the arteries and contribute to heart disease, increasing the risk of stroke.
How to identify high cholesterol levels?
There is no clear symptom that can indicate if your body has high cholesterol levels. A blood test is the only way to detect it. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says cholesterol should be tested every five years for those aged 20 years or older. Whereas people with risk factors of heart disease should get themselves tested more often.
Doctors can prescribe special medicines and treatments if cholesterol levels are high. The first line of treatment is a change in diet and exercise. If diet and exercise are not leading to improvement then the doctors prescribe medicines based on cholesterol levels and see the patient’s medical history and also if there is more than one disease. The need for drugs to lower cholesterol levels not only depends on low-density lipoprotein but also on other factors including a high risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Side effects from the cholesterol-lowering drugs?
Doctors say side effects of drugs can include body ache, muscle pain, and back pain. No serious adverse effects are stated. Therefore, the medicines are safe and as long as the specialists determine and the patient does a regular follow-up, there is no need to worry about the side effects of the drug. He explained that the incidence of side effects is 1 in about 100,000 cases. Side effects are very rare and are dependent on the patient. There are some side effects like nausea, headache, muscle pain.
Medical help should be sought if side effects persist for 2 to 3 weeks. Depending on cholesterol levels and the patient’s medical history, the doctor can also change the treatment. Proper treatment depends on many factors such as the patient’s family history, cholesterol levels being high or low. Sometimes a mixture of drugs is prescribed and not just a single drug.
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