How to Lower Cholesterol Without The Use of Medication
The best way to reduce cholesterol without using medications is to make changes to your diet, physical activity, and lifestyle choices. When it comes to your diet, you should stay away from saturated fats at all costs. They have the greatest impact on your cholesterol level than anything else in your diet. Cutting out fried foods is also a simple way to decrease cholesterol.
Next, you should be exercising at least 30 minutes at a time several days a week. Try to make it fun by including group activities like dancing, racquetball, or simply walking with a friend to your regimen.
Finally, lifestyle choices are very important when it comes to your cholesterol levels. If you smoke cigarettes, you should do your best to quit as soon as possible. Smoking makes it very difficult to lower your cholesterol. You should also drink alcohol in moderation by limiting drinks to 1 or 2 per day.
New Cholesterol Medications and Side Effects
The latest medication released to lower cholesterol is called Zetia. Zetia works on decreasing the amount of cholesterol absorbed through the intestines after meals, unlike statins, which reduce cholesterol by decreasing the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Zetia appears to effect LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol by lowering LDL and raising HDL cholesterol. It is common for Zetia to be prescribed along with a statin drug because the combination has a greater effect on lowering cholesterol.
However, there are side effects to the drug which are muscle discomfort felt in the abdomen or back, diarrhea, and joint discomfort. Popular statins like Mevacor, Zocor, Lipitor, and Crestor also have side effects including headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, weakness, rashes, constipation, and diarrhea. Also, in rare cases damage to the muscles and liver failure can occur.
What Medications Increase Cholesterol Levels?
Drugs and medications that may increase your cholesterol levels include thiazide diuretics, sulfonamides, phenytoin, epinephrine, corticosteroids, beta-adrenergic blocking agents, anabolic steroids, and ACTH. While most of these probably won’t affect you, at least you can keep your eyes peeled and avoid them.