Treatment of Cholesterol Disorders
High Cholesterol Treatments
The first step in finding out whether you have a cholesterol disorder is to have a lipid panel: a test that measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Dr. Jonathan Richard typically orders blood work as part of your annual physical exam or if you are at risk for high cholesterol or heart disease.
For men and women over 20 years old, cholesterol levels should be:
- Total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL
- LDL below 100 mg/dL for those without heart disease or diabetes or 70 mg/dL for those with either condition
- HDL above 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women
- Triglycerides below 150 mg/dL
A number of factors can affect your cholesterol levels, including things you can control, like lifestyle choices (eating, exercising, smoking, drinking), and things you cannot control (your genes, race, age, and gender).
If lifestyle choices contribute to your high cholesterol levels, you can make changes to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood:
- Lose weight (if you are overweight or obese)
- Follow a healthy diet of eating foods low in total fat and saturated fat
- Maintain a normal, healthy body weight
- Exercise several times per week for at least 30 minutes per session
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Have your total cholesterol rechecked annually, especially if you are at risk for heart disease or diabetes, or if you are overweight
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower your cholesterol to a healthy range, you might need to take a cholesterol-lowering medication. There are several types of drugs Dr. Richard might prescribe. Each works in different ways to lower your LDL.
- Statins keep the liver from producing cholesterol. This is the most prescribed class of cholesterol-lowering medications. Common brands include Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol, Altoprev, and Livalo.
- Bile acid sequestrants help the liver use excess cholesterol to increase the production of bile acids, which aid in digestion. Common brands include Prevalite, Welchol, and Colestid.
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors block the absorption of cholesterol in your small intestine. Common brands include Zetia.
- Fibrates help lower triglyceride levels by decreasing the production of VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) in the liver.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, a supplement that is available over-the-counter or as a prescription, is also known to help lower triglycerides.
Schedule a Consultation About Your High Cholesterol
Dr. Richard is specially trained and experienced in treating cholesterol disorders. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with him by calling (817) 581-6800 or use our convenient online form.