Your cholesterol numbers have come back high. Your doctor wants you to take prescription medication.
Your mind is swimming in circles because all of a sudden you now you have questions on how it got to be so high, what it could do to your future health, and if a drug is really going to fix it all.
The topic of cholesterol is definitely a challenging one. It’s one to take seriously and also one to ensure you understand fully – to help you make the best decision for your health.
At CNMA, we are mindful of heart disease and the dangerous risk it poses to one’s health.
Dealing with heart disease in his own family, Dr. Adam Graves is acutely familiar with heart health – which is why we want to share what’s important to know in addition to new, alternative options to consider alongside what standard medicine prescribes.
What you may not know about cholesterol…
You’re probably aware that cholesterol can create a plaque build-up on your artery walls, which can lead to a blockage and result in a heart attack. It has a negative connotation and we try to stay away from it!
But you may not know:
- Some cholesterol is healthy to our bodies as it is a precursor to all of our hormones (meaning that our hormones are made from cholesterol).
- Our liver naturally produces cholesterol for our hormones so we can get it from both our liver organ and our food.
- Some people may have “Familial High Cholesterol” which means their cholesterol may run high due to genetics.
- Some may see a natural increase in cholesterol as they age.
Standard western medicine typically becomes concerned when cholesterol levels are above 200, particularly when LDL (or bad cholesterol) levels are high and HDL (or good cholesterol) levels are low.
A statin prescription drug is usually recommended which lowers the production of cholesterol in the liver. Statins can be very helpful for those at high-risk (previous heart disease or heart attack, blockage, genetics, etc.), but there are risks associated with taking these drugs which may need to be thought through for those at lower-risk.
These risks include trouble sleeping, headaches, weakness and pain in the muscles, damage to the liver, memory loss, and even development of diabetes.
So how concerned should you be if half of all heart attacks aren’t related to high cholesterol levels and you don’t have previous heart disease?
This is when you may want to consider naturopathic options as well, such as:
If you find yourself with elevated cholesterol levels but have no previously known heart disease, you may find a CT scan of your heart – a Heart, Calcium, Coronary CT Scan, can provide additional information on the health of your heart.
This scan takes a picture of the plaque build-up in the heart, providing a more detailed analysis of your artery health. It produces a “score” that reflects the calcium build-up (calcium combines with cholesterol to form plaque), which gives an indicator on the severity of any heart disease.
CNMA can provide information on where to schedule this procedure as the imaging is normally done through an independent imaging center for under a few hundred dollars.
Cholesterol can cause dangerous inflammation in blood vessels, which is why a lifestyle geared towards lowering inflammation is a good idea.
Diet – get in many fruits and vegetables while lowering heavy meat intake
Exercise – lift weights, walk, enjoy yoga, and try HIIT workouts to increase HDL levels
Supplements – include high doses of anti-inflammatories such as Curcumin and Omega-3 fatty acids
Lifestyle – eliminate smoking and drink alcohol at a minimum
Health – keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels at optimal levels
TAKING “NATURAL STATINS”
For a decrease in cholesterol levels with natural supplements, try:
Niacin Intermittent Release – this can help decrease cholesterol production in the liver
Red Yeast Rice – known as a “natural statin” this is typically better tolerated than a prescription stain due to less side eﬀects
Elevated cholesterol levels can be scary. They can pop-up even when you are living an active, healthy diet lifestyle. However, there are natural options to complement or to replace synthetic drug options.
If you have high cholesterol levels and live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the Greater Denver Metro area and are looking to discuss natural options to bring down your levels to what is optimal for you, please call us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves to talk about your concerns.
Is it time to talk through your questions? Learn more about what may be happening in your body and how you can help it naturally.
Let’s get started.
REFERENCES: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/ask-the-doctor-heart-attack-despite-low- cholesterol