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High Blood Cholesterol Diagnosis Causes Treatment

Lowering Cholesterol With Diets

In addition to limiting the amount of foods that are rich in saturated fats and trans fats, one can eat foods that are rich in unsaturated fats which increase HDL and decrease LDL. There are two categories of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Monounsaturated fats - found in canola, peanut, and olive oils.
  • Polyunsaturated fats - found in fish, corn, and soybean. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fatty acid that is highly polyunsaturated. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Lowering Cholesterol With Medicines

The five major types of cholesterol-lowering medicines are:

Statins
  • Very effective in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
  • Safe for most people
  • Rare side effects to watch for are liver and muscle problems
Bile Acid Sequestrants
  • Help lower LDL cholesterol levels
  • Sometimes prescribed with statins
  • Not usually prescribed as the only medicine to lower cholesterol
Nicotinic Acid
  • Lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Should only be used under a doctor's supervision
Fibrates
  • Lower triglycerides
  • May increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • When used with a statin, may increase the chance of muscle problems
Ezetimibe
  • Lowers LDL cholesterol
  • May be used with statins or alone
  • Acts within the intestine to block cholesterol absorption