Friday, August 1, 2008

Use Cholestorol Medications to Improve Personal Health

By Rich Benvin

There are over 100 million American adults that should seek medical advice to lower their high blood cholesterol levels. Statins, a cholesterol lowering medication which have few side effects have helped to fight heart disease and lower cholesterol levels, even though Americans are actually getting fatter.

There are things that can help you fight this problem. This article is designed to teach you how to do something about your cholesterol problems. First we will take a brief look at what cholesterol is and then we will show you how statin medications, prescribed by your doctor, can make you healthier. To treat high cholesterol there are many different types of statins, and we will review them for you.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance that presents itself naturally in cell walls and membranes everywhere in your body. Your body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones. Where problems arise is when there is an over abundance of cholesterol in your bloodstream.

Your doctor may decide that you need help in controlling your cholesterol if you are not able to reduce it using natural treatments. Even if your doctor prescribes any of these medications, you must still follow through with healthy lifestyle treatments as well. There are several different types of medications used to lower cholesterol, but we will focus only on statins.

What are statins and how do they work? Statins repress the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme controls the rate that cholesterol produces itself in the body. These drugs can lower cholesterol from 20 to 60%. They slow the production while they increase the liver's ability to withdraw LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins). Statins lower the LDL levels better than any other type of drug.

Statins not only decrease total cholesterol and triglycerides, but they can also produce a moderate increase of HDL (High Density Lipoproteins). Encouraging results can usually be seen as quickly as 4 to 6 weeks after beginning use of the medication. Statins are also known to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other possible coronary illnesses.

You should not take statins if: you are allergic to statins themselves or their ingredients; you are pregnant or breastfeeding; you have liver disease; you regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol; you have a history of myopathy; or if you have experienced renal failure.

Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Lescol, Altocor and Mevacor are all prescription brand name statins that you might recognize. Please know of certain food and/or drug interactions that may have adverse effects. If you drink more than a quart of grapefruit juice per day it can very well decrease the liver's ability to process some statin drugs. It is critical to know that there are other medications that you might be taking that can possibly interact with the statins to cause some weighty side effects.

It's important to let your doctor know about any other medication you are taking, whether prescription or non-prescription including vitamins, herbal supplements, medication for the immune system, other cholesterols drugs, medication for infections, birth control pills, medication for heart failure, HIV or AIDs, or Coumadin.

Side effects from statins are rare. If you experience muscle soreness, pain, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, discolored urine, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately.

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