Cholesterol is actually produced in the liver, and is essential in the production of hormones and vitamin D in the body. You’ve probably heard that HDL is the ‘good’ component of cholesterol, and LDL is the ‘bad’ component. But recent research is showing that looking only at LDL, HDL and triglycerides may be too simplistic. We also all know that statins are the common drug prescribed to effectively lower LDL cholesterol. However, we are learning that particle size and subtypes are helping doctors to determine whether statins may or may not be helpful.
At CentreSpringMD, we believe that managing cholesterol levels adequately should involve more than just medication management. Lifestyle modification that includes changes to diet, exercise, sleep and stress all play key roles in reducing cholesterol. An integrative approach addresses the full spectrum of a patient’s health to help find a number of different ways to reduce cholesterol.
Common Causes & Symptoms
Unfortunately, high cholesterol does not show any outward signs or symptoms itself, so it is difficult to know if high cholesterol is posing a risk to your heart.
- Chronic stress
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
As mentioned above, conventional approaches include the use of statins, but also often recommend weight loss and a healthy diet as a key component in lowering your cholesterol. In integrative medicine, we take it a step further and look at the whole body, including your lifestyle, for treatment options.
- Weight Loss
- Reduce sugar intake
- Avoid foods containing trans-fat
- Don’t smoke
- Relax (yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture, CranioSacral Therapy, etc.)
- Eat nuts containing mono-saturated fats like almonds, walnuts and cashews
- Eat soy protein sources in place of animal protein
- Use fresh garlic
- Drink green tea
- Up your fiber intake
- Limit refined carbs
- CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10): a powerful antioxidant that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, and re-energizes the mitochondria in the heart cells
- Fish Oil: the abundance of essential omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood fat levels, minimize inflammation, and increase HDL cholesterol
If you are one of many patients in this country confused about cholesterol or dismissing your numbers, it may be time to take a good look at your numbers with one of our providers. In addition to the standard lipid panel (LDL, cholesterol, triglycerides), the VAP test or LPP test may be helpful in helping you and your doctor determine your true cardiovascular disease risk. Call us at 404.814.9808 to schedule an appointment!