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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

Cholesterol Management

Cholesterol is a waxy substance in the body that plays a vital role in the production of the cell membrane, hormones and vitamin D. There are two type of cholesterol : LDL ( bad cholesterol ) and HDL ( good cholesterol ) . The human liver is capable of producing all the cholesterol the body requires. However it is also found in many products and processed foods. Eating too many of these saturated fats raises cholesterol and has been correlated with heart disease, clogged arteries, and blood clots. Cholesterol is not all bad. It helps perform many essential duties, from digestion to hormone production. Keeping your cholesterol levels in check can help ensure a healthier mind and body overall.

Gallstones : Cholesterol produces bile, which aids in breaking down food and is crucial for ensuring that your intestines absorb nutrients properly. When your digestive system has more cholesterol, the excess turns into crystals. These crystals eventually form gallstones, which are hardened deposits of bile that develop inside the gallbladder. Gallstones can eventually create a blockage in the pancreas, which may cause your pancreas to become inflamed.

There are several foods that may help lower cholesterol : almond, orange juice, olive oils, steamed asparagus, oatmeal, pinto beans, blueberries, tomatoes, avocado, chocolate, barley, eggplant, fruits rich in pectin, soya, fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, china seeds, whole grains, green tea, leafy greens, garlic, legumes, and red wine.

Treatments : Life style changes such as exercising and eating a healthy diet are the first line of defence against high cholesterol. If it is still high, then medicine is typically prescribed by your doctor. The choice of medicine depends on your personal risk factors, your age, your health, and possible drug side effects.

  1. Statins : Statins block a substance your liver needs to make cholesterol. Side effects may involve muscle pain, muscle damage, reversible memory loss, confusion, and elevated blood sugar.

  2. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors : The small intestine absorbs the cholesterol from your diet and releases it into the blood stream. The drug reduces absorption of dietary cholesterol.

  3. Bempedoic acid : It works like statins but is less likely to cause muscle pain.

  4. Bile acid-binding resigns : Your liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids, a substance need for digestion. This drug lowers cholesterol indirectly by binding the bile acids.

  5. PCSK9 inhibitors : These drugs can help the liver absorb more LDL cholesterol, which lowers the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood. It is used for people who have high LDL due to genetic conditions and where statins do not work.

Medicine for triglycerides :

  1. Fibrates reduce your liver’s production of very low density lipoprotein ( VLDL ) cholesterol and speed up the removal of triglycerides from your blood. Using fibrates with statins can increase the risk of the side effects from statins.

  2. Niacin limits your liver’s ability to produce LDL and VLDL cholesterol. It is recommended for people who cannot take statins. Niacin has also been linked to liver damage and strokes.

  3. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help lower your triglycerides. It can affect other medicines you are taking so consult your doctor to take this.

Cholesterol treatment in children :

Diet and exercise are the best initial treatments for children. Statins may be given to children of age 10 years who have extremely high cholesterol with the consultation of the doctor.

Note: The information presented in this article is not medical advice (please consult your doctor), and is purely for informational purposes.

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