Living with Cholesterol

The different pillars associated with treating high cholesterol include nutrition, physical health and a positive mental attitude towards this diagnosis. Communication and information are your most important weapons, and AstraZeneca is committed to providing ongoing initiatives to help patients adjust to living with high cholesterol and provide evidence that “High Cholesterol is not an end, it is the beginning of a better way of living”.

Habits and Routines

We all like habits and routines. So much so that we often keep doing the same things even when we know they aren’t good for us. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you will need to change your lifestyle. Like any change in
lifestyle, it takes a while to learn how to manage cholesterol and change dietary habits. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do
to lower your cholesterol, and lifestyle changes are a good place to start. You can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by improving your diet,
increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight. Changing your lifestyle is easier than it sounds. You just need some good advice and the
motivation to change. I am going to help you achieve that healthy cholesterol level, by guiding you into making better food choices.

Healthy Diet

Cholesterol is an important and essential type of fat which we all need to stay healthy. The cholesterol in your body is used to make certain hormones and is an important building block of the cells in your
body. Most of the cholesterol you need is produced in your liver and a 1/4 of your body’s cholesterol is obtained from your diet.

Too much saturated fat in your diet will lead to a
higher production of cholesterol thus increasing the level of cholesterol in
your bloodstream. You also need to evaluate your diet to decrease the intake of
salt and sugary foods while increasing your daily fiber intake.

Weight Management

Being overweight increases your cholesterol, by losing weight you can help reduce your LDL-cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) as well as raise your HDL-cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol). It’s also not healthy to be too thin or to carry too much body fat. The key is to find a sustainable healthy weight. The body mass index (BMI) is a useful tool in determining if you have a weight problem. Remember,
no one requires that you give up the foods you love in order to lessen your risk of cardiovascular disease. The idea is that you choose the foods which protect
you, on a more regular basis, while trying to cut down on the food which
increases your risk.

Get your cholesterol to goal

If your cholesterol levels remain high despite the abovementioned lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol medicine to get your cholesterol levels to goal.

It may depress you to think that you need to take this medicine for the rest of your life.
If this is the case, keep in mind that cholesterol medicines are very effective at lowering cholesterol levels and keeping cholesterol levels in check.
By taking cholesterol medication your risk for heart disease or a heart attack will be reduced and that is something worth smiling about! Stay positive about life.

Tips when taking cholesterol medicine

It is very important to take your cholesterol lowering medicine every day, as prescribed by your doctor.

This will help to lower your cholesterol levels to goal. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when taking cholesterol lowering medicine:

  • DON’T skip a day & make sure you take your medicine every day, as prescribed by your doctor.
  • DON’T stop your medicine without consulting with your doctor first.
  • DON’T stop your medicine once your cholesterol levels are at goal & this will result. in your levels going up again, as will your risk for heart disease.
  • DON’T stop living healthily, eating properly and exercising regularly.
  • DO tell your doctor if you experience any side effects.
02 September 2020

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