What is High Cholesterol?
Your body naturally produces cholesterol in the liver and also obtains it from your diet. Although cholesterol is vital as it is involved in the production of cell membranes and hormones, if your cholesterol levels rise above the required amount it can increase the risk of heart disease.
What are the Symptoms of High Cholesterol?
Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of high cholesterol that you can look out for. It can only be detected by blood tests carried out by your doctor. For this reason, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 20 have their blood cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years.
What are the Causes of High Cholesterol?
The causes of high cholesterol levels are generally due to a high intake of saturated fat in your daily diet. Eating foods such as eggs, raw meat, cheese, butter and other animal fats is one of the main causes of high cholesterol. Unfortunately all of these foods are quite common in the typical Western diet. Some diseases can also contribute to high cholesterol such as:
- Sugar Diabetes
- Low Thyroid
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
Traditional Treatments for High Cholesterol
It is important to be aware of how to lower your cholesterol. There are a number of steps you can take that will not require medical intervention. Firstly, it is important to change your diet. Avoid saturated fats and eat more fruit, vegetables and fish. Avoid all high cholesterol foods. Taking Pantothine is also recommended as it is an enzyme that will help break down cholesterol. If changing your high cholesterol diet does not make a difference then it is important to ask your doctor how to reduce cholesterol levels. They can prescribe medicine that can block or remove the symptoms.
Complementary/Alternative Treatments for High Cholesterol
Although prevention and medical treatments are the best ways to lower your cholesterol, some complementary methods have also been shown to have some degree of effect. However, before taking any alternative treatments it is vital that you consult your doctor to make sure that they will not interact with any of your existing medication. Plant sterols are among the list of complementary treatments that may help to reduce your cholesterol. Plant sterols occur naturally in plants and some foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Red Yeast contains monacolins, which are chemicals that have been found to interfere with the formation of cholesterol. One of the monacolins, called lovastatin is even found in some prescribed cholesterol medication. Other natural products which you may find beneficial include barley, garlic, oat bran and artichoke.