Cholesterol is a fatty - yet necessary – substance contained in the food we consume. It helps with digestion and hormone production. There are essentially two types of cholesterol; ‘good’ high- density lipoprotein (HDL) and ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
It is high levels of LDL that lead to an official diagnosis of having high cholesterol. High cholesterol on its own typically causes no symptoms. For this reason alone, it’s crucial to get your cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis.
It is now well documented that a high level of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol is one of the most important risk factors for many serious health problems such as heart attack or stroke.
To try prevent high cholesterol in the first place, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Some of the ways how to lower your cholesterol include limiting your foods containing saturated fat and eating more food containing ‘unsaturated fat’. Also try to eat more foods such as oily fish, brown rice, nuts and seeds, and more fruit and vegetables.
However, if the aforementioned lifestyle changes haven’t effected your cholesterol readings and you have been diagnosed as having high cholesterol, there is therapy available (statins) that can lower your LDL-cholesterol (bad factor) by more than 20% and raise your HDL-cholesterol (protection factor), thereby reducing your coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factor and risk of stroke greatly. There are a number of proven therapies available, which you should have been prescribed from your own doctor. We have medication available and you can order the statin that you have already been prescribed.
Overall, statins can help to reduce the risk of stroke or from dying from CHD by around 25%. For people in their 70s, this therapy is as effective as it is in middle-aged people.
Please note, these levels are just a guide.
Cholesterol levels are often assessed together with other factors, such as your lifestyle and any medical conditions you may have, to determine an estimate of your risk of cardiovascular disease.
The levels you should aim for might be different depending on things like your age, and whether you have conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
If you are unsure, speak to your doctor or nurse about what your levels should be.
|Total cholesterol||5mmol/L or below|
|Total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio||Below 6|
|HDL (good cholesterol)||1mmol/L or above for men or 1.2mmol/L or above for women|
|Non-HDL (bad cholesterol)||4mmol/L or below|
Statins usually come in a tablet form. Your own doctor or nurse may advise taking your statins in the evening, before you go to bed. This is because the liver is more active during the night at producing cholesterol. However, check with your doctor or nurse if you are unsure about whether there's a particular time of day you should take your statin. You can also read the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) that is supplied with your medication.
Statins are effective at stabilising fatty, hardened areas of the arteries, called plaques. Plaques can form when you have high cholesterol or other problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
These hardened areas are typically unstable, and can burst. If they do burst, chemicals are released that cause blood clots to form. The blood clots can block the artery or bits can break off and block a blood vessel in another part of the body, stopping the blood supply.
Therefore, your doctor may prescribe a statin if you have health problems putting you at a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke, even if you don’t have high cholesterol.
Countless studies have been conducted over the years which statins also have other benefits besides reducing your risk of heart attack or stroke, however you can only but statins for cholesterol from Medical Specialists®.