About Cholesterol

Let’s talk about cholesterol.  Not mine—my husband's.  Ok, mine, too. 

In May of this year, when Marlo began have chest pain when he walked up some of Bismarck’s hills, we learned he has severe coronary artery disease.  He had multiple stents placed in his coronary arteries and now feels fine. Looking forward, he wants to do whatever he can to prevent the disease from causing more problem.

What can he do?  Exercise, control his blood pressure, and attain ideal weight, but these are for another discussion.  The one I am thinking about to today is to lower his cholesterol.

Having high levels of cholesterol in your blood has been shown to increase the likelihood of having coronary artery disease.  This can lead to heart attacks and kills more Americans than any other disease. 

To lower cholesterol, Marlo tries to:

·      Avoid trans fats.  These are in some baked and fried foods.

·      Lose weight.  Even a modest weight loss can lower cholesterol significantly.

·      Exercise 2 ½ hours a week.  Marlo does more that this and logs more than 10,000 steps a day.

·      Eat fish 2-4 times a week. (at least two)

·      Avoid smoking and second hand smoke.

However, one thing he does has more impact than the other efforts.  He takes a statin medication.  And he takes it faithfully, according to his doctor’s recommendation.

As one of the best-studied medications in randomized clinical trials, statins are proven to extend life and reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes, even among individuals with normal cholesterol levels.  These are the kind of studies that actually show cause and effect and not just associations.  These drugs have been scrutinized by the best study techniques over and over again and repeatedly show benefit.  Of course, they may have side effects, but since Marlo can take his statin without problem, he hopefully will enjoy heart protection.

I am so glad he can take the statin and works at all the other ways to lower his cholesterol, too.  He sees his cardiologist soon and we are hoping for good results.

Please let me know if any questions pop up.  Comment at the end of this article or on the contact page.  I love to hear from you.