Living with high cholesterol symptoms isnt easy, or fun, especially if your doctor has put you on a special diet. High cholesterol is a condition that can eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. When people speak of high cholesterol numbers, theyre referring to the concentrations of HDL or LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Why Worry about High Cholesterol?
Maintaining a normal cholesterol level is important for optimal health. While cholesterol is needed for normal body function, too much of it causes damage to arteries and blood vessels. Cholesterol builds up on artery walls like a plaque and blocks the flow of oxygenated blood to necessary tissues and organs. There are two main types of cholesterol: HDL (high-density lipoproteins) and LDL (low-density lipoproteins). HDL is considered good cholesterol. It serves to keep arteries open by ridding the blood of excess cholesterol that would otherwise form plaque in our arteries.
High Cholesterol Symptoms and Numbers
But what exactly is high cholesterol? Normal cholesterol levels hover around 200 mg/dL or under. If your cholesterol reading is anywhere from 200 to 239, you should consider finding ways to lower cholesterol, and if that number goes over 240 then high cholesterol symptoms will probably be very noticeable and should be dealt with as a matter of urgency. A high reading for HDL is good, because it indicates that levels are productive in removing the bad cholesterol from your blood. A normal cholesterol reading for HDL is 60 or above. If its 40 or below, it means theres not enough HDL in your blood and you may be considered at risk from high cholesterol symptoms, and of stroke or heart attack.
There are no truly obvious high cholesterol symptoms, except when levels get dangerously high, and to determine if your cholesterol is high, the best way is to have a simple blood test performed by your doctor or health care provider. The best way you can treat high cholesterol or lower cholesterol readings is to change your diet and perhaps take herbal supplements and vitamins that your body may be lacking. One of the best things that you can to do lower cholesterol is to quit smoking and decrease the amount of fatty foods in your diet.
Nutritional Supplements to Lower Cholesterol
As with anything, talk to your doctor or health care provider if you are considering natural vitamins, minerals or herbs to help lower cholesterol, and dont discontinue any medications he has prescribed. Studies have shown that the use of Vitamin B3, or niacin, has helped to lower cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, while at the same time increasing high cholesterol numbers for HDL, the good stuff. Niacin is available in both dietary supplement forms as well as by prescription from your doctor. However, be advised that the American Heart Association recommends that patients use the prescribed form of niacin, so ask your doctor about that.
Another natural ingredient that has shown to lower cholesterol is artichoke leaf extract, as it reduces the formation of cholesterol in the body. Still other natural ingredients such as oat, barley and rye fiber, as well as peas and beans, may help to prevent life-threatening high cholesterol symptoms. Including at least 10 grams of fiber in your diet on a daily basis is a good way to naturally protect your heart and to ensure that your LDL levels remain low.
A well balanced, nutritious diet, in addition to adequate amounts of exercise will go a long way to lower cholesterol in those whose blood tests show mild to moderate increases in LDL levels. On occasion, doctors may prescribe medication to alleviate high cholesterol symptoms, but this often takes time. Try going the natural route first, and if that doesnt work, then consider other options. Using natural supplements and foods will provide your body with the safest methods to lower cholesterol, as well as saving you money on prescriptions. Ask your doctor and see if you both cant come up with a treatment plan for your high cholesterol that will serve you best.