If your New Bedford cardiologist Dr. Alan Weinshel recently told you that you have high cholesterol, you may feel a bit concerned. After all, this problem has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Luckily, there are steps you can take to safely treat your high cholesterol and greatly lower your risk of developing any of these serious health issues.
The First Course of Action
When it comes to handling high cholesterol everyone is different and one treatment may work for someone but not for you. So you will have to work with your New Bedford, MA cardiologist to make sure that you find the right approach for your health.
Usually in the beginning there are three main lifestyle factors that we focus on:
- Incorporating more exercise into your routine
- Maintaining a healthy weight (or losing weight)
- Improving your diet
If you also have other chronic health issues that will pose more health risks then you may also be prescribed medication right away. It’s important that for those patients attempting to change their lifestyles that they take these measures seriously. Just doing these simple things alone can go a long way to lowering your cholesterol levels. But do know that these changes won’t happen overnight, so patience is key.
It’s important to talk to your New Bedford heart doctor about the best and worst foods for those with high cholesterol. In general, you should reduce the amount of fat you get in your diet. While this doesn’t mean staying away from healthy fats like salmon or almonds it does mean cutting down on dangerous fats like cheese and ice cream. Also, it’s a good rule of thumb to stay away from foods that are high in cholesterol such as eggs and shrimp.
Weight and Exercise
Being overweight or obese can greatly increase your risk of high cholesterol so it’s important to safely diet and exercise to maintain a more ideal weight. Exercise has the ability to both reduce bad cholesterol and promote good cholesterol. Start to incorporate exercise into your routine gradually, aiming for 30-60 minutes of activity the majority of the week.
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to reduce your cholesterol levels then we will discuss medications with you. Statins such as Crestor or Lipitor are most common for lowering cholesterol. Sometimes more than one medication will be prescribed. This is usually not the first route we go with patients because once we start these medications you will have to continue using them the rest of your life.
Don’t let high cholesterol have you stressed. Turn to your New Bedford, MA heart doctor today at Southcoast Cardiology and Primary Care.