4. Diet and Exercise
If you plan on managing your high cholesterol, then the first step is to follow a healthy diet. Eat a diet of healthy foods that provide valuable nutrients and not empty calories. Focus on foods such as multi-grains, vegetables, fruits, and fats that are packed with omega-3 acids. Olive oil, flaxseed, and fish are all ideal additions to your diet.
The American Heart Association suggests that women exercise at least 150 minutes per week. Pick a form of aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping. Join a gym, take a bike ride, or go for a walk. Pick a form of exercise that fits your lifestyle and meets your physical needs.
3. Lifestyle Changes and Medication
Sometimes, making lifestyle changes is just not enough, and a person must take a prescription medication to lower their cholesterol levels. Statins are often used to lower cholesterol.
Statin is a class of medications that lower the levels of cholesterol produced by your liver and then help remove them from the blood. They work quickly and efficiently to lower cholesterol. After taking the medication, you’ll need to have your levels rechecked in four weeks to make sure the meds are working.
2. Women and Statin Risk Factors
When taking statins, women often face additional risk factors.
“Some cardiovascular risk factors for women are not shared by men and cannot be changed: post-menopausal status, prior hysterectomy, oral contraceptive use, pregnancy, and its complications,” says Dr. Kelly Mudon, Family Medicine Physician and Core Faculty for the Teaching Health Center at Community Health of South Florida, Inc.
Many women do not want to use statins to treat high cholesterol because they are difficult to tolerate. Women often start them and then stop. Many times, they don’t even discuss the situation with their physician before discontinuing the medication.