High Cholesterol/ Triglycerides

Updated on May 15, 2010
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
10 answers

My BFs physical results just came back, and he has high cholesterol (the bad kind) and high triglycerides... what does this mean? I feel like such a dummy, I am usually really smart about this kind of stuff (having taken medical classes for 4 years) but wow, I'm pulling a complete blank. Is this the kind of stuff that is controlled by diet? Or is it hereditary? Both? What kind of meds might he have to take? Just trying to get a little info so when he comes home from work freaking out, I know what I'm talking about to calm him down because he's a bit of a baby when it comes to things he doesn't understand. Thanks ladies!

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answers from Houston on

You can easily correct this with diet, exercise or supplementation or a combination of all three.
High cholesterol is truly a sign of inflammation in the cardiovascular system, which is caused by stress or poor eating habits.
Supplements that are beneficial are fish oil, CoQ-10, hawthorn berries, milk thistle. You can find all those on my website as well as more info on each one.
Exercise is very important because it strengthens the heart and help to cleanse and strengthen the vascular system.
Try to avoid dairy and sugars. Add plenty of GOOD water and fiber to the diet.
Here is my website www.mynsp.com/januarysherbs
Take care!

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answers from Indianapolis on

My husband happens to sell a cholesterol medication, so I know a little more than the average person. I'm not promoting his product, or any medication for that reason, but cholesterol and triglycerides (aka trigs) can be the result of both diet and heredity.

So, chances are, depending on the numbers, he'll be put on both a diet and a medication to help balance the numbers out.

Statins are medications that treat cholesterol. There are several brands (best known are Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Pravachol, etc). Some are generic, others are not. A lot of insurance companies require you to try a generic first before going to a brand-name product which may be more effective.

There are also products such as Tricor that address the issue of triglycerides.

Additionally, products such as Zetia (Vytorin is the combination of Zetia + simvistatin aka Zocor). They've received a lot of attention recently because a study came out that said they really don't offer a benefit. I'd certainly have him ask his physician.

My guess is that he'll be put on a low dose statin (because recent studies show a benefit), diet, and perhaps a high grade fish oil such as Lovaza or a medication geared towards trigs.

My trigs have been over 300 since I was in high school despite being relatively in shape - heredity. It can be an indicator of future issues such as diabetes.

But, as Cathy H said, nothing to be too concerned about. Very common. And, having been on the receiving end of the cancer diagnosis personally, I'd much rather learn that I'm part of the 70%+ of Americans with high cholesterol.

I'd recommend looking at information on sites such as WebMD, MayoClinic and the American Heart Association.

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answers from Lynchburg on

You've gotten some great answers, but I want to say something I feel is important. It's not always "easy" to control with diet and exercise. Nor are medications always best. I tried some meds (though just reading the side effects made me nauseaus) and they didn't help at all, and made me REALLY sick. I changed my diet a little (cut out all sweets and cut back portions) and exercised a lot. I also got rid of some stressful things in my life. Guess what? Numbers didn't really change. Now I've completely re-vamped my diet. I do mostly weight training exercises-there have been a number of studies that show that those help most-but not a lot, just to help a little. Adding cranberry and pomegranet juices have helped, I drink almond milk, I cut back portions and take an organic supplement. I've used extra virgin olive oil from the beginning, and always used a lot of garlic and they didn't make any difference, but are healthier. Once I changed things earlier this year (adding cranberry juice, eating pomegranets, and eating more oranges and adding an organic vitamin) in 2 months, I lost 20 lbs, which some will say is unhealthy, but it's better than still being where I was, and I feel a lot better. Losing weight does help some people's cholesterol. I have an uncle who is thin and has always been thin. He has high cholesterol. So does my Gramma, so chances are mine will still be a little elevated, but the meds were really bad for me. If he drinks any alcohol, he should stop or cut back a LOT. Not only does it have a lot of calories, it increases trigs, which he needs to lower. I'm going back in a few months to see if all the changes have changed my numbers. Even if they haven't, I won't go back to what I was doing. I feel too much better now.



answers from Dallas on

If he has a good doc, they will have a consult and talk about it so both of you can get educated about it. Lots of people have it but that doesn't make it any less dangerous to have. No freaking out necessary at all. heck, it could have been cancer. Keep things in perspective. Doc's usually can't spend a lot of time on this but they can refer you to places that give free seminars on the subject (usually hospitals). If you can, ask for a referral for a good nutritionist who has helped other patients. Boods on the subject are good too. My son loved one. I'll have to ask him about that. It really scared him straight. He was very overweight and had a desk job with high stress.

Not knowing how high or how bad it is, and I'm NO expert, the doctor would usually recommend exercise and a change in diet. Some have it because of heredity too but that doesn't mean you can't attempt to get it back under control without meds. He may have a flyer that sumamrizes changes needed, foods to include and avoid. Some foods can elevate the good cholesteral. Some are terrible for you like "trans fats." Avoid TF at all costs. Cut down or eliminate pre-processed foods from cans and boxes -- and eating out too much. These are a few things on the list of to-dos and to-don'ts. :-)

Meds have side effects. Some apparent, some not. Google your subject and get some facts from a reliable, medical website like mayo.com or webmd.com. My ophalmologist is suggesting I get off my meds as he's suggesting they could do more harm than good. Course, that means I have to get even better at what/where/how as mine is also hereditary.

Usually when one partner has it, the other partner (& children) will get it too because of poor eating habits or lack of exercise. Even if not, you will keep him healthy and alive if you learn to live and eat in the best way that you can so you won't have to follow your BF to the hospital in the middle of Christmas Eve night because he's having multiple heart attacks in the middle of the night like my 41 year old pool guy did last year.



answers from Richmond on

high cholesterol and high triglycerides can indicate other more serious things like the possibity of heart attacks or strokes, tell him dont freak out, do something about it, throw the salt shaker away, and start taking the stairs,do the math, if every other man in his family has died of a heart attack, it could up his chances, but dont buy that black dress just yet.just start off by making very small changes to his diet, and yours, easier to do with someone garlic is a natural cholesterol lowerer ( is that ever a word ?) write back to ma and let me know how things are going. more later
K. h.


answers from Dallas on

Could be diet and heredity. High Cholesterol is plaque in your arteries that could clog them and cause heart attack, but don't panic. Tons of people have this. Your friend should get a good cardio workout most if not all days. Here is a good soluable fiber she can add to her diet everyday and should help:
she can put it in a protein shake, orange juice or water.
protein shake: http://healinghappens.myshaklee.com/us/en/products.php?sk...

Your friend needs to watch her diet in regard to fat and sugar, cheeses, etc...

Depending on how high it is her doctor may let her try to control with diet and exercise before the meds. Even if she goes on meds she can stop them if she lowers her cholesterol.



answers from Dallas on

Depending on doctor and how high will make difference as to approach. My doctor was all about meds and that is not me. It also was not good when I had reaction to the meds he prescribed but when I complained they said to continue. I do a lot of my control with diet, excerise and I use phytomega and prvexCV by Melaleuca which are nutritional supplements. Some people have reported their bad cholesterol decreased by as much as 70 points.



answers from Washington DC on

Dr. Fuhrman has great web site that explains how diet can reverse these problems (exercise helps too):

You can do it without meds. His books are great at explaining the root of these problems and how to resolve them through diet changes. the main message is that it IS in your power, which can be a great feeling.

Best of luck to you.



answers from Washington DC on

Hi. I'm not a medically trained person in this area, either, but I do have border-line high triglycerides. My doc has said that diet and exercise can improve this number. Baked goods (donuts, bagels, high simple carb things) are the main culprit. Genetics can play a apart, but research is showing that they play only a small role in how much a person can influence change in their bodies. Moderate exercise and a healthier diet can hopefully keep your BF from going on drugs. I don't know anything about treating LDL cholesterol, but I hope that that too can be treated w/o taking prescription drugs. Good luck!



answers from Richmond on

You've received great answers, but none mention taking a garlic supplement. Garlic has wonderful medicinal benefits including lowering cholesterol levels. It's not a cure-all, but used in conjunction with diet and exercise it can significantly lower his cholesterol level. Good luck!

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