Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I lower my high cholesterol?"
Will oatmeal help? I smoke, 55 years old
Our cholesterol levels are affected by many different aspects of our lives including what we eat, how much we exercise, what additional habits we have, and finally our genetic background. Keep in mind that their are two types of cholesterol, the good and the bad. You want your good cholesterol to be high and your bad cholesterol to be low. Both are very important. There are a few ways you can lower your bad cholesterol, but in my experience, not many people are successful, but maybe you can be. In order to lower your bad cholesterol, you should try eating less meat and dairy products, and more fruits and vegetables. Drinking between 1-2 alcoholic beverages per day will help to raise your good cholesterol. Exercise a few days a week will lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol. If you are able to take these measures seriously, you may be able to help your cholesterol level. In the end, many people end up on a medication called a statin, which really helps alter the cholesterol levels favorably. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. The two of you can discuss this issue, come up with a plan to lower your cholesterol, and set a date to recheck it to see if you were successful. If your cholesterol is still too high, then you can consider a medication.
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