How much will cholesterol treatment help me?

The Benefits of Treatment

Following your treatment plan helps lower your total cholesterol levels. Keeping your cholesterol in the recommended range can:

  • reduce your risk for heart disease
  • reduce your risk for stroke
  • make you less likely to have a heart attack
  • prevent further plaque buildup
  • lower the bad LDL levels as well as trigylceride levels
  • increase the good HDL levels

When you have high cholesterol, treatment makes all the difference to your health. Because you can't feel high cholesterol or its negative effects early on, some people resist following their treatment plan. They just can't believe something is really wrong with them. Because of that, they may not want to make the efforts to eat more healthfully and to exercise more. Your efforts are worthwhile. You may be able to control your cholesterol with changes to your diet and increased exercise. How effective these methods are depends on the causes of your high cholesterol and on your current levels. If these don't work by themselves, your doctor may need to add a medication that lowers cholesterol. If your doctor does prescribe medicine, take it exactly as you are told. Don't stop taking it without talking to your doctor.

Most people can achieve and maintain healthy cholesterol levels with the above measures. Your actions mean you are helping prevent more serious, painful, and life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. You probably will need to continue treatment throughout your life. But, if you've discovered your problem early, each day that you follow your treatment is a day that you are avoiding serious complications and choosing a healthier future.

How Can I Know If Treatment Is Working?

Throughout your treatment, your doctor will check your blood cholesterol levels on a regular basis. At first, your doctor may check your cholesterol as often as every 4 to 8 weeks. Once you've achieved your target levels, your doctor may check your cholesterol every 4 to 6 months to make sure you're maintaining these levels. If you take a medicine to lower your cholesterol, your doctor may need to test your blood more often to check for side effects that the medicine can cause, such as liver problems.

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