Finding out that you have high cholesterol levels can be nerve-racking. Your doctor will give you plenty of advice on how to manage it effectively, and it can be overwhelming.
Depending on your cholesterol level and other pre-existing conditions that affect your heart health, your doctor will likely prescribe medications to control and reduce your cholesterol. Complying with this treatment regimen will help prevent heart diseases, stroke, and other concerning cardiac conditions.
If you’re about to start your high cholesterol treatment, here are some handy tips to remember.
Tips on Starting High Cholesterol Treatment
1. Ask your doctor about potential side effects.
Taking your medications religiously can be challenging if you can’t tolerate their side effects. Common side effects1 include muscle cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and constipation.
However, the benefits of taking these medicines often outweigh the adverse effects. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about the potential side effects of the medications you’ve been prescribed. Be sure to talk about how to deal with them, and ask about alternative medications you can take.
2. Clarify everything you don’t understand about your treatment.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you may be overwhelmed and confused by all the medical terms your doctor may discuss. Hence, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Some of the things you may ask your doctor are as follows:
- What’s my ideal cholesterol level2?
- In addition to medications, what are the lifestyle changes I should make?
- What other health conditions can affect my heart’s health?
- How should I treat my high cholesterol?
3. Tell your doctor about your pre-existing illnesses.
Keep in mind that your cholesterol level isn’t the only condition that may affect your heart’s health. Other illnesses such as high blood pressure3 and diabetes4 can also lead to heart diseases. Be sure to tell your doctor about other pre-existing conditions you may have for a more accurate treatment approach.
4. Attend your follow-up consultations.
Follow-up consultations may be costly and time-consuming, but you do have to show up for them. During follow-ups, your doctor will need to check your progress and improvement after starting your treatment. You can also discuss the side effects you may be experiencing, any adjustments you’d like to make regarding your treatment, what works for you, and what doesn’t.
5. Make the necessary lifestyle changes.
In addition to cholesterol-lowering medications, changing your diet and exercising more often can help reverse the harmful effects of high cholesterol. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about the foods you should eat and how often you should exercise. You may also ask him or her about other lifestyle changes you can make to improve your condition.
Starting your treatment regimen for high cholesterol can be overwhelming at first. You’ll have to keep up with a lot of things — your medicines and intake schedule, follow-up appointments with your physician, and not to mention your new diet and exercise routine. Planning your daily treatment can help you keep up with these adjustments. This way, you can stick to your treatment plan and manage your high cholesterol level more effectively.
**This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advise, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advise of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.