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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Medications to Lower Triglycerides - How to Protect Your Heart

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You are not, for certain, alien to the fact that there are medications to lower triglycerides. If you are particular about the health of your heart, you should know that elevated triglycerides can be something serious. Elevated triglycerides is a condition that often requires medical attention, especially if they are at alarming levels and have been persisting for quite a long time.

Triglycerides are a form of blood fat; they are present in each and every person as they are actually needed by the body to convert fat into energy. Ideally, triglyceride levels should not go beyond 150 mg/dL. The problem is, there are certain conditions that increase the levels of triglycerides beyond the normal levels. In certain cases the levels can go up from 151 mg/dL to more than 500 mg/dL. When this happens, you can be predisposed to heart problems. Specifically, elevated triglycerides can bring about atherosclerosis, a condition wherein the walls of the artery are thickened, increasing one's chances of suffering from stroke or heart attack or some other form of heart disease.

Increased levels of triglycerides, too, has been associated with diabetes, hypothyroidism, and liver disease. Such incidence all the more increases the need to control the levels of triglycerides early on as much as possible. Sometimes, making simple lifestyle changes and wise food choices are enough to bring the levels down. Losing weight, avoiding foods rich in preservatives and sugar, eating fiber-rich foods as well as those with Omega-3 content, and exercising regularly can be very effective in regulating the levels of triglycerides. Other times, however, these are not enough, in which case medical attention is necessary.

Fortunately, there are a number of medications to lower triglycerides. The recommended drugs of choice are usually fibrates or niacin, specifically Fenofibrate or Femfibrozil. If elevated triglycerides are accompanied by low HDL (short for high density lipoprotein) and high LDL (low density lipoprotein), there's a good chance that your doctor may also prescribe statins or a combination of statin and fibrates. When taking statins, though, be sure to report to your doctor if you feel nauseaus or if you experience diarrhea, constipation or some form of muscle pain.

Cooperation is a must if you want to lower your triglycerides. Remember that these medications can do so much only if you take them as they are meant to be taken. If it's prescribed that you take these twice a day, then do so. Don't skimp on your medications because your life is at stake.

Along with taking the medications comes the responsibility of monitoring your triglyceride levels. Constant checkups with your doctor or submitting yourself to lab exams regularly is a must. This would help you see if the medications are in fact working. If your blood chemistry results suggest that they are not, your doctor may increase the dosage, add more medications or change them with something that is more potent.

Medications to lower triglycerides can be expensive, but think which would be more costly, the medications or your life?


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