Total Cholesterol Is 228 (Ldl 141) (Hdl 74) Ratio Is Good. Do I Need Medication?

Question

Asked by Jim Murtaugh

Total Cholesterol Is 228 (Ldl 141) (Hdl 74) Ratio Is Good. Do I Need Medication?

My most recent Lab test showed the following results for my blood work.

Total cholesterol: 228

Triglyerides: 65

HDL Cholesterol: 74

LDL Cholesterol: 141

My ratios are good to ideal but my doctor recommends a low dose of Zocor to bring LDL below 130. I really value my doctor's advice but I want to avoid medication if possible. Is there anything else I can do to bring the number down?

Answer

I agree with your doctor about lowering your LDL.  Though your ratios are good, evidence still suggests that the lower your LDL the less likely your are to suffer from heart disease.

A few other things to consider.

One, you should stop smoking if you smoke.  Also, you should restrict your daily fat intake to no more than about 25% of your daily calories.  Try eating more green leafy vegetables, increasing soluble fiber, and eat more fish (try for about 2 times per week).

I absolutely understand people's hesitancy to take medications.  We are constancy alerted to the fact that medications have side effects, and hear so much in the media about "dangerous" drugs.

Part of the the reason that medications require a prescription is so that a responsible physician can counsel you to the drug's proper uses, WEIGH THE BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS of a particular drug, and monitor its side effects. As far as drugs go, the statin class of medications is remarkably safe.

If you redouble your efforts to get exercise 4x a week for at least 40 minutes, modify your diet as above and you can't get your cholesterol down, I'd  trust your physician and take their advice about medication usage.  That's what you pay them for!