How do I control high cholesterol when I get bad reactions to the medications I have tried?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 27, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

How do i control high cholesterol when all the meds i have tried have bad reactions. I had a hip replacement 13 years ago and all the tests showed my arteries to be 99.5% clear. my grandparents had high chlosteral as well but lived to be almost 100. I am a male of 63 i have never smoked and do not drink at all. I exercise at least 4 times a week. 30 minutes on the threadmill and at least 30 min. on the machines. I have to do non load bearing exercises due to hip replacement. I do get out of breath, but only when i bend over and put pressure on my stomach, when i got my weight down to 178 from 230 it went away. Now my weight is back up to 210 since i took a sit down job after retiring from Verizon working night shift for 31 years. I feel great. Any ideas ? I think it is just inherited, i have a very good diet. Just recently i found that since 1999 my doctors never noticed my TSH was off the charts. I now have it under control. Thank you

Expert Answers

Carolyn Strimike, N.P. and Margie Latrella, N.P. are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They have over 40 years of nursing experience in Cardiology between them. The main goal of their work is to counsel, motivate and empower women to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

Glad to hear you follow and healthy diet and exercise regularly - can definitely help with cholesterol control. Other things to add include: Make sure you are eating enough fiber (men need 30 grams of fiber every day). Flaxseed either whole or ground (1-2 tablespoons every day). Plant stanols/sterols every day either in pill form such as Cholest-OFF (which is over the counter) or in products like Smart Balance or Benecol spreads (need 1-2 Gm daily which would be 2 tablespoons of spread every day). The plant stanols/sterols actually work in the intestines to help prevent the absorption of cholesterol. Some people recommend ground cinnamon (add 1 to 2 teaspoons to coffee, cereal, piece of fruit)everyday. Several small studies show a benefit and there are no side effects. If your triglycerides are elevated of course fish oil supplements can help (1,000 mg EPA + DHA daily) and staying away from "white foods" - white bread, white rice, white pasta.

Not sure what your reaction was to cholesterol medications but if it was muscle cramping many people experience relief of cramping but taking CoEnzyme 10 or CoQ10 supplements. The muscle pains/cramping caused by cholesterol medications is due to lack of CoQ10.