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Treating High Cholesterol: Understanding the Different Types of Statins

Treating High Cholesterol: Understanding the Different Types of Statins

High cholesterol is a dangerous medical problem that can lead to severe complications like a heart attack or stroke. If you have high cholesterol, changing your diet alone may not be enough to get your cholesterol under control.

You may need medications to help you keep your cholesterol in check. Statins are one of the most prescribed forms of cholesterol medication.

Dr. Muthu Velusamy is a renowned cardiologist at the Cardiovascular Institute of America who offers effective heart disease and high cholesterol treatments. If you need medical intervention for high cholesterol, Dr. Velusamy provides several treatment options, including statins.

Understanding high cholesterol

Believe it or not, cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance in your blood. It has a wax-like texture and is crucial for your body to create healthy cells.

High cholesterol leads to fat deposits in your blood vessels, which blocks blood flow over time. However, when your cholesterol builds up in your blood, it’s a severe problem. As the condition worsens, your arteries narrow, decreasing blood flow to other body areas.

The real danger with high cholesterol is a stroke or heart attack. These can happen when part of the fatty deposit, or plaque, in your arteries breaks off and travel to your heart or brain. The disruption in blood flow causes the muscle or brain to lose oxygen, leading to severe complications.

You can manage high cholesterol through both diet and medications. Statins are common medications for high cholesterol that we recommend when you can’t control your cholesterol with diet alone.

What are Statins?

Statins are a type of medication doctors prescribe to control high cholesterol. There are many different types of statins, which you can take in pill form once daily to manage high cholesterol.

Statins work on your liver by preventing excess cholesterol from forming. They do this by blocking your liver’s specific enzyme to create cholesterol. Your liver makes up about 75% of your total cholesterol, which is why statins work so well.

Taking statins helps you decrease your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the bad cholesterol in your body. The LDL builds up in your arteries over time, causing them to narrow and presenting the potential of a piece breaking off and traveling to your heart or brain.

Statins also help to increase your good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which helps to push cholesterol into your liver, where your liver excretes it from your body. These medications are the most popular type of medication for high cholesterol.

Different types of statins

Many types of statins on the market work by lowering your bad cholesterol to decrease your risk of severe health problems. Some of the most well-known kinds of statins include the following:

Depending on your specific cholesterol number and your health, our team may also recommend a statin paired with another type of heart medication. Examples of these medications include atorvastatin-amlodipine or ezetimibe-simvastatin.

Which is right for you?

Dr. Velusamy evaluates your overall health to determine the proper medication for your condition. The type of cholesterol medication you need depends on your overall health, heart disease risk, and cholesterol numbers.

You’re more likely to receive a statin if you have risk factors for heart disease and fall into any of the following categories:

Dr. Velusamy may also recommend a statin if you’re between the ages of 40 and 75, are at risk for heart disease, and have an LDL of at least 70 mg/dL. All these factors affect your overall health and heart attack or stroke risk.

You can try one type of statin, and it may not work for you. If this happens, Dr. Valusemy prescribes a different statin until you find one that works for you.

To learn more about how statins can help your cholesterol, call one of our conveniently located offices in Tampa or Lutz, Florida, today. You may also request a virtual appointment with Dr. Velusamy on our website.

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