What are Statins? Everything You Need to Know : When speaking about heart health, the term statins might be discussed in regard to lowering a person’s cholesterol level. But what exactly are statins?
Statins are a prescription medication generally given to patients who need help lowering their cholesterol. In this article, we are going to dive in on everything you need know about both their effect on the body, and possible dangerous side effects.
Read along and find out all about statin medications.
How Do Statins Work?
Statin medications are prescribed to help lower dangerous cholesterol levels in subjects with higher risks of heart attack and stroke. Bad cholesterol can often build up in arteries and block blood flow, which is one of the leading causes of these health conditions.
Often, they are prescribed to patients who are a higher than normal risk of heart attack and stoke due to underlying conditions, tobacco use, family history, or other pre-existing conditions.
Statins in the simplest explanation, stop the production of cholesterol in the body. They do this by inhibiting enzymes that create the cholesterol in your body. This drop in production overall lowers the amount the body has available within it.
Statins can also help your body reabsorb cholesterol that is already within the bloodstream. This is due to the reduction in naturally produced cholesterol– it will actually use the buildup of the existing cholesterol to replace the supply lost by taking the statins.
Both of these factors will greatly reduce the amount of cholesterol that is built up in your body and help alleviate some of the risks involved with high cholesterol.
What You Should Know About Statins
Like any medication, there are great benefits to this pharmaceutical, but that does not come without risks. Following the doctor’s advice on proper dosage and regularity in regiment is absolutely paramount to the success of this medication.
There are inherent side effects related to this medication as well, which you’ll want to consider before you start taking a statin medication, especially if you’re diabetic or at risk of diabetes as statins can negatively affect the blood sugar levels within the body.
In addition to these dangers, you’ll also need to consider that statins can cause problems like dizziness, fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, and flu-like symptoms, among a myriad of other undesirable side effects.
Another factor to consider when prescribed statin medication is that they are not drugs that you can take for a little while and once your cholesterol levels normalize you can quit. You’ll likely need to take the medication for the rest of your life in order to maintain the proper balance of cholesterol in your body—making this a fairly large health commitment.
There are certain health benefits to taking this medication, but there are definitely major trade-offs that you’d want to consider before starting this regiment, and perhaps there are other alternatives that might work better for you.
Alternatives to Statin Medications
While statin medications might be considered an emergency option for those at high risk of heart issues from elevated cholesterol levels, there are natural ways to lower your health risks without using prescription medications.
One of the very best ways to ensure proper heart health is make lifestyle changes to get your body in a better state of health.
This means that regular exercise is a must and does wonders for your heart and cardiovascular health. At the very least, becoming a little more physically active can really lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you’re a tobacco user, consider quitting smoking. Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease.
Maintaining a healthy weight also should be a priority for you. Consult with your physician and determine the proper healthy weight range you need to be in for optimum health and wellness.
Eating a proper diet goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy weight. Eating fruits and vegetables regularly and eating low fat foods is recommended. Healthy fats found in fish and nuts are also a really good way to ensure your heart is working right and your cholesterol levels remain low.
Trying to prevent or lower high cholesterol levels is definitely the preferred method of treatment over using medications you’ll be on for the rest of your life. Start living a healthier lifestyle today and see the difference in how you feel each day.
While it is never proper to scorn modern medicine, like any medication, statins do come with some risks involved. It is up to you and your doctor to decide what is right for you. Hopefully now you can gain some clarity into what statins will do for your body and the risks involved.
Regardless if you take statins or not, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the number one way to ensure a long, healthy life.
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