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Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol): Statins, Binding Resins, Injectable Medicines, Lifestyle Modifications

What Tests are Conducted to Diagnose Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)?

A blood test for checking hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), termed as lipid profile or lipid panel normally describes- Complete cholesterol, LDL or Low density lipo-protein cholesterol, HDL or High density lipo-protein cholesterol, Triglycerides.

Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)

Note: Do not drink anything or eat for 9 to 13 hours prior to the taking of blood sample for the exact cholesterol measurements.

What are the Treatments for Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)?

The first line of protection against hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) level is by means of changing your lifestyle like consuming a healthy diet and exercising. Your doctor may suggest you to go for medication if you have made these significant changes in your lifestyle and still your cholesterol levels stay same.

There are different factors in which the specific selection of medicines or amalgamation of medicines is dependent that includes your current health, risk factors, potential side effects and your age. The basic choices contain:

  1. Statins For Treating Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)

    Statin meds are the most generally prescribed medications for hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). Statins obstructs a component required by your liver (which is required for producing cholesterol). This makes your liver eliminate cholesterol from one’s blood. Statins aid in potentially reversing coronary artery disease. Statin meds include fluvastatin (Lescol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and pitavastatin (Livalo).

  2. Binding Resins of Bile Acid for Treating Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)

    Binding resins of bile acid can be helpful in treating hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). For preparing bile acids, a component essential for digestion, the liver makes use of cholesterol. The medications which indirectly reduce the cholesterol by attaching to bile acids are colesevelam (Welchol), colestipol (Colestid) and cholestyramine (Prevalite). These medications bring down your cholesterol level by stimulating one’s liver to make use of additional cholesterol for making additional bile acids.

  3. Treating Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol) By Using Inhibitors Which Absorb Cholesterol)

    Small intestine plays the role of absorbing cholesterol from one’s food and discharges it into the blood stream. The drug that aids in lowering hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) by restricting the assimilation of dietary cholesterol is ezetimibe (Zetia). With the combination of the statin meds, the Zetia can be used.

  4. Vytorin to Treat Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)

    Vytorin drug can aid in treating hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). The combination drug Vytorin aka (ezetimibe simvastatin) reduces both the manufacturing of cholesterol in one’s liver and also the assimilation of dietary cholesterol in your small intestine. It is unidentified if Vytorin is very efficient in reducing the chances of heart illness than consuming simvastatin alone.

  5. Injectable Medicines for Treating Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)

    Injectable medicines are the new method of treatment for hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). A new brand set of medicines may aid the liver to absorb additional LDL cholesterol, which in turn reduces the hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) amount in one’s blood. Medications namely evolocumab (Repatha) and alirocumab (Praluent) have been recently approved by The FDA or Food & Drug Administration for people with genetic condition of causing very high LDL levels. The patients who previously had strokes or heart attacks and require further reducing of their Low density lipo-protein levels can use these drugs. These types of injections are administered once or twice times in a month at home.

Lifestyle Modifications to Manage Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)?

Consume heart-healthy foods in order to eliminate hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). The food you eat has a direct influence on the level of your cholesterol. Intake of cholesterol-lowering foods and a diet high in fiber can aid in lowering cholesterol levels similar to statin medication for certain people.

  • Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables. The best way of lowering your cholesterol level is by consuming vegetables and fruits as they are rich in dietary fiber. Try out with vegetable-based stir-fries, soups and casseroles.
  • Focus on Healthier Fats. Trans fat and saturated fat can increase your LDL and total cholesterol. It holds good to acquire less than 10% of your everyday calories via saturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is a healthier choice and is present in canola oils, olive and peanut. Other sources of healthy fat are walnuts and almonds.
  • Limitation of your Dietary Cholesterol. Intake of less than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per day-or lower than 200 mg in case you have heart disease. Egg yolks, organ meats and whole milk products are the major concentrated resource of cholesterol. Instead of these sources, make use of skim milk, egg substitutes and lean cuts of meat.
  • Selection of Whole Grains. Improve your heart health significantly by consuming different nutrients present in whole grains. Prefer brown rice, whole-grain breads, whole-wheat flour and whole-wheat pasta. The other best options include oat bran and oatmeal.
  • Eating Fish is Good for your Heart-Health. Certain varieties of fish namely tuna, halibut and cod are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and total fat than poultry and meat. Herring, mackerel and salmon promote heart health as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Consume Alcohol only in Control. Moderate drinking of alcohol can raise your HDL cholesterol levels — however alcohol is not recommended to anyone who does not drink previously as the benefits are not strong enough. Drink in control if you have chosen to drink. It states for men-one to two drinks a day and for women-one drink a day and not more than that.

What are the Complementary /Alternative Methods to Treat Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)?

It is proved that certain natural products can reduce hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) and few can be beneficial. If your doctor agrees, you can regard the following cholesterol-lowering products and supplements.

  • Oat bran (found in whole oats and oatmeal)
  • Sitostanol (found in some margarine’s like Benecol and oral supplements.)
  • Artichoke, Barley, Garlic
  • Beta-sitosterol (found in some margarines and oral supplements, like Promise Activ.)
  • Blond psyllium (found in products like Metamucil and seed husk)

What are the Complications for Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)?

Atherosclerosis, a hazardous buildup of cholesterol accumulation over the walls of your arteries may occur with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) in your body. Blood flow throughout your arteries will be reduced as a result of these deposits (plaques) which may lead to complications from hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) as follows:

  • Chest Pain. When the coronary arteries which provide blood to your heart are affected, one may get angina (chest pain) along with other symptoms and signs of coronary artery disease.
  • A blood clot may occur at the plaque split site, if these plaques break or erupt. This obstructs the blood flow which results in blocking an artery flow. You are certain to get heart attack when the blood flow stops to a portion of one’s heart.
  • Stroke occurs if the flow of blood to a part of one’s brain is stopped by a clot (blood), which is comparable to a heart attack.

How to Prevent Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)?

Prevention from having hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) in the first position can be done by bringing about the same changes in your heart-healthy lifestyle which brings down your cholesterol. For prevention of hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), you can:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight by losing extra pounds
  • Eating a low-salt and low-fat diet which consists of many vegetables, whole grains and fruits.
  • Exercise regularly for a minimum of 30 minutes almost all days of the week.
  • Quitting tobacco smoking
  • Drink alcohol in self-control, if at all.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). High cholesterol. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350806
  2. American Heart Association. (2021). How to get your cholesterol tested. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/how-to-get-your-cholesterol-tested
  3. American Heart Association. (2021). Treatment and prevention of high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia). Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/treatment-and-prevention-of-high-cholesterol-hyperlipidemia
  4. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2021). High blood cholesterol: Diagnosis, treatment, and research. Retrieved from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-cholesterol

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 17, 2023

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