Have you been diagnosed with and prescribed medication for hyperlipidemia?
You’re not alone.
In fact, one in three Americans is affected by hyperlipidemia. And if left untreated, it could lead to serious heart issues and increased chance of stroke.
So What is Hyperlipidemia?
Hyperlipidemia is the condition of having high levels of lipids, or fats, in your blood. These lipids include cholesterol and triglycerides.
Lipids don’t just come from the food you eat. They’re also made by your body. Healthy levels of lipids are necessary for the body to function properly.
But too much of these fats increases your risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
Cholesterol is waxy fat protein made by the liver. The name has gotten a bad rap, but cholesterol is essential for brain functioning, cell membranes, vitamin storage and hormone production.
Cholesterol is made up of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The function of lipoproteins is to transport cholesterol through the blood to the cells.
HDL is considered the “good cholesterol” because it carries any extra cholesterol back to the liver where it will be eliminated. LDL, on the other hand, enables excess cholesterol to build up in the blood.
Hyperlipidemia occurs when there is too much LDL being produced or ingested. It also occurs when triglyceride levels are too high.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood and are not associated with cholesterol. High levels are strongly connected with heart disease though.
A person with hyperlipidemia may have high levels of either LDL or triglycerides, or both.
Are There Symptoms?
Hyperlipidemia typically has no symptoms. It’s often detected during a routine blood test, or following a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke.
This is part of what makes it so dangerous.
As excess fat in the blood accumulates and forms plaque on the walls of the arteries and blood vessels, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through those constricted openings.
In the meantime, the patient usually experiences no sign that something is wrong.
Is There a Cure?
No. But there are ways to manage and treat hyperlipidemia.
Unless your levels are very high, the first course of treatment is often to make some heart-healthy lifestyle changes.
- Change to a diet low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Lessen or eliminate alcohol intake and smoking
Sometimes these measures are enough to help decrease your lipid levels to acceptable levels. But sometimes they’re not.
When Do You Need Medication for Hyperlipidemia?
If you have a family history of high lipid levels, or complications from other medical conditions like diabetes or hypothyroidism, diet and lifestyle changes alone may not make enough of a difference.
Hyperlipidemia can also be exacerbated by some blood pressure medications, hormones or steroids.
In any of these situations, you’ll also need to take medication to lower your lipid levels.
Statins are usually prescribed to manage hyperlipidemia. The most commonly prescribed are:
There are also new medications under study called PCSK9 inhibitors which are intended for those with cardiovascular disease who need to lower their LDL levels.
There’s Hope for Those with Hyperlipidemia
Although hyperlipidemia can lead to more serious problems, it can be treated through the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and the appropriate use of medication for hyperlipidemia.
So if you’ve received a hyperlipidemia diagnosis, check out our online pharmacy today to save 50-90% on your medication.