It is likely that if you are over 50, you may have been advised to take a cholesterol-lowering statin drug for high cholesterol.  In fact about 25% of American adults are currently taking a statin.  HIgh cholesterol is considered a major health risk which can lead to heart attacks, blood clots and atherosclerosis.

    Unfortunately, though statins can lower risk for a small number of people who have already had a heart attack, the use of statins for people who had not been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease helped prevent heart attacks by only 1 per cent to 2 per cent.  In addition, statins can cause side effects from myalgia or muscle pain to statin related muscle damage that can lead to kidney failure and even death.

     Barbara H. Roberts, MD, is the author of the book THE TRUTH ABOUT STATINS: RISKS AND ALTERNATIVES TO CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING DRUGS and the director of the Women's Cardiac Center at The Miriam Hospital and a clinical associate professor of medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She writes that sometimes statin side effects are an acceptable exchange for people who have had had a heart attack, cardiocvascular disease or have familial hypercholesterolemia which is caused by a genetic problem.  But for most of her patients, she advises lifestyle changes to increase HDL and reduce triglycerides.

   The first thing she suggested was to really work on having a healthier diet.  She recommended the Mediterranean diet which includes less beef, lamb and pork and more whole grains, vegetables, fruit and fish.  Dr. Roberts specifically recommended eating seafood a few times a week because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish reduce inflammation and triglycerides.  Avoiding simple cards, the "white" foods like white bread, white pasta and white rice was encouraged. A study by The Lyon Diet Heart Study concluded that patients following a Mediterranean diet highly improved their chances of avoiding another heart attack.  Though the LDL was about the same as those in the control group, people following the western diet were 70% less likely to have a heart attack.

    Dr. Roberts also highly recommends the consumption of more extra-virgin olive oil which helps increase HDL and inhibits oxidized cholesterol from stiffening the arteries (atherosclerosis) which can lead to higher blood pressure. Another recommendation was that drinking one glass of a high-antioxidant red wine for women and no more than two glasses of red wine for men can help reduce risk of heart disease.

   If you want to try for a non-drug option for high cholesterol, you have to add in exercise. One of the best ways to minimize your heart disease risk is to move regularly.  Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of movement. You don't have to go to the gym.  Biking, swimming and walking can all help.

   And that is where hypnosis comes in.  I work with intelligent and highly educated clients.  They know what to do.  They just aren't doing it.  If you are hoping to avoid drugs for high cholesterol  and their possible side effects, you need to be following Dr. Roberts' suggestions.  If you need help getting started and getting motivated to make those changes, hypnosis can help.  Get started and BE WELL>