Cholesterol is a normal and even important part of a healthy body, but if your cholesterol gets high, it can quickly become a serious risk for heart disease. There are many natural ways to help get your cholesterol under control, and naturopathic doctors are experts in guiding you on your path to recovery!
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a small lipid (fat) molecule that’s found in your blood and in the membranes of your cells. It’s a precursor to many hormones and helps your gallbladder make bile, which is essential in digesting and eliminating food properly. Healthy levels of cholesterol are necessary for your body to perform many functions in your body.
When your cholesterol levels get high, it’s more likely for it to build up inside your blood vessels, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Regular monitoring of your blood lipid levels is an important part of management.
There are four fat molecules measured as part of cholesterol management:
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is the good cholesterol. High levels of HDL are a good thing and correspond to a reduced risk of heart disease, and low levels of HDL actually increase your risk for heart disease!
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) – which is often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’ since it builds up in your arteries. It’s not actually bad, but having high levels of LDL is a risk for heart disease, especially if you have a high ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol.
- Triglycerides are another fat molecule that are required for normal metabolism, and high levels increase your risk of heart disease.
- VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) helps transport fats inside your body.
Conventional treatment for high cholesterol usually includes prescription of statin medications. These can be effective at lowering your cholesterol levels, but they come with unpleasant side effects like muscle cramping and weakness. Other pharmaceutical drugs can include fibrates, which help increase your cholesterol metabolism, and bile acid resins, stimulating your body to excrete more cholesterol in the form of bile and lowering the levels in your blood.
Naturopathic doctors know the right herbs and supplements to help you lower your cholesterol naturally, and to help minimize the side effects of your medications.
Lowering your cholesterol goes beyond just eating Cheerios, find out the right herbs and supplements your Naturopathic doctor has for you!
What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms including high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and excess fat around your waist. If you have all of these, your risk of heart attack and stroke increases even more, and so does your risk of developing diabetes. Don’t let it!
How can naturopathic medicine help?
Naturopathic doctors are educated in clinical nutrition and lifestyle counselling to help you make the right diet choices that will decrease your cholesterol and assist in your weight loss. There are many herbs and supplements available that work very well to help lower cholesterol levels, and we can help choose the right ones for you and your life so you can reduce the risk of heart disease. Naturopathic doctors can also help motivate you to get proper exercise and quit smoking, both of which will get your cholesterol levels down and your spirits up!
Some of our other tools, like acupuncture and homeopathy, can be a great addition to getting your cholesterol under control. We will also guide you on reducing your stress levels which has a huge impact on your health and well-being.
Lowering your cholesterol goes beyond just eating Cheerios, find out the right herbs and supplements your Naturopathic doctor has for you and book an appointment today!