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Boost the Results of Triglycerides Meds

Give your treatment a fighting chance.
By
WebMD Feature

So, it’s happened. Your doctor gave you a prescription for medicines to lower your cholesterol or triglyceride levels. If you’ve been trying hard to keep your levels down with a healthy diet and exercise, you might feel discouraged.

Take heart; needing medicine doesn’t mean you’ve failed. But, you do have a key role in helping the medicines do their job.

Ask Questions at the Doctor’s Office

When it comes to your health, there’s no such thing as a silly or unimportant question. Ask these questions any time you start a new medicine:

  • Why do you need it and what does it do?
  • When should you take it?
  • Are there foods you shouldn’t eat?
  • How will you know it’s working?
  • What side effects can you expect?

Talk with your doctor about what numbers are the healthiest. And, ask what you can reasonably expect your medicines to do. Talk about how your lifestyle changes can contribute, and how long it might take to see results.

Be Alert at the Pharmacy

  • Use the same pharmacy for all prescriptions. Even try to see the same pharmacist if you can. Both of these actions help ensure you don’t take two or more medicines that can have dangerous interactions.   
  • Review all the medicines you’re taking with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you still need them.  Put everything you take in a bag -- not just prescriptions, but non-prescription remedies like cold medicine, aspirin, vitamins, and supplements.

At Home: Take Meds, Exercise, and Repeat

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed . You’re more likely to remember them if you take them at the same time every day. Your doctor may tell you a specific time, or you may be able to choose. A wristwatch or cell phone alarm can remind you when it’s time to take a pill, or you can ask a family member to help.  
  • Stick with healthy habits. Taking medicine to lower cholesterol or triglycerides isn’t a license to eat doughnuts and lie on the couch. Meds are most effective when you combine their efforts with a healthy lifestyle. So set reachable goals and keep increasing them. Feeling successful is one of the best incentives to commit to a healthy eating plan and exercise routine.  
  • Track your progress. Keep track of your commitment to take meds and continue other healthy habits to stay motivated. Check out Heart360, the American Heart Association’s cardiovascular wellness center. It lets you track and even share your results online with your doctor.  
  • Commit to staying on your treatment.Even if your cholesterol and triglyceride numbers improve, keep taking your medicine unless your doctor says otherwise. Maintaining your healthy numbers means not skipping doses, exercise, or healthy meals.
  • Keep your doctor in the loop. That’s what follow-up appointments are for. Use that time to talk about side effects you’re noticing and how bothersome they are. If anything comes up before that appointment that makes it difficult for you to continue the medicine, don’t wait -- call your doctor.
Reviewed on October 26, 2012

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Answer:
Desirable
0-199
Borderline
200-239
High
240+

Your level is currently

Congratulations! Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal.

Congratulations! Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is borderline high. If your LDL goes higher, your total cholesterol level could become Borderline High. Consider reducing the amount of foods you eat with saturated fats and increasing physical activity. If you get more exercise, your level of "good" HDL cholesterol may increase, which could also help to keep your levels of LDL and total cholesterol in check.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High. This may mean that your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, is too low. It is best to have a high level of "good" HDL and a low level of "bad" LDL. The HDL helps keep your LDL level in check. Ask your doctor for your HDL level. If your HDL is low, increasing your physical activity can increase it, which may help reduce your LDL level.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. This may mean that your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, is too low. It is best to have a high level of "good" HDL and a low level of "bad" LDL because the HDL helps keep your LDL level in check. Ask your doctor for your HDL level. If your HDL is low, increasing your physical activity can increase it, which may help reduce your LDL level.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High, but fortunately your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have other non-measured increases in LDL-like particles that can increase heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High, but fortunately your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have other non-measured increases in LDL-like particles that can increase heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Borderline High, too. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. But your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol is High, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have elevated secondary lipids, such as non-HDL particles that increase the risk of heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol is High, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have elevated secondary lipids, such as non-HDL particles that increase the risk of heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Borderline High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High, too. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels! If you are struggling to bring down your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as statins. Following medication, dietary, and exercise instructions should result in improvements.

Your total cholesterol level is High, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels! If you are struggling to bring down your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe statins or other cholesterol-lowering medications.

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