When your triglycerides are high, you may feel overwhelmed by all the things you should do each day: eat less fat and sugar, exercise more, take medicine.
Don’t panic if you’re having a hard time sticking with your treatment plan. For every obstacle you face, there’s a way to overcome it.
Obstacle: You hate to exercise.
Solution: See if your doctor can recommend a physical therapist with experience turning couch potatoes into fit people. Your health insurance company will probably cover the cost if your doctor refers you. If your insurer doesn’t cover physical therapy, check out personal trainers at your local gym. They’re usually more affordable. Either way, you want a workout program customized to your likes and your schedule. You’re more likely to make exercise a part of your healthier life if it’s convenient and enjoyable. It also helps to work out with a buddy who shares your goals.
Obstacle: You’re having a hard time staying on your diet.
Solution: Try a new approach to your plate: Fill half with vegetables or fruit. Then, fill a quarter with high-fiber grains like quinoa or brown rice. Add a few ounces of protein -- fish, chicken, lean meat, or beans – to the last quarter. Enjoy a serving of low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese on the side. Still struggling? Ask your doctor to refer you to a nutritionist who can help you plan a balanced diet. You may need to make smaller changes than you think.
Obstacle: You can't remember to take the medicine your doctor prescribed.
Solution: Put your pills in a weekly pill organizer, and keep it on your kitchen counter. Try to take your medicine at the same time each day, for instance with breakfast or dinner. Program a reminder into your cell phone, or write it on your calendar. Also, stick a note in your suitcase, reminding you to pack your medicine. It’ll jog your memory the next time you pack for a trip.
Obstacle: You don’t like how your medicine makes you feel.
Solution: Find out if it’s possible to switch to another drug or adjust your dose. Like all medicine, triglyceride treatments can have side effects. Usually they’re minor. You may feel nausea, weakness, or bloating. Some medication can have an after taste. There are several types of drugs that help lower triglycerides, including fibrates, prescription-strength fish oil, niacin, and statins. Each can affect people differently, so keep trying until you find the one that works best for you.
If you follow your treatment plan carefully, you could see start to see a drop in your triglycerides within a few days. Stay positive, and focus on the goals you and your doctor have set. You’ll get there!