Cholesterol Lowering Medications
What is Cholesterol?
Patient Comments Read 12 Comments
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance that the body needs to function normally. Cholesterol is naturally present in cell membranes everywhere in the body, including the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, liver, intestines, and heart.
Your body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that assist in digesting fat. The cholesterol in the blood comes from two sources: 1) the foods a person eats, 2) the liver. However, the liver makes enough cholesterol to satisfy the body's needs. It takes only a small amount of cholesterol in the blood to meet these needs. If an individual has too much cholesterol in their bloodstream, the excess may be deposited in arteries, including the coronary (heart) arteries, where it contributes to the narrowing and blockages that cause the signs and symptoms of heart disease.
What causes high cholesterol?
Several drugs and diseases can bring about high cholesterol, but for most people, a high-fat diet, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or inherited risk factors are the main causes.
Risks of high cholesterol
If a person has too much cholesterol in their bloodstream, the excess may be deposited in arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis (commonly called hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis may contribute to:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2015
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Must Read Articles Related to Understanding Cholesterol-Lowering Medications
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cholesterol Lowering Medications:
Cholesterol Lower Medications - Your Experience
Please describe your experience with cholesterol lowering medications.
High Cholesterol - Treatment
What was the treatment for your high cholesterol?
Cholesterol Lowering Medications - Side Effects
Please share your experience with statins side effects.
Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is positively associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).