Trying to Lower Your Cholesterol? How Long Will it Take?
How long does it take to lower cholesterol is a curious question that has a number of different responses depending on the risk factors and lifestyle choices a person makes. And there are few areas in which there are as many contradictory opinions and false beliefs as in the fight against cholesterol. Surprisingly bad cholesterol can fluctuate in both directions by as much as 10 percent on a given day and as much as 30 percent in just a matter of weeks. This is one of the many reasons that cardiologists suggest having a blood lipid profile done every five years if you are 20 years old or older and every year if you fall into one of the high-risk categories for heart attack or stroke.
You should know that most of the cholesterol in the blood is produced by the body, specifically by the liver. Cholesterol is indeed an important element for the cells as it helps to produce hormones, bile acids, vitamin D and more. It is necessary for healthy cells and muscle function. One could not live without a certain amount in the blood. Normal levels in the blood are not dangerous. Generally, if your cholesterol drops below a certain level, your muscles begin to hurt. This is one of the complaints often heard from users of popular cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Estimated time to reduce cholesterol?
High cholesterol, unfortunately, does not treat itself like a cold. You need to work actively for a period of time to normalize your levels. Let’s first care to differentiate two types of cholesterol: one is considered as “good” (HDL) while the other is considered “bad” (LDL). If the LDL levels appear proportionally in excess, this imbalance will have critical repercussions on health.
So, your main goal is to reduce your LDL levels, and the time it will take to lower it will depend on multiple factors that are directly related to each person. For example:
– Body weight
– Whether the source of increased cholesterol is genetic or non-genetic.
– If there are other health disorders that cause increased blood lipids.
– Plasma values of the different cholesterol fractions, both LDL, VLDL, and HDL, as well as triglycerides.
– Whether or not you do physical activity.
– Whether or not an adequate diet is followed to the letter, etc.
Not all people are the same, nor do the metabolisms react in the same way to the same stimuli. Therefore, a person can regularize his cholesterol before or after another.
That said, the good news is that it will probably take 3 months or less to significantly reduce your bad cholesterol with the help of a proper diet plan, that features less saturated fats and refined carbs, free of trans fats, and high in fiber and healthy fats (read our detailed guide to lowering cholesterol with diet in 15 simple steps), accompanied by specific lifestyle changes. The most important lifestyle changes are maintaining a healthy body weight, less than 10 percent of your ideal weight; eliminating smoking if you are a smoker or inhaling second-hand smoke, and staying active with regular exercise at least 3 days a week.
How can I accelerate my results?
Sometimes diet, exercise, weight management, and smoking cessation are simply not enough or can not produce the quick results needed by these people in the high-risk category of heart attack or stroke. In these cases, your doctor will prescribe you probably one of the several types of cholesterol-lowering medications. The most likely candidate will be one of the statins which significantly reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Statins can reduce LDL by 30 to 60 percent in a matter of weeks. Although they can produce impressive results, they come with a long list of side effects that need to be discussed with your doctor before making a decision.
I do not get the necessary result, but I’m only interested in a non-prescription drug treatment plan. What should I do?
There are a number of excellent herbal or natural cholesterol busters on the market. Herbal varieties usually contain either red yeast rice or guggul gum extract, both of which have been used for centuries and are effective in regulating blood lipids. The non-herbal natural busters usually contain ingredients that either absorb cholesterol themselves or inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from foods. Read our article on natural cholesterol-lowering foods, herbs, vitamins and supplements. They are safe and are a good alternative to prescription drugs, especially when combined with a proper diet and exercise.
In conclusion, how long to reduce cholesterol will depend on your commitment and discipline to working actively towards your goal. Finally, we must say that all these current polemics and the surrounding hysteria around cholesterol do not really help to approach the subject objectively enough. But at least we know that we have bet on the right cards when we take care to eat and live healthily.